When you’re trying to build something from the group up, it can be hard to balance your wants and needs. Especially when you’re in charge. Running a one-man band doesn’t need to be constant stress or struggle. With the right habits and strategies in place, you can tackle every last thing on your to-do list without shedding any hair or breaking a sweat. Here is a list of life hacks for all of the solopreneurs so that they can keep going during their adventure.
Start the day with a purpose
Focus is everything. Remember this; how you start the day has a huge impact on how that day will end. Waking up late and regretting that you’ve wasted several hours that could have been channelled into doing great work, will not put you in the right frame of mind to be productive.
You need to wake up feeling invigorated and ready for the world. Sometimes that can actually start from the night before. Set yourself by having a very clear idea of what you need to achieve. Follow through with that purpose. Every day contributes to the bigger picture so don’t waste them.
When you get to the end of the day say, did I achieve that?
Start a To do & Done list
Sometimes having a to-do list isn’t the greatest way to spark your motivation. Although, creating a list can help you to process all of your thoughts and get them down on paper. Seeing how much you have to tackle… can then make it all seem a bit daunting.
The remedy? Start making a Done list too. You can see how much you’ve accomplished and feel a little bit better about the workload. Give yourself a visual reminder of just how far you’ve come.
Don’t get sucked into emails
Emails are so time-consuming! You will receive dozens of emails a day, from clients to potential collaborations. You can’t always be strapped to your computer or phone to reply instantly.
Have set times to reply to your emails. Don’t allow them to run your day. Another neat little trick is to include the hours that you may be unavailable in your email footer or set an auto reply. Give yourself peace whilst everyone has the satisfaction of knowing when you are and aren’t available.
Remembering that you’re human is key when running your own business. Knowing when to say no can be very relieving and powerful. There are only so many hours in the day and if you want to be known for producing quality, you can’t get too caught up in quantity.
Saying no can stop you from stressing over too many deadlines, and give you the time to channel your energy into the projects that are already lined up.
Clear desk, clear mind
When you’re working hard the clutter just piles up around you. A messy desk isn’t the most stimulating setting for productivity. When the papers start to multiply, make time to clear them. Don’t allow your workspace to become a place of organised chaos. Remember: less clutter, less stress.
Problems will arise, road bumps will need to be crossed and sometimes the solution may not be what you were looking for. That doesn’t mean that you have to beat yourself up about the situation and lose sight of your goal. There are no mistakes, just lessons to be learned. So don’t consider plans that didn’t work as failures. Think of them as the mock exam before the real test.
Ask for help
Even with a business plan and brand vision in mind, it will take more than one person alone to build an empire. As a solopreneur, you need to determine the type of people that you would like to collaborate with. Not everyone that you meet will be compatible, fit the image or share your values.
It is always worth having a mentor. Not just as someone to aspire to, but as a person to share ideas with and learn from their past experiences.
Schedule Social Media
Social media just sucks me in. It happens without even realising. You should spend some time managing your accounts effectively. Social media is the perfect opportunity to help people and provide them with valuable insights.
Use an app like Hootsuite or Buffer to automate well crafted, actionable content to your followers. That way, you can be a frequent helping hand and check your social accounts at peak times when necessary.
Stay Fed & Watered
You’re hard at work and making time for the simple things like lunch, dinner and a brisk jog can be easily forgotten. But they shouldn’t be. Looking after your body and general well-being is just as important as keeping your finances in check. Don’t skip meals. Get enough sleep. Make time for exercise. If you are your business… make sure your mind & body are prepared for it.
Change the setting
I find that making a few changes every now and then can really stimulate my creativity. Especially when I work in a completely new setting. Why not take some of your workload outside? or try a cafe? Inspiration can sometimes crop up in the most unexpected places. Change is never a bad thing – embrace it.
Let’s not forget that a quality cup of coffee can work wonders first thing in the morning!
Stop for a minute and think about how hard you’ve been working. Do you really think that it has to be all work and no play? There’s more to life than working and making money! You have to be able to enjoy the best that life has to offer.
When you’ve managed to hit a target or a milestone, reward yourself. Give yourself time to recover from the rush of managing a business. Allow yourself to feel empowered by your success.
Now that we’ve gone through the habits that can help you to become more productive, here are a few apps to help you along the way.
Any.DO – one of the best organisers that I have ever come across. Any.DO allows you to create a to-do list by typing notes or creating voice notes. It’s more than a to-do list, it’s a task manager. Sync your personal tasks, work projects and shared lists so that you can take a step forward every day.
Sleep Cycle – Getting a good night’s sleep can be one of the best things for your productivity. Use Sleep Cycle to record the length and quality of your sleep every day. If you want to aim for say, seven hours sleep, this app will give you a heads-up when it’s time to get to bed. Make sure that your day is great from the night before!
Pocket – I’m always stumbling across articles that I don’t have time to read. Sucked in by a great headline and then not being able to catch it. This drives me crazy! But now that can be avoided with Pocket. Just store it away and have it ready when you have the time.
Time Buddy – I work with a few people in different time zones. I’m forever forgetting how many hours difference there is between us. If you need to keep track, download this app and it will tell you what time it is in multiple time zones at once.