Being a solopreneur is a busy life. It can often seem like you are rushing from one task or obligation to the next without enough time to get it all done.
While it is common for small business owners to have busy days and long hours, you should be doing what you can to manage your time more effectively. That might mean joining a coworking space so you can focus better, outsourcing certain tasks, or simply organizing your days differently. The following are a few strategies that can help solopreneurs who are having trouble fitting all of their work into the time they have.
Pick a Time Management System
One of the best ways to make the most of your days is to find a system for time management. For some people, it might be as simple as using a time management app, but there are several time management systems that can be beneficial. You don’t even need to pick one and follow it precisely. You can look at different time management systems and take from them the elements that work for you. The key is to find or develop a system and then stick to it.
Know Your Goals
It will be much easier to manage your time when you know what you are trying to achieve. Identify both short-term and long term goals that can help you get your business where you want it to be. Once you know what these goals are, you can then start breaking them down into steps that will help you achieve them. With that knowledge, you can focus your time on the steps that will move you closer to your goals.
Set Your Priorities
Like most solopreneurs, you probably find that there are many days that end with a few tasks left on your list. This can feel frustrating, but it should only be seen as a problem if those leftover tasks are important, time-sensitive issues that really needed to be completed that day. To prevent this type of problem, you should evaluate your daily to-do list and identify the items that have to be checked off before you call it a day. When you know what these items are, you can schedule them for your most productive hours.
Follow Your Productivity
If you are like most people, you are not at your best 24 hours a day. You probably have hours where your productivity peaks and parts of the day when you feel like it lags. If you want to get the most from your time, you need to know how to identify your most productive time of the day. When you know when you are most motivated, you can schedule your high-priority items to be completed when you are doing your best work.
Track Your Time
You might already track your time if you bill hours to clients, but you should start tracking all of your time. With a good time tracking tool, you can gain an overview of how you spend your days. This information can then be used to help you manage your time better. You might notice a lot of wasted time in your schedule or tasks that are taking longer than they should. Once you see these problems, you can start working on ways to address them.
Focus on the Current Day
It is good to set long-term goals and there are significant benefits to scheduling an entire week or month in advance. However, when you are actually working on the things you schedule, you need to focus on the current day. If you are constantly thinking about tomorrow or next week, you are not truly present for the things you are working on in the moment. Without that focus on the current day, you can’t manage your time efficiently, and it will set you back.
Finding a way to balance your daily tasks can seem intimidating as a solopreneur, but the trick is simply to get organized. Clearly outlining what needs to get done and when is an effective way to ensure the tasks that will help you reach your goals are done to the best of your ability.
Guest post by Rae Steinbach: Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course.