When you’re self-employed, everything depends on you especially when you’re a team of one. You don’t have the stability and security that comes with working for someone else, although there are course plenty of advantages to being self-employed.
One of the biggest challenges that come along with these advantages is staying on-task and remaining productive. If you’re not productive, you’re not generating income, and if you’re not generating income—well you know the rest.
There isn’t the ability to skate by or enjoy a lot of downtime as a self-employed entrepreneur. The more productive you are, typically the better the results will be as you grow your business and your income.
The following are some important productivity tips that can help you if you’re self-employed.
Create a Foundation with Task Management Software
Think task management software is only for large businesses with lots of employees? Think again. There’s a reason task management software is so popular in many different scenarios. Having things written down and organized is crucial for motivation and making sure that you’re on top of everything.
When you’re self-employed, you’re juggling the day-to-day of your business, the more strategic components of growing a business, and you also likely have a home and family life to think about. Task management tools can help you balance all of these things.
Some of the benefits and features of a good task management platform can include:
- You can keep yourself on-task for multiple projects, and if your clients want to see progress or you have other people working on projects with you, they can view progress as well. You’ll have a way to set multiple milestone and completion dates in an easy-to-understand way.
- You can store your important files in a task management solution.
- Task managers can be a good way to integrate important personal tasks also, so nothing gets forgotten.
The idea that task management software is only for big businesses is a misconception. Plus, when you have everything written down and clearly defined as far as what you need to get done, it can help you hold yourself accountable.
Start Your Day Productively
How you start your day really does set the tone for what happens during the rest of the day. You should try to start your day as productively as possible. Rather than starting your day by doing something relaxing or mindless, like watching TV, start laying out your goals and what you want to achieve for the day. Save the relaxing parts of your day for later, as a reward for your productivity.
If you start out your day not focused on work, it’s going to be much harder to switch back into productive work mode later on.
Your Time Is a Currency
This goes back a bit to what’s stated above about letting yourself relax as a reward. Think about all of the work you do productively as something that you can then reward yourself with. For example, if you can start in the morning and finish a project early in a block of four hours, then you can give yourself four hours of leisure time at the end of the work week.
Create a Defined Structure for Your Day
When you’re self-employed being motivated and productive can be a challenge, and you can combat the challenges you face by having a defined, set structure for your day and week. Not everyday will be structured exactly the same, but most will be.
You can have set times where you deal with emails versus working with clients or taking phone calls. Then, you can have hours in the day carved out where you do the higher-thinking work that requires the most focus and concentration.
Also, have a set time where you start and finish work each day if possible.
Incorporate White Noise
If you’re working on your own, your home office or even your outside office may be extremely quiet. Too quiet in fact.
It’s a simple fix that can make a big difference if you add white noise to your workspace. White noise has been shown to improve creativity, and it can be a good way to keep you focused.
You can choose an app, a sound machine, or do something like playing a white noise YouTube video while you work.
Finally, when you’re really dragging look at sources of inspiration. Maybe you read a blog from your favorite entrepreneur, as an example. Sometimes you need something to kick start you back into high gear.