I’m working odd hours these days. Maybe it’s the flip-side of being a solopreneur…you don’t know when the day starts and when it ends… Your day may start at 6am or 6pm, and you also work many of the hours in between.
Unlike a job that has fixed hours more or less, as a solopreneur nothing gets structured for a very long time. You’re juggling several things at once — client meetings, the work, the payments…and then your life.
All this needs mental strength and agility. It requires you to switch on and switch off at will, and ensure the hours you clock in are full of concentration and productivity.
To top it all, no one understands what you’re doing… They keep guessing if you’re working or not, they wonder how serious you are, and they don’t hesitate to still brand you as ‘unemployed’. Till you don’t have your own big company or till you’re not in a job, are you really of any consequence?
But we must continue to work, and manage our big or small business from wherever we are, and in the best way we can.
So here are my tips on how you can improve your concentration and up your productivity as an solopreneur:
Do one thing at a time
Yes, it’s tough. But focus and micro-focus is what we need when we are working solo on multiple projects.
So ignore that ping in the middle of working… Don’t think about what you’ll make for dinner, which movie you want to watch on the weekend, or the clothes you need to pick up from the laundry.
Focus on the now and the present…the higher your concentration, the more likely your chances of finishing the task with greater success.
Reach out for help
There’s no point trying to figure out everything by yourself. There will be some things that you just don’t understand…and that’s fine, not everyone has to be an expert at everything.
So reach out at such times, may be call up someone from your network who you think will know and understand a task better than you. Even outsource if needed, the sooner you learn to collaborate and delegate, the faster your chances of scaling.
This is as true for companies as it is for solopreneurs…the sooner you standardize or templatise your processes, the greater your ability to take on and complete more assignments.
Even if you’re strength is customization, you will still find some processes that you can standardize. For example, create one profile note, or background note on your firm, that you can distribute across diverse clients. Similarly, create a standardized pricing model that you and your clients can refer to easily. This will reduce the time taken each time you’re making a pitch to a new client.
Create a fluid schedule
As a solopreneur, you have to understand what time of the day works best for you to concentrate and work. The rest of the time can be spent in administrative work or client meetings.
Thus, create chunks of time in your day for different kinds of work… Emailing should usually be done at the end of the day, as it’s the most time consuming, and often doesn’t need much focus. Similarly, creative tasks may happen best in the morning, as that’s the time when your mind is blank and open to new possibilities.
And finally, don’t get overwhelmed… there are days when the work seems too much, and you fear you may just snap… But there’s good news: work does get done eventually, and we do manage to get through it all.
As solopreneurs, our biggest strength is to work alone, and still create meaning in the world of work. So let’s use that strength to our advantage… Let’s maximize our ability to juggle, let’s become masters at our own game.
Are you a solopreneur too? What are the challenges you’re facing, and would you like me to address any of these in my blogs? I look forward to hearing from you…
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