But when you’re your own boss, it’s easy to fall into ‘slacker mode’ where you find it a struggle to get motivated and get anything done. And when that happens, it’s a quick decline for your reputation, and your business.
So what can you do to ensure you stay productive and get work done?
1. Get up and get dressed
It’s hard to focus on your workload if you sleep late and sit around in your pyjamas and slippers.
I actually find walking to the local shop in the mornings helps me to focus on my day. It gives me a reason to get dressed and look presentable, the change of scenery stops me getting cabin fever and the exercise is good for me.
Plus, when I get home it’s like I’m arriving at work and my day begins (though I do wear my slippers – it’s one of the perks of working from home).
2. Have a designated working space
If you’re working in the same space that you relax in, you’ll find yourself relaxing when you should be working (and vice versa!).
It’s important to have a designated area where you can focus solely on work, be it the kitchen table, a spare bedroom, or your garden shed. You might even decide to build a home office.
Some people find it’s easier to work away from home. such as at a local coffee shop (often referred to as a coffice) or a shared working space, to avoid the ‘being at home’ mindset completely.
Again, you can treat arriving at your designated location as arriving at work.
3. Avoid distractions
Social media notifications are some of the most distracting things I’ve ever encountered. The same goes for emails and text messages.
To avoid the temptation of checking your Tweets, close the internet browser tabs you don’t need to have open. It’s also worth closing your email client and opening it again once you’ve finished your work.
I tend to ignore text messages whilst I’m working but will answer calls as they’re likely to be clients anyway.
4. Do one thing at a time
It’s easy to get swamped by work when you run your own business, as there always seems to be lots of little jobs that need doing that take up all your time.
Having a ‘to-do’ list with each task for the day can help you prioritise jobs. Anything that takes less than 10 minutes to do, you should do straight away.
You’ll suddenly find with those inconvenient little jobs out of the way your workload has dropped and you’re free to focus on your more involved projects.
5. Have a deadline
Nothing gets you working like the sweaty fear of missing a deadline. Deadlines are great for productivity because they give you a target to focus on and work towards.
If your client doesn’t give you a deadline, set your own and reward yourself when you beat it.
Sometimes I aim to have all my current work completed by Thursday so that I can reward myself with a three-day weekend.
The secret to getting more done
There’s really no secret to getting all your work done, aside from just getting on with it.
Even though you’re your own boss, try to treat your working day as you would if you were working for someone else; have set working hours, be presentable, and don’t slack off.
Be sure to give yourself time in the evenings and at weekends to unwind and relax, so that you have something to look forward to whilst you’re working
How do you stay productive?