If you are working a 9-5 job but dreaming of being your own boss, you may be struggling to find the time to work on your passion project.
When you are working full time, most of your time is spent at work, so when you manage to set aside some time to work on building your business, you want to make the most of it.
The good news is that you can get lots done in a small amount of time if you get organised. In this article I will share with you 9 simple but effective tips for new business owners that will boost your productivity and help you start making real progress towards your business dreams.
“I don’t have the time to work on my business right now”
If you are working full-time, it may feel like you don’t have a spare second to work on your business. But the truth is that if you get organised, you can find the time!
When I first started my business back in 2014 I did it while working full-time. At the time I was also planning a wedding, running an Air-Bnb, and organising a move to the other side of the world that involved selling our cars, finding tenants for our house, sorting out visas, etc.
I was busy, but I still found the time to get started. (and I am SO glad I did!)
Fast forward to today, and I am still “busy.” Running my own business gives me a lot of flexibility that I didn’t have when I first started, but now I have 3 young kids so my schedule is pretty hectic with school, kindy, playdates, football practice, swimming lessons, and the constant tidying up of Legos
Yet I still find the time to not only run but to also grow my business. The key for me is to get organised and plan in advance.
The time to start a business will never be perfect. You just need to make the decision that you are going to make it happen and find the time.
Even if you only allocate a couple of hours a week to working on your biz, you can make real progress.
Here are 9 simple but effective tips to improve your productivity
1 – Plan and set goals
You want to be clear on what you want to achieve before you even sit down to work. And I find that the best time to do this is at the end of each day.
Once you have finished work for the day, review your progress and make a plan for the next day. That way when you show up to work the next session you will not waste any time trying to figure out what to do, you can go straight to work.
This will also help you clear your mind and avoid going to bed with a million thoughts running through your mind.
Do the same at the end of each week – review your work and plan for the week ahead.
I find that writing things down on a piece of paper works wonders for me. At the end of each day I check my progress by reviewing how much I’ve crossed off my list.
Then I write down the things I want to focus on the next day.
2 – Break any big goals into small steps
When you are writing your tasks, keep them as specific and small as possible.
So rather than say “Work on website”, you want to be specific about what you have to do
Do you need to write content for your homepage?
Set the navigation menus?
Optimise your photos?
Be specific. Working on a specific list will help you stay on track and keep motivated.
Rather than being overwhelmed by hundreds of unorganised thoughts, you will know exactly what you need to do.
3 – Learn how to prioritise
It may be tempting to start designing your logo or go shopping for cute Instagram templates on day 1, but there is some business foundation stuff that needs to be done first!
Identify the most important tasks and work on them first.
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4- Avoid multitasking
A lot of people believe that multitasking equals being efficient, but it has been proven that multitasking is a productivity killer. Our brain has trouble switching from task to task.
Multitasking increases the time you spend on tasks as well as the errors that you make. You want to give each task your full attention, soo work on one task at a time and move on to the next one only when you are finished.
5 – Tackle the hardest task or least pleasant task at the start of the day
You want to do this because when you first start work you are fresh and full of energy.
Also tackling a big or unpleasant task will give you a positivity boost and the energy to keep moving forward with your day.
6 – Remove distractions
Turn off email notifications, put your phone on mute before you sit down to work. You know what it’s like when you are super focused on a task, making real progress, and then your phone beeps.
Even though it only takes a few seconds to read that text, that interruption will really impact your productivity.
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7 – Remove temptations
It may be helpful to remove temptations. This is about recognising your weaknesses so you can remove things from your environment that may distract you before you get ready to work on your business.
If you are likely to get distracted by social media, put your phone away.
If you are hooked on the latest Netflix series, go to a library or a cafe so you are not tempted to turn on the TV.
8 – Set boundaries
Tell friends and family your plans in advance so they don’t ask you to socialise during the times when you want to be focused on your business.
Tell your partner or children when you are going to be working so they know not to interrupt.
9 – Identify your most productivity time
And over time, you want to identify your most productive time to work. Everyone has a particular time when they are likely to get the most done – what’s it for you?
Is it first thing in the morning before the kids wake up? In the evenings after dinner and a shower? After a gym workout?
Identify your most productive time and amend your schedule if needed
In conclusion: 9 simple productivity tips for new business owners
There you go, here are 9 simple tips that will help you be more productive and take actions towards your business dream.
Remember, that good habits take time to build.
You will need to make a conscious effort to get into a productive mindset at first. It may be helpful to print out the checklist included with your worksheet to remind yourself of what you need to do.
Over time, these will become natural to you, and you will instinctively be more productive!