Being both a student and an entrepreneur can be challenging. But one of the biggest challenges is that nagging feeling that maybe you should enjoy your school life more. Perhaps it crosses your mind sometimes that you should go out with your pals more often instead of working on your startup business. Or maybe you’re stressing too much over work. This is beside the fact that you might feel the need to take some R&R after a series of exams or school projects.
These things are often unavoidable and ones that make us feel we need to take a break. It’s not a bad thing at all, especially if you want to avoid burnout. However, the trouble begins when it’s hard for you to get back into your workflow.
The key to juggling between the demands of school life and starting a business is to strike a balance. Below are 5 proven and tested productivity tips every entrepreneurial student should follow:
1. Set Deadlines
Whether or not a goal is time-sensitive, it’s important that you set a deadline for yourself. If you must push back a due date, do it in a way that you understand it’s a big deal and that it needs to be justified as if a boss is going to ask why you pushed back the due date. A good reason for this is that you planned a startup business and realized that it will take longer to do the work than what you initially expected. For this, you might need a handy time clock for better time management. On the other hand, a reason that could get you into trouble is that you binge-watched on Netflix series for the past several nights and work has piled up to the point you can’t finish them on time.
2. Grab Every Networking Opportunity
College can be the perfect place to meet new people and establish relationships. And if you’re an entrepreneurial student, you know well it’s also the best place to make connections or find a partner for your startup business. You only have a few years in school so grab as many networking opportunities as you can.
Whether it’s through a school symposium or a fraternity/sorority event, think that they’re all advantageous to you and your startup. You should also tap into alumni as early as possible because many of them may be like-minded individuals who have also started their business in college. Eventually, these people will become your mentors who can help you as you grow your business.
3. Look for Alternatives
As a student, you already have lots of responsibilities to fulfill. What more if you’re planning to start your own business while still studying, right? Chances are you don’t have enough time in your hands to seek venture capitalists to help raise money for your project.
On the bright side, college is where you can find lots of alternative funding opportunities. This depends on the industry you’re in, of course, but you can apply to various grants that can help you get a decent capital. Unlike the more traditional type of funding, there are less strings attached with grants.
4. Work with Your Brain
Instead of working against it, learn how your brain works, and then work with it. It’s easy to know when you need a mental break. David Anderson of IHateWritingEssays suggests that when it’s time to give your brain a break, you can do “mindless” tasks that don’t require a lot of thinking, such as doing the laundry or washing the dishes. On the other hand, tasks like studying for an upcoming exam or working on your next business strategy are reserved for times when you’re at your sharpest. Figure out which of these tasks you tend to procrastinate on and why.
5. Learn to be Flexible
Remember that it’s not always bad to go out on spontaneous dates with a friend. The thing about school and work is that you can’t avoid them forever and when push comes to shove, you can get things done. Building relationships is important so whenever there’s an opportunity, don’t say “no” simply because you plan to work on something you can set aside and easily finish a few hours later. At the same time, if you get an early dismissal in class, take a short break and spend some time with friends.
Combining school with a business startup can be mentally exhausting for the entrepreneurial student, but it’s not impossible to stay productive and motivated. Remember that the best way to achieve your goals is to love what you’re doing. Of course, it’s not all cakes and bubbles but the end-result should keep you inspired and excited.
Stay organized and learn to balance your time between study and work (and everything in-between). Nothing’s impossible if you’re passionate about what you’re doing. Soon enough, you’ll see your business thrive. Best of luck!