We understand how important it is for our self-employed clients to be productive. When you’re doing everything on your own, it can be tempting to get distracted from your main priorities. Here are the three main things we’ve seen our clients do to stay focused and productive every day.
Productive Self-Employed People Have Structure
Most people thrive on structure. It’s why the 9-5 culture has been so prevalent for years. Having those regular hours helps people thrive because they can segment their work life.
Some self-employed people struggle with this. They quit their jobs to have more freedom, so they don’t like the idea of structure. Instead of having regular work hours, they end up working whenever time allows.
That method works for some people, but not for most. Our most successful customers have their work-life compartmentalized, which generally means two things:
- They work during the same time window every day, say 8 am-6 pm.
- They don’t work from their living room. It’s a home office, coworking space, retail building, etc. Avoid working from the same place you play.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but ultimately you’ll find that this structure will give you more freedom by making you more productive.
Self-Employed People Need Clear Priorities
There will always be more for you to do. Let’s just get that out there.
Keeping that in mind, you will always have certain things that should take top priority. For example, most freelancers should always be putting some attention into getting new clients. Even if it’s just a bit of networking each week, that keeps new leads coming into their marketing funnel and sets themselves up for future success.
Another top priority should be customer service. If you don’t take care of your customers, they will leave. And as every business owner knows, it’s more expensive to get a new customer than keep an old one.
At a high level, here’s how you can identify top priorities and focus on them:
- Determine your biggest business needs right now. Do you need more customers? Have major projects to finish? Hire someone?
- Look at how you spend your average day, and which activities tie to your biggest needs.
- Allocate more time on those important activities, and delegate or stop doing the rest.
Self-employed people have a lot of volatility in their work. Every day brings new adventures and challenges, which is part of the appeal!
That’s great, but there is a downside. If every part of your life is volatile, you’ll constantly be under stress. Think about it – how much can you focus on your business if you are also in the process of moving to a new home, buying a new car, and planning a wedding?
Try to anchor yourself with a few things that are steady. For example, commit to staying in your current home for at least 3 years. Or maybe you tell yourself that you won’t buy a new car for at least 5.
Having this firm anchor lets you be a bit more risky with other things, like your business. You’ll find yourself much happier and more productive because you have fewer things to worry about.
Being self-employed is great. You control your destiny and are bravely taking the world head-on. To make sure you stay productive as you take on the world, be sure to keep some stability! Have some structure, keep clear priorities, and keep a few unchanging anchors in your life. Once you lock those down, the world is your oyster.