Coffee Shops and Calendars

NOVEMBER 13, 2012


Jewelry designer and entrepreneur Katie Bartels is back with more interesting insights on running your own business. Aspiring Quarterlette entrepreneurs, take notes!

One of the hardest parts about running your own business is keeping your schedule efficient and staying motivated. I work out of my studio apartment, so I have fallen into the traps of working until 3am, staying in my yoga pants until 5pm, and not interacting with other people sometimes for an entire day. After doing this for a while I realized I had to change up my work habits.

Step one was setting more normal business hours. There are still plenty of nights where I am up until eleven working, but I try to cut myself off at a reasonable hour to maintain a sensible schedule. I also feel much better about myself when I get a lot done before 9am, which was impossible to do when staying up until the wee hours of the morning.

Step two was getting dressed up every morning. It is amazing how much more motivated and together I feel when I am wearing a styled outfit as opposed to yoga pants and a tank top. Even if I don’t leave my studio until lunchtime, I make a point of getting dressed as soon as I wake up.

Step three was making sure I was around other people. I am pretty good about making lunch, coffee, or dinner plans but there are definitely days when I am just working by myself straight through the day. It can be really lonely to be an entrepreneur and it definitely starts to get to you. One thing that has been very important to me is gym classes for a sense of community. I am obsessed with 30/ 60/90 at Equinox and look forward to the 45 minute classes as a way to structure my day and chat with people I have met in the classes. Another thing that has helped a lot is working from coffee shops. Independent coffee shops have a friendlier vibe and are filled with other entrepreneurs and freelancers. I definitely get much more work done when I am around other people who are being productive.

Step four was weekly goal setting. I made a daily to do list with tasks I need to complete before I shut down my computer for the day and I also have a calendar with bigger weekly and monthly goals and projects. It is very easy for long-term projects to get overwhelming but when I break them down by individual tasks they are much more tangible.

My work habits are definitely a work in progress but I have found the changes I made incredibly beneficial to my productivity and level of satisfaction with how I spend each day.


  • Lilli 5 years ago

    Great article. I definitely know what you’re talking about! It’s hard to get motivated when you’re all by yourself and lounging on the couch with your laptop in your PJs.