I’ve worked from home throughout most of my entrepreneurial journey. The perks of having this option are tremendous, but there are downsides, too. In fact, whether you work from home or in an office, entrepreneurship — while incredibly rewarding — can lose its zing from time to time. Not every aspect of our chosen lifestyle is instantly gratifying. So, a few years ago, I came up with some ideas on how to keep my days fresh and interesting, even when what I’m working on is less than exciting. When the hustle becomes repetitive, prevent burnout by using my five favorite ways to make each workday more rewarding.
1. Switch up your workspace.
Sitting down at the same desk every single day is sure to put a damper on your attitude — especially if you usually work inside your own home, where distractions run rampant. Add a bit of excitement to your workday by switching up your environment. I love lying out by the pool with my laptop, but simply stepping out onto the patio may do the trick. Visit a local coffee shop you’ve never tried before (the caffeine might just give you a boost) or set up shop at a nearby co-working space for just a day. The library, your favorite restaurant, and even the park on a good day are all potential workspaces. Take your pick to shake up your day.
2. Make someone else’s day.
What’s one of the most rewarding things you can do as an entrepreneur? Help someone else. Luckily, there are several ways to do so. If you know someone who’s gearing up to launch their very first startup, offer to mentor them. Recommend a great book or podcast about success to a struggling entrepreneur. Make a valuable introduction to a colleague who needs the extra connection, or refer a favorite customer to a friend’s company. You’ll put a smile on someone else’s face and your own.
3. Find inspiration from others.
If you don’t have a great book or podcast to recommend, it’s time to find one. There’s a wealth of information to be gathered from all the media out there: articles on productivity, videos on the latest tech trends, autobiographies about finding success, and more. When I need that extra boost, I enjoy checking out the business podcast charts on iTunes. Whether you find inspiration in Bill Gates’ TED Talk or a blog post by a favorite local entrepreneur, the end result is the same: you’ll feel empowered, motivated, and enlightened.
4. Make a point of learning something new each day.
Entrepreneurs are never finished learning. In fact, they learn something new every day, but few take the time to notice it. You can make your workday far more rewarding by simply taking count of all the things you learn from start to finish. For instance, if you find a new productivity app that helps you become better organized, you’ve discovered something that will improve your entrepreneurial journey. The entrepreneurial conference you attended probably helped you improve your networking skills. Even a bad workday can become rewarding when you pull a lesson from the negative experience. Reflect on what you’ve learned on a daily basis, not just at the end of your journey, and you’ll find that individual workdays become far more rewarding.
5. Treat yourself.
If you can’t make it out of your normal work environment or make someone else’s day, brighten your own by treating yourself to something special. A great latte or cup of tea can start your morning off right. Personally, I find that a delicious and healthy lunch helps me get over that mid-day slump, regardless of whether it’s homemade or ordered out. If you’ve been working particularly hard lately, it might be time to treat yourself to the fancy planner you’ve been wanting, or even a cool piece of art to hang above your desk. Don’t get too ahead of yourself — buying stuff should never be the only way to spruce up your day — but a little gift could make an otherwise drab workday more rewarding.
It’s okay to admit that the hustle gets a bit dry now and then. But as you keep up your efforts to grow and improve your business, remember to enjoy each individual workday; they’re all pieces of the bigger picture.
How do you make your entrepreneurial workdays more rewarding?