When you’re self-employed, you have to be able to maintain your focus if you want to be productive; but staying focused can be a major challenge. Responding to emails and texts gobbles up valuable time. Social media demands your attention. If you work from home, it’s easy to get distracted by household chores and responsibilities. If you are a parent, your children are likely to be a frequent source of interruption. If you want your business to succeed, maximizing your productivity is essential, which means you’ll need to set some boundaries and develop techniques for managing the many distractions that threaten to push you off task.
- Create a dedicated office space where you can store all your work tools and supplies. Keep everything you need in one place so you don’t have to waste time hunting things down.
- Commit to a set work schedule and stick to it. If friends or family call to chat during your work period, explain that you’re working and make arrangements to call them back.
- Train your spouse and children to respect your work time by establishing rules and boundaries for interruptions.
- Prioritize your tasks and always tackle the most important and most urgent first.
- Schedule specific time periods during your work day to deal with emails, phone calls, social media contacts, snail mail, etc. By blocking out specific chunks of time for these tasks, you free up larger periods of time for concentrated work. Train yourself to respond to the most important or urgent messages first and save the rest for later when time is up.
- Cut big projects down to size. Trying to tackle everything at once can be overwhelming. Breaking large projects down into a series of manageable tasks will make them seem less intimidating. Create a timeline for the completion of each task to keep you on track to meet the project deadline.