Being an entrepreneur and/or working from home can be extremely rewarding and fulfilling, but it can also be such a challenge! Staying on task and remaining productive is a real struggle sometimes when you don’t have a boss, manager, or other co-workers to keep you on point. Today I am going to share 7 different productivity tips that I use to keep myself moving forward and on task!
1. NOTIFICATIONS – OFF
One productivity killer is proved to be all of those notifications that keep popping up on your phone or your computer screen, all the time. I don’t know about you, but when you get notified that someone said something or sent you something, the urge to go and check it out is almost impossible to resist. What is the consequence of falling for this? You get lost in the endless scroll of social media or you get sidetracked responding to an email who can be left unanswered until later on and before you know it a few hours have gone by. What you were supposed to get done gets pushed off until tomorrow. AGAIN. Don’t let notifications get in the way of getting your work done. I myself struggle with this but let me tell you something: I turned off all notifications on my phone a few months ago and my productivity during the day has increased tenfold! I will never go back to my old habit!
2. SCHEDULE BLOCKS OF TIME
When you don’t have the structure of a 9-5 to deal with, working for yourself or working from home can be kind of a “available and free for anyone”. If you do go into the day without a plan, the day can tend to get away from you and you might end up feeling like you didn’t get anything done.
Planning out your week at the beginning of the week and then scheduling blocks of time to take care of tasks can be a huge productivity booster. Knowing that every day from 8-9:30 you will deal with emails and draft posts and from 1-4 you will focus on your freelancing job: blog posting, or web designing or diy projects etc… can keep you on point and moving throughout the day. Hold yourself accountable to get done what you have pre-scheduled to get done. Take breaks in between your tasks and eat, hydrate, go for a walk and clear your head… and your lungs.
3. SET YOUR OFFICE HOURS
Having set office hours can be a huge game changer especially if you have other commitments, like children or a spouse, that also need your time and care. If you know that no one else will be in the house from 8-4, then dedicate yourself to working those hours. Anytime after or before those hours, work will not be done and you can focus your energy on other commitments. It doesn’t really matter what the hours are or when they occur during the day, but be honest with yourself about when you work best, when you have the ability to work in a focused way and stick to it!
4. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK. OR TWO
This one links with the second suggestion I wrote. Along with scheduling blocks of time, make sure to also schedule yourself some breaks throughout the day. Whether it be a few minutes to go outside and take a walk, a quick 10 minute break to stretch, a lunch break with a favorite TV show or even a short afternoon snooze, taking breaks throughout the day gives your brain a chance to relax and re-energize!
5. UTILIZE ANY RESOURCES YOU HAVE
Let’s face it: in many ways technology has made our lives more complicated and we sometimes struggle to keep up to the new tech trends, but it also has the ability to make our lives so much easier and more efficient.
To give you a few personal examples: for my designing process and overall work I use Creative Market a lot and I usually buy bundles and creative packages at a fair price. I also use any free stock photo website I can find and store them in a special folder where I can use them quickly if I need to.
When I deal with SEO projects I rely mostly on paid softwares that ease my workflow. I use the MOZ software and other paid tools so everything I can do to minimize my headache and my client’s dissatisfaction – count me in.
So, utilize some really great productivity resources to help you complete tasks that are repetitive or time-sucking. There are so many resources out there that can help small business owners and entrepreneurs (way too many to get into here), but what really helped me right from the start was to reach out to others in my field and just ask them what they use.
You can easily do some google searching or ask in Facebook groups for some resources that others use to keep on point and keep their days being productive. I promise you will find some really valuable things out there that can make a huge difference in your day to day freelance life!
6. WHITE NOISE. IF YOU’RE INTO IT
This might not work for everyone, but I find that having a little bit of white noise on wherever I am working lends itself to my productivity. Rather than the room being completely silent, having some music playing, or even a podcast running in the background helps me to keep my focus on the task at hand. I’m not at all sure why it works, but it just seems to!
7. SCHEDULE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA
I’ve saved one of the best for last. Social Media. This is probably one of the biggest struggles for most small business owners and especially creative entrepreneurs. We need to be on social media. This is often the main source of finding clients. But once you get there, it is so, SO easy to stay there. For hours. And HOURS.
Other small business owners, on contrary, feel overwhelmed with all of the platforms going on at the moment so my advice to owners just starting out in the online industry – keep it simple; use 3 main social media platforms and invest in them.
But back to those who get easily distracted by this – an easy solution to stay away from social media as much as possible during working hours is to schedule everything ahead of time. Use a resource like Buffer, Hootsuite, CoSchedule, or Edgar to plan all of your posts for a few days at a time and then simply move away from social media.
You can still get your information out there, but you don’t loose hours in the process by getting sucked into juicy Facebook posts or group conversations.
I hope these tips have been helpful for you and that you now have some more tools in your tool belt for staying productive throughout the day! What is your #1 favorite productivity tip to keep yourself on point?