Yes, you read that title right.
As a small business owner, you wear a lot of different hats. With so much on your mind, it can be difficult to find time for those small but important tasks that improve you both as a person and entrepreneur.
One daily activity that allows for some multi-tasking is toilet time. You may already think of toilet time as time well spent, but think of the minutes of your day lost if you’re playing Candy Crush while taking a bathroom break instead of doing something that could help you boost your business.
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So dump the Candy Crush and devote time to your business instead. Here are six ways to be more productive on your bathroom break:
1. Take Mini-Courses
Find a mini-course on a subject that will help you better run your business, or sign up for a longer course that offers short lessons.
My favorite is Investopedia’s academy courses that teach better investing skills, among other things, like how to better use Excel for your financials. They’ll send a lesson to your email every few days so it’s easily accessible.
If you want to learn more about design principles, try out Hack Design for a lesson in your inbox each week. They have 50 short lessons on subjects like typography, UX design and product design, and you can go to their website for the lessons if you don’t want to offer up your email address.
2. Check Your Credit
You need to keep up on the numbers that matter most to your business’s financial health, and that includes both your business and personal credit scores (you can check both in just a few seconds with a free Nav account).
Your reports can change often, and you want to keep up with any changes to your score—an event like the recent Equifax data breach is a good reminder to stay on top of this. Here’s a resource for 150-plus places to get your different personal credit scores for free, so you can cover all your bases.
3. Update Your Social
Don’t update your followers on your toilet break, obviously, but you should regularly update them about your business. Tweet about an article relevant to your industry or one that your company values align with, or post a shout out for another business whose product you love—maybe they’ll return the favor.
4. Catch Up on Communication
We all have emails, text messages, and voicemails that we let slip through the cracks. Check those Slack channels that you’ve been ignoring for weeks; remind your family that you love them; or send a personal note to an employee whose hard work you noticed this month.
5. Read a Book
Catch up on your literature list, or get a book that will help you be a better leader in your company.
One book that Nav’s founder, Levi King, recommends is Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School. Devote each trip to the bathroom to one of the 12 principles and in no time you’ll be armed with the tips you need to succeed in more areas of your life.
6. Check The News
Remember when you used to see folks grab a newspaper before heading into the bathroom? Well, you can do the same and make it even more discrete. We all have news on our phones, and spending a few minutes each day surfing through the headlines can help you stay on top of what’s happening.
My suggestion would be to subscribe to a podcast, like NPR’s Up First, that gives you bite-sized news updates—this helps you avoid the rabbit hole that being online can present, and lets you get back to your day when your business is done.