The Diary – A Busy Entrepreneur’s Best Friend

One of my closest allies since I started BODO UK and officially became an entrepreneur is my diary. I use the one on my phone, but whether you use a smartphone or a leather-bound one that looks like its been pick-pocketed from Gandalf, is down to you!  Just as long as you get one and aren’t afraid to use it! One tragic fate that befalls many diaries is

A kind of diary...

A kind of diary…

uncaring owners that have them, but fail to use them! Don’t be one of those people, make sure you put important events, meetings and tasks into your diary and check it at the very least once a day!
When you are starting your own business, there is a strong possibility that once the ball gets rolling you are going to become incredibly busy, maybe busier than you’ve ever been before! Even the most organised folk can benefit from keeping a diary and checking it regularly, as we can all fall victim to episodes of forgetfulness at times especially when we are under a lot of pressure.
The other good thing about keeping a diary is that it helps with time-management, something I mentioned in my blog a few weeks ago. When you keep an accurate up-to-date diary, you have something solid you can refer back to see how long

...MY kind of diary

…MY kind of diary

things take in real-time, rather than how long they’d take in the idealistic realm where things take as long as you wish they would! Using a basic example like a team meeting per se, looking back if you know your average team meeting takes an hour, you know to schedule enough time for next one and ensure that you aren’t rushing or late for your next appointment or task.
Of course, your diary isn’t a magician and it won’t be able to account for things like delayed trains, unexpected traffic jams or your internet deciding not to work that day, however it does give you an advantage when you are starting up a business and trying to do several job roles at once.

Healthy Eating & Exercise

Following on from my blogs of previous weeks featuring tips for other aspiring entrepreneurs, one thing I think is integral to success is taking care of yourself.
When you are trying to launch a startup or make your idea a success, a common mistake is to run yourself into the ground. People healthy eatingwho are passionate about turning their dreams into a reality tend to work too hard, for too long, eat unhealthily and not exercise enough and sleep sporadically.
It’s really tempting (and something I’ve been guilty of) to put your life on hold when you are pushing to succeed, so instead of eating properly, I would often replace meals with quick snacks like chocolate that would give me a sharp energy boost. This doesn’t work however, if you don’t eat properly, you don’t function properly and so, though you think you might be gaining hours by not taking the time out to eat a proper meal, in reality you probably aren’t, because your mind just does not work as well if you aren’t getting the right nutrients. This isn’t to say that you have to make the time for a three course meal every day, that’s just unrealistic and of course there will be the odd days where you will have to replace a meal with a quick snack in order to get something exercisedone for a deadline, but if you remain focused on a healthy eating routine, it is much better for your productivity!
The same goes for exercise; if you spend too long sat at a desk staring at a laptop, you’ll cause yourself all manner of problems like backache and sore eyes for example. Make time for exercise, as it will keep you firing all cylinders. Sometimes when you hit a road block and don’t know where to turn next, a little bit of exercise can you give your mind the boost it needs to help you figure out your next move. A common misconception when people are suffering with fatigue or tiredness is that exercise is the last thing that will help. That just isn’t true, exercising will increase your stamina, pump loads of good endorphins through your brain and improve your sharpness. You don’t have to join an expensive gym, going for a walk or a jog in the park will have the same effect.

The Barefoot Foundation

One charity I have always admired, even before I started BODO, is the Barefoot Foundation. It was started by world-famous popstar Barefoot1Shakira in the late 90s, when she was just 18-years old, as a means of helping impoverished children in her native Columbia. Shakira, who is a huge philanthropist, believes that all children deserve basic rights, the right to a quality education and emotional and social support and through the Barefoot Foundation (or Pies Descalzos Foundation) aims to reach some of the most disadvantaged children in the world. One of the reasons I have always respected the Barefoot Foundation’s work is Barefoot2because they strive to bring about real social change. They aren’t simply about handouts or short-term solutions. They believe that every child deserves the right to be educated, to make something of themselves, to be supported and to study in a safe and nurturing environment. They aren’t the biggest charity in the world, but their direction and ambition is clear and no one can doubt the fantastic work they have done and are continuing to do.
I’ve often mentioned on here that, how I’m a firm believer in building strong relationships and networking with other organisations with similar beliefs and ideals as your own, so of course I would love the opportunity to work with a charity like the Barefoot Foundation. BODO has made some contact with them and explained our ideals and mission, I’m hopeful that in future blogs I’ll be bringing you news of a strong working relationship between our organisations!

Time Management Tips For Budding Entrepreneurs

One thing I’ve learnt over the last few years as an entrepreneur, is that if you want to get anywhere then excellent time management dali clockis absolutely essential. It sounds like an obvious one, but seriously, it is definitely worth reading up on tips and advice from the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and adopting the policies and practises that are relevant to you and your idea.
One of the most important things for me, was learning how to deal with interruptions. These will happen no matter what you do. Sometimes they will be important and you will have to deal with them on the spot, other times not so much, but if you aren’t careful then dealing with irrelevant calls, queries and conversations will swallow up a huge chunk of your day and before you know it, the really important paperwork you had to get done, gets shunted to tomorrow’s to-do-list.
Just because your phone is ringing or someone has emailed you, does not mean you have to answer it, or reply straight away. Certain things can wait and it will make no difference if they are dealt with now, tomorrow or next week. Something that so many new entrepreneurs struggle with is learning to prioritise what needs dealing with and when, especially if they are the kind of person that usually keeps good correspondence. The fact of the matter is, that your great aunty probably isn’t going to disown you if you don’t answer the phone when she rings smack-bang in the middle of the Monday morning mayhem. If you don’t answer the accountant’s query on the deadline for getting everyone’s pay put through on time however, then it’s likely that you’ll have bigger problems on your hands. Don’t treat incoming correspondence on a first-come, first served basis, as it is paramount that you prioritise incoming calls, emails and the like. By ranking them and responding to them in order of importance, you will achieve much much more!
The art of excellent time management is a complicated one and of course there is much more to it, that no doubt I will elaborate on in future blogs, but this is something that I think has really helped me, so I thought I would share it with you guys.