The Diary of an Entrepreneur #5 — Less time, in the same 24 hour day.

Hannah Schwartz
5 min readFeb 5, 2024

This morning I woke up…stress
This afternoon the picture would not fit into the picture frame…stress
Right now…

I poured a cup of coffee and came straight here to write a diary entry. You see, I work 1 on 1 with clients everyday, with entrepreneurs going through it too. We chat about the rush and the work. We talk about the stress and the overwhelming urgency. We talk about the days that just don’t go our way, like the day I’m having today.

On the days that, for some reason, just do not flow like the others. And, for whatever reason we decide that these are the days that are extra important for our businesses. Like, this day will have some great impact on our work. Like the days that you would just rather not, are somehow the days where you feel the need to do more. Like your business suddenly depends on this day right here.

I came to my desk and wrote a to-do list. Important tasks filled this list. Pressing work filled this list, work that I need do to so that others can get their jobs done, filled this list.

And still, I took a moment and thought HECK WITH IT, I’m going to write an entry instead. Mid stress, mid bloody finger from a broken picture frame. (I’m not kidding, I cut my finger on the broken glass of a picture frame that was just not cooperating.)

Here’s the thing, time: We have plenty of it. (many of you may argue that last statement.) The truth is though, we have plenty of it. Yet on stressful days we feel as though we have less of it. Less time, in the same 24 hour day. Stress somehow equals less time. Which then creates rush, which then perpetuates the stress. It’s an evil cycle really.

So, yes, I’m here with tasks up the wazoo, with work that people are waiting on me to complete. With jobs that need to get done for the growth and continued success of my business and yet,

Sip, sip, sip
It’s coffee time.

Coffee time is sometimes, and in this case is right now, the most beneficial task of my day. It’s not about the caffeine, contrary to popular belief. Actually, it isn’t even about the coffee itself at all. Nope, it’s actually the ritual or you may call it the habit, that I have curated around the coffee.
From the music to the hot liquid confusing my senses, reminding me that this moment is calm.

Urgency: The idea and concept that by doing things faster you will get more done. That by working from a place of urgency, clients will love you more. Whereby, somehow the tasks of today or the moment are more necessary than those of yesterday or tomorrow.

False facts we tell ourselves.

Urgency is not any of the above. Urgency is a fancy work hungry word that can also be described as: Discombobulated, tunnel vision, or perhaps most accurate and my favourite, misplaced worry.

For many of us in entrepreneurship, we will feel this utter sense of urgency surrounding the things in business that are mostly known as “busy work.” Where in reality, the things that can effectively push our businesses forward can be done in a few minutes or hours a day with calm. The problem is that these tasks don’t feel big or grand. In many cases the work that can scale our businesses doesn’t feel like productive tasks, so we busy ourselves with admin or projects because we tell ourselves that to be busy is successful. To be busy is productive. To be busy is the only way to prove to ourselves that we have done enough for the day. The non-existent, unimaginable “done” for the day.

Which brings us back to right now, I woke up stressed. Had a client call, stressed. Organized and prepared my apartment, things I “should” have done on the weekend. Cut my finger on broken glass from a freaking picture frame that was not cooperating, and almost lost it.

The urgency I was feeling was misplaced. The stress I was feeling was also misplaced. As someone who is just over a year and a half into her own business, I can say with confidence that I have made it farther than others do in my same industry. And thinking back on the adventure so far, there have been plenty of “bad” days. Days that make me overwhelmed and unhinged. And yet, here I am. The only difference between then and now is that now, I don’t work through the stress. I work next to it. Let it fester and do it’s thing. Let it be because it is a feeling that happens, there is nothing wrong with it. The only thing wrong, is letting it convince me that there is sudden urgency in my business and that somehow I have less time now than I did before. Because, none of that is true. Actually, what is possibly more true is that if I am in fact stressed, bothered, frustrated, and any other synonym that you can think of, the most productive thing to do is to merely NOT work.

Madness…or is it?

My absolute best work comes when I’m not doing much work at all. It’s a beautiful blend between dreaming and doing the work that get’s me places. Not the busy work. Not the endless lists nor the urgent teeth clenching worry. Nope, it’s the one phone call that can get me in the right room. That one email that could lead to a new client. The website copy that will let people know exactly why and how to work with me. Or, that cup of hot coffee to balance me out and bring me back to calm, collected, work bliss.

there is no such thing as less time, in the same 24 hour day.

Hannah Schwartz



Hannah Schwartz

Start with Hannah — SWEMagazine, Business Strategist, & Community Builder @StartWithHannah @swemagazine @swecommunity