The following post is from Trevor Grode ’19, founder of Revive Hemp Foods, a fall 2016 hatchery business.
Let’s try and make this quick because I have a lot to do.
It’s currently 12:45 AM and this blog post is the second to last task I have to do today. Next week I have a midterm and a final paper due before I leave for New York City for a weekend business trip to talk with potential new customers. In between I’ll have to make room for eating, studying, cleaning, going to the gym, qualifying leads, meeting with restaurant owners, and calling grandma. Oh, and breathing too, I forgot about that one.
Time management in college is a lot like juggling. Time management in college when you also run a business is also like juggling, except this time everything is on fire and the balls you’re juggling keep trying to fight each other. Now, this might be a little dramatic, but any college-aged entrepreneur will tell you finding the right mix of work, school, and everything else is extremely difficult. However, it is not impossible. I follow 3 rules to try and keep on top of my school life, my work life, and my social life simultaneously.
- Keep school and work absolutely separate
You can’t study when you’re thinking of new ways to market your product. It’s important to separate school and work mentally, as well as physically. An easy way to do this is to do different work in different places. When I go to the library, I make sure I work only on school work. When I go to my cubicle in the Hatchery, I only work on my company. This makes it easy to stop work and school from competing with each other for your attention.
- Schedule EVERYTHING
It sucks, but you have to make it a habit to schedule everything you do, preferably on your smartphone so you can set reminders and make sure you don’t forget. When it comes to scheduling, getting in the habit of planning is sometimes more important than the plans themselves. You’ll be amazed at how much stress you can relieve by documenting every task and event you have to deal with. To-do lists are also a must; by writing down your short term goals not only do you make it easier to keep your bearings but you’ll also gain a real sense of satisfaction as you tick off those tasks one by one.
- Keep distractions to a minimum
The most important part of being an entrepreneur is being a person of action. Distractions like video games, aimless internet browsing, memes, etc. are ok as long as they don’t stop you from accomplishing your goals. I use TV and video games as an after-work reward to help encourage me to be productive.
Being a college student is hard. Being an entrepreneur is hard. Being both can be one of the hardest challenges you’ll ever face. But even though the work is hard, sleep is scarce, and stress can seem insurmountable, the prospect of creating something real, something that can touch people’s lives all over the world, something that could change the world, is more than enough reward.