By: Act! Blog | 7/26/2017
If you're a solopreneur, someone who runs a one-person business, you face some special challenges. With no partners or employees, you're responsible for keeping everything running. This position has its benefits as well as its drawbacks. On the one hand, you're completely independent and don't have to answer to anyone. At the same time, you're constantly jumping from one task to the next and wearing many hats. There are certain principles that can make your journey as a solopreneur more rewarding and less stressful.
1. Resist the Urge to Multitask
As a solopreneur, it's almost impossible to avoid a certain amount of multitasking. It's best, however, to keep this to a minimum. There are quite a few disadvantages to multitasking, which often makes us less rather than more efficient. The best way to avoid this practice is to discipline yourself to stick to a schedule. If you're working on an email or blog post, finish it before making a phone call. Conversely, if you're on an important call, don't scroll Facebook or Twitter at the same time. Focusing intently on a single task helps you get more accomplished.
2. Give Yourself Breaks
Solopreneurs, more than almost anyone else, risk burning themselves out. When you're building a business, you have a multitude of tasks to complete. Additionally, your day doesn't end at 5; it can easily extend into the night and over weekends and holidays. If you work around the clock, you'll get lots accomplished but you also risk burnout. Taking regular breaks helps you feel refreshed and focused. The Pomodoro Technique, where you alternately work for 25 minutes and take 5-minute breaks, is an effective way to ensure you don't overwork. Even if you prefer not to follow such a rigid system, however, don't forget to give yourself breaks. It's also a good rule to take at least one full day off per week. In the long run, you'll get more accomplished this way.
3. Set Clear Boundaries
It's crucial that the people in your life respect your time and understand that just because you don't have a traditional 9-5 job doesn't mean that you're free to talk for hours on the phone, chat on Facebook, or meet for long lunches or coffee breaks every day. Similarly, remind yourself to avoid distractions when you're working at your business. In some ways, it's beneficial to treat your business like a job. Find a time and a place, whether at home or a cafe with wi-fi, where you can work undisturbed and make it clear, both to yourself and everyone else, that you're working and not available for socializing or random errands. On the other hand, as a solopreneur you don't have to be rigid about your schedule. You're free to alter your work hours and the place you work as it suits you. Wherever and whenever you go, however, make sure that you set and enforce certain boundaries. Otherwise, you'll find that people and events sap away your time.
4. Get Help When You Need It
One of the biggest mistakes that solopreneurs make is trying to do everything themselves. As a solo owner, you do have to make all of the big decisions regarding your business. That doesn't mean, though, that you can't outsource certain tasks. Identify your priorities and strengths and decide where your time is most effectively spent. Then look for ways to outsource other time-draining items on your to-do list. If you're accustomed to doing everything yourself, start outsourcing gradually. Over time, you'll find that this is one of the best ways to scale up your business and avoid burnout.
5. Automate as Many Tasks as Possible
In addition to outsourcing, one of the best ways to get more efficient is to find the right automation tools. Finding automation tools to manage tasks such as sending emails, managing ads, and scheduling social media posts makes a big difference in your time management. Research different tools and services and find solutions that work for you. The right plugins, CMS (content management system) or CRM (customer relationship management) systems help you get more accomplished in less time.