What are the best tips to organize your day when you're self-employed?
From pursuing passion projects to creating your own schedule, being an entrepreneur offers numerous freedoms. Those same freedoms, however, can also create challenges for a busy professional. So, just what are the best tips to organize your chaotic day?
Since employees, tasks, and scheduling often fall on a company's founder, we've listed a few tips below—tips to organize more than your day, but your life, too.
In this article, we'll discuss:
- Good habits
- Clever hacks
- Smart resources
Let's get started!
Good habits > Procrastination
For many of us, procrastination is a way of life. For instance, I often feel most productive right before a deadline, when I'll experience a rush of creativity. (Funny how that happens, isn't it?)
A bit of extra pressure (deadlines, bedtime, the end of a workday, etc.) can often encourage a project's completion.
However, some deadlines come too soon. There are times when I've had to ask for extensions, and it's never fun. In those moments, procrastination doesn't help me; it inhibits me, as well as my progress.
This is why procrastination should not go unexamined; it often stems from a greater cause. Whether it's thrill-seeking, indecisiveness, or a fear of failure, procrastination can be a bad, deep-seated habit.
So, what are some good habits to counteract the bad? Healthy goals—ones that can help you take on your procrasti-kryptonite and tell it to get lost.
Starting early may not seem important, but statistically speaking, early risers are more successful. Early birds extend the day by starting earlier, rather than rushing to complete one thing after another.
Take Paul Dejoe, for instance, who says waking up at four in the morning not only improved his focus and drive, but also provided him with more sunlight, a strong indicator of mood and emotional wellbeing.
Establish a routine
Most of us look forward to Saturdays. I usually await the weekend thinking I'll reorganize my house or get a head start on personal projects. Can you guess what usually happens instead? I end up binge-watching The X-Files. Like a lot. And those weekend goals? They don't get done.
Routines keep us on track. If I create a schedule with set tasks, I'm more apt to complete those tasks. Instead of getting around to doing something, I actually have a checklist ensuring it gets done. What's more, there are numerous benefits to having a routine, including lower anxiety and better health.
Clever hacks > Winging it
As adults, we have so much going on. Between work obligations, social events, and not-to-be-missed appointments, small tasks can easily be forgotten.
With so much happening, there's no shame in taking advantage of life hacks. In fact, implementing a few simple tips to organize the chaos can be beneficial, both in how you work and how you feel.
Planning ahead can look different to different to different people, but taking steps to plan for the future can help you to unite your current to-do lists and your longterm goals.
If you're like me, you're a visual person who needs to see your organization firsthand. In that case, you may consider a DIY solution, such as an inexpensive, handmade calendar or a rotating task list.
We've all had a messy desk every now and then, and if you're an entrepreneur who works from home, you may even have a sink full of dishes in your “office.” While a few messes here and there are normal, excessive clutter can actually be detrimental your health.
In fact, a chaotic environment directly contributes to poor psychological health, how well you read situations, and your ability to think clearly. Luckily, there are a number of tips to organize your home and declutter, whether you purge in small bursts or use another method.
Smart resources > Self-reliance
As entrepreneurs, we're often extremely self-reliant. We work for ourselves, so we know we're going to put in plenty of elbow grease. Quite simply, we want our businesses to succeed.
Because of this, it can be easy to ignore all the helpful resources available. Why invest in resources when you have you: the best employee around?
While it's good to feel confident in our abilities, this self-reliant mindset can be dangerous. No one can do it all, and no one has to try. In fact, there have never been so many user-friendly programs to help us stay on top of our tasks.
Note apps like Awesome Note and Evernote are great resources to use for to-do lists and checklists. Work systems like Slack and Trello are also excellent programs to keep yourself organized and communicate with others, no matter where they are in the world.
Surrounding yourself with other professionals
And that brings us to our final point. Communicating with others—specifically other professionals—is an organic way to absorb information, ideas, and creativity from others.
Even if you own your own business, a constant inflow of information and interaction is healthy. (So, don't forget those people skills.)
Managing a workload isn't easy, especially when you're self-employed. No matter how on top of it you are, it's good to follow a few simple tips to organize your tasks.
Remember, there are a variety of ways to get organized, create a plan, and help yourself. So, get started! You'll thank yourself later.