Like many self employed people, I struggle to keep focussed on the tasks at hand. But as anyone who works from home can tell you, the distractions are numerous; especially if you’re a social media consultant who spends much of the day online.
I’ve accepted that this will be an ongoing struggle.
There are gazillions of self help books and productivity improvement e-books out there, but like most things, it takes repeated exposure for the wisdom to sink in. So consider this another brain poke.
(Following inspired by: 5 Daily Habits Of Successful Entrepreneurs)
1. Plan tomorrow’s work today
Is it possible to schedule your day to 20 minutes blocks of time?
According to the entrepreneur self help pundits, it’s what the successful guys do. So the day before you fill those 20 minute pockets, visualize your day and allocate your tasks accordingly.
“We review and forecast what tomorrow is going to look like and how we’re going to get through that,” he says. “It gives us an opportunity to re-prioritize. It also allows us to go to bed at night. Your mind does a lot of work for you while you’re sleeping. You get there the next day and are much more efficient and productive.”
2. Trim those Meetings
The key to conducting a successful meeting is to start on time, end on time, and keep the meeting short.
3. Manage your emails
Avoid getting sucked into constantly responding to and sending e-mails, which delays you from finishing projects on time.
I use GMAIL. I like that it’s web based and so I have access to my mail no matter where I am. I use folders and filters extensively to organize mail by senders, topics, companies, subscriptions and priorities.
Now the trick is to not treat every email as a priority.
4. Never stop selling
Always cultivate new business. Not only shouldn’t you wait until a project is finished before looking for a new one, you may find that the one you’re working on now may suffer a premature expiration.
Always have something on the back burner.
This also helps you stay focussed by minimizing the chance that you will take on panic projects that pull you off your business trajectory.
Whether it’s getting up at dawn to run or taking a break in the day to get to the gym, physical activity keeps your idea factory in shape and the brain department on it’s toes.
You are your business. There is no understudy to step in the last minute to save the show.
What tips would you add?
About Ray Hiltz
Ray Hiltz is a Google Plus Specialist and Social Media Strategist helping small businesses establish their brands and build their communities on the social web. A strong proponent for the power of collaborative communication and "humanized" digital networking, Ray writes about social media, social business and Google Plus. His clients include hotels, restaurants, consulting firms, entrepreneurs, writers and individuals just trying to make sense of "social". Ray is a popular speaker on Social Media, Social Business and Google+.