Maximizing productivity as a solopreneur can be quite challenging. Part of the reason is because most business owners start out with the idea that their business is so unique, so different, and so darn awesome that they are going to break the mold. They swear they are not going to do things the way everyone else does, they’re going to just do what feels best at the time.
Now, some businesses function fine with this method of operation for a while. But, either success is never achieved, or accidental success happens, and the business owner is unprepared for success…so ultimately, they fail.
I believe for a business to enjoy long-term success, it’s important to practice effective productivity skills. If you don’t have productivity strategies or skills, it’s important to develop them because without the right skills everything can get out of control…fast. But, as you learn the secrets to being more productive you’ll also learn that you can’t manage time, but you can manage yourself. After all, really, you are the one who chooses what to do with your time.
So here are a few tips to more productivity:
Create a Goal — Write down your plans in concrete terms. What is your ultimate goal this year, or month or week? What do you want to accomplish? Write it all down in very specific detail. One really good method for writing down goals is to use a mind map, or a flow chart. Using the latter, you can start with the end-result, and work your way backwards to today.
Design a Schedule — From the visual you created, fill in your calendar with a daily schedule of tasks that will enable you to reach your goal. Each day simply by looking at your calendar you’ll know the “must do” tasks of the day that will help you reach every goal.
Use the Tools — There are many tools available to you for productivity and task management such as Google Documents, Dropbox, Central Desktop, Basecamp and other project and file management systems. No matter what kind of business you own there are tools that can make your life easier and help your business run smoother.
Delegate — Even if you do not have a single employee you can delegate tasks to family members or consider hiring someone or retaining a contractor to help when you get really busy and need the extra help. In addition, don’t forget that outsourcing or assigning household tasks is just as helpful as outsourcing tasks that are directly business related.
Managing your time as a small business owner or solopreneur can be challenging but it is not impossible. You can create more free time for yourself, and be more productive during working hours if you take the time to do it. Try keeping notes for an entire month of each daily task that you do, writing down how you do it, what tools you use, how long it takes, and whether it is an profit generating or non profit generating task. Once you’ve separated out non profit generating tasks from profit generating tasks it’ll be easier to find items that are easily delegated, assigned (outsourced), or automated. If you’ve kept good notes about the tasks, you’ll be able to hand it off to someone else easier.
Happy productivity day to you! … now and every day