Being your own boss can be amazing. You can take breaks when you want, you can work in your pyjamas and can sort your own priorities. But, if you are not careful, those breaks can start getting longer and longer, you may find you never wear real clothes again and work becomes less of a priority and more of something you might do after you binge watch a new show on Netflix.
Procrastination is the enemy of any entrepreneur and can be the death of great art. But not to worry- there are a few handy tricks I have found help me stay on track.
Living by lists and rough time schedules can motivate you to reach your daily targets. The simple pleasure of crossing off one of the jobs on your list can make you feel great. Also, allowing yourself a certain amount of hours to complete your work can help you analyse how much you can achieve, which can help you work out how much you need to be charging for your services or products.
- Allow for reasonable breaks-
Don’t forget to have a kitkat once in a while. If you work for yourself, be sure not to become your own worst enemy and condemn yourself to unreasonable working hours. You want to stay productive, sure, but allowing yourself reasonable breaks for a coffee and a bit of cake will help keep work and personal time separate. Just be sure to set a time when you are due to return to work and stick to it.
- Turn off the distractions
I love Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Youtube. In fact I use them daily to promote Shinys, but they can be a distraction from getting your work done. It’s hard to keep your focus if your phone is constantly buzzing with the news that ‘so and so’ just broke up or yet another celebrity died way too young and there’s always my ultimate weakness; a funny cat clip on Youtube. Allow a certain time for social media for business purposes, but when it’s not that time, avoid these distraction vortexes!
- Kitty posters
A Japanese University discovered that looking at pictures of baby animals actually increases productivity, (as if I needed an excuse to cover my work place with photos of cute, fluffy things.) But, maybe there is something behind that ‘hang in there’ kitty poster. I found a bunch of cute and humorous images on a quick google search, printed them off and any time I feel writer’s block, or a bit of creative indigestion coming on, I glace at their fuzzy faces and find the will to carry on creating. Try it yourself!
You don’t need a gym or an expensive personal trainer, just your body and maybe a killer work out song to stay healthy. Working for yourself or even just working from home, can mean a lot of sitting around and rarely venturing outside. But just a little bit of exercise will improve brain activity, increase productivity and yes, help keep you fit. I suggest doing a super easy stretching routine with some light cardio in the mornings, before you start work. I always feel much more prepared to tackle my days work after I have shaken off my sleep and woken up my brain.
If it’s just you sitting in the boss-man chair, then make sure you congratulate yourself when you do a great job, (because no one else is there to do it.) If your business’s page has gained over 1000 LIKES on Facebook, tell all your friends and post how pleased you are for reaching this milestone. Got a great review in a craft magazine? Reward yourself with a small impulse buy. Giving yourself praise when due is all about recognizing your accomplishments and celebrating your developing business. It’s OK if you aren’t a millionaire yet from selling sock monkeys on Etsy, one day you may be, but meanwhile, be proud of the smaller wins… they’re still wins.
- Remind yourself why you love it
Don’t forget why you decided to start your own business in the first place. For many people, a job is just a job and often something they hate. When you work for yourself, it’s usually because you love what you do and are committed to seeing your ‘business-baby’ grow. I LOVE making, designing and selling my products to people who love them too. After a particularly long day or a tricky commission, I can sometimes find myself wondering why I signed up for all this. But it only takes me a few seconds to remember that making makes me happy. In your moments of self-employed stress, maybe read through some of your best customer reviews or look through old pictures of when you first started selling at craft fairs; see how far you’ve come and on the trip down memory lane, get your mojo back!
Hope these seven suggestions for success are helpful. If you find any that we haven’t mentioned yet, please do share. Let us know down in the comment section of this site or on our Facebook page. We would love to hear your methods of combating procrastination!
Creative Head of Shiny Creations