With the weather getting warmer and the days longer, it’s easy to start thinking about summer holidays instead of the day to day chores of running your business. Here are our top five tips to keep your business in shape as summer rolls around.
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1. Get strict with your time management
Procrastination can be a problem at any time of year, but it gets even worse once the weather starts improving. You could look over your invoices, but why not make the most of the sunshine?
Whether you’re tempted to mow the lawn or just get out and enjoy the great outdoors, planning your time in advance will help you stick to the tasks you need to get done. And if you check the weather forecast you can see when we’re in for a rare spell of nice weather and plan accordingly.
2. Rethink the way you make lists
For many self employed people, lists are the bread and butter of how you get things done.
However, if you’re finding it difficult to stick to what you have planned, try shaking up the way you plan things out. Make your to-do list daily instead of weekly, or vice versa, and give yourself firm deadlines.
There’s plenty of software that can help you plan your day - sometimes a little reminder popping up on your phone is all you need to make yourself get back on track.
3. Pick a big goal and go for it
Giving yourself something big to aim for will help get you focused in more way than one. Not only will you have something you’re set on achieving, but feeling busy can help give you that push to get stuck into your day to day work.
What goal to work for is entirely up to you, and where you want to take your business. Maybe it’s landing a big client, making a certain number of sales, or getting your work featured in a newspaper or magazine. Whatever you go for, make sure it’s ambitious, but not completely out of reach, or you may get disheartened when achieving it takes longer than you expected.
4. Allow yourself to take breaks
One of the downsides to being self employed is that feeling that you should always be working. It’s all very well taking some time to enjoy springtime, but if you have that nagging, guilty feeling at the back of your mind then it’s a lot harder to actually enjoy the time you take away from work.
So build your breaks into your schedule. If stepping away for a while is part of the plan, it’s easier to keep those guilty feelings at bay. Of course, you need to make sure you have the right balance between the two, but we all know what happens when you’re all work and no play.
5. Shake up your routine
If you’re trying all of the above and feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall, it may be time to try something more drastic.
A change of scenery can make all the difference, whether it’s moving to a different room or finding somewhere else to work entirely. Cafes tend to be popular with the self employed, but if you prefer a quieter working environment you could try your local library.
If you tend to work until a task is finished, try dividing your work by periods of time instead - work on something for a set number of minutes or hours then move on to something else. Respond to non-urgent emails in a batch rather than as they come in so you’re not distracted from the task at hand.
Completely restructuring the way you work can be daunting, and you don’t want that to become the focus instead of the work you need to get done. It’s best to introduce changes one at a time to see if they suit you.
Remember, no one else knows how best you work. If you make a change and things feel worse rather than better, you can go back to how you were working before, or try something different. It’s not failure, just experimentation.
How do you keep procrastination at bay? Let us know in the comments.
Looking for self-employed insurance?
With Simply Business you can build a single self employed insurance policy combining the covers that are relevant to you. Whether it’s public liability insurance, professional indemnity or whatever else you need, we’ll run you a quick quote online, and let you decide if we’re a good fit.