As a solopreneur, you’re probably the worst boss you’ve ever had. Between running sales, managing clients, maintaining accounting systems, and doing all the work, you probably work close to 12 hour days.
You lose out on sleep — you drive your loved ones bonkers. No matter how rough it gets, however, you feel like you’re trapped. After all, you do have to do everything.
Don’t fall into this trap. Even if you’re a one-person-shop, you can still simplify your crazy, crazy days. Save time and restore your sanity by implementing the following productivity hacks.
1. Get a Virtual Assistant
Services like Zirtual are available to help you streamline administrative tasks — which really add up. If your job involves scheduling, basic research, or grunt work, get someone else to do it. It may feel weird at first, and you may not feel great about spending hundreds of dollars per month, but here’s the thing. A virtual assistant will save you time — freeing up your schedule to do more work (or get more sleep).
2. Limit Your Meetings
Especially if you work with clients, you’re probably tempted to hop on calls. Resist the urge.
Meetings disrupt your ability to focus — and get real work done. Try to cut down your meetings, or keep them condensed to 20 minutes max. You can start by creating meeting agendas to help structure your time.
3. Create ‘Focus’ Blocks
Block off your calendar to sit and focus. No meetings. No distractions. No Facebook. Give yourself dedicated chunks of time to truly sit down and power through your piles of work, emails, and whatever else is bogging down your day.
4. Communicate with Your Clients
Your clients care about you — more than you realize. If you think you’re going to miss a deadline, don’t over-stress yourself. Get your client on the phone. Talk to her. See if you can reach a good solution together. Take control of your time, and don’t let pressure eat you alive.
5. Learn to Say No
Entrepreneurs have a tendency to over-commit. Resist this urge by under-committing — and set strict guidelines for yourself. Make a spreadsheet for yourself if you have to.
Learning to say no will feel extremely weird at first. It takes practice, but with time, it will get easier.
Final Thoughts: Put Your Plan on Paper
Take the time to write out your thoughts. Make a spreadsheet— seriously. You may not have a boss to manage your performance, but you need to self-regulate. Having a track record of your improvement. Give yourself a performance review. Do whatever it takes to hold yourself accountable.
Simplifying your workday means taking control of your life — and easing up a bit. This is a priority. Everything else can wait.