What’s the hardest part of being your own boss? Accountability. If it’s not first place on your list, it’s definitely near the top.
Being able to hold yourself accountable has a direct impact on productivity. If you can’t be accountable to yourself and your clients, there is no reason to get things done. Procrastination kicks in and tasks start to pile up, time management goes out the window and eventually, it seems near impossible to get everything done.
But it’s not a death sentence for you or your business.
The solution comes down to understanding your work habits and developing a plan that helps you accomplish your to-do list without sacrificing your sanity.
Here are three hacks to stay productive and check tasks off your to-do list, even on the hardest days:
1. Time Blocking
Do you have a hard time finding time to work? Time blocking may be the solution you’re looking for. At the beginning of the week when you’re planning your schedule, set aside blocks of time in your calendar where you cannot make appointments. Treat these just as seriously as a client appointment. Plan what you need to accomplish in advance, so you go into the time with a clear list of priorities. This helps reduce the risk of twiddling your thumbs and getting distracted by things like social media and the internet.
2. Stay off your social media newsfeeds
Social media is the easiest way to get distracted from real work, especially if you have to maintain a social and digital presence for your business. There are tools like the Newsfeed Eradicator that prevent you from seeing the latest updates on Facebook. Another option is to bookmark your business page, group, or profile links so you can bypass getting sucked into pictures and videos of cute dogs doing funny things. You can take it a step further by removing social media applications from your phone. This makes getting caught up in your social feeds more difficult and lets you check them when it’s intentional, not convenient.
3. Take a break
It’s hard to focus when you force yourself to do it 24/7. Instead, let yourself take a break when you need to. This applies to both the big picture and narrow focus. In your day-to-day, schedule breaks in between tasks where you can get up and walk around the block or have a snack. This makes it easier to focus for longer periods of time. When looking at the big picture, make sure that you are allowing yourself to take a few days off here and there, and are spending enough time socializing with friends and family. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and forget the most important parts of life. Taking a break is proven to make humans more productive.
Understanding your work habits, prioritizing your most important tasks, and being intentional about your schedule will help you organize and tackle what you need to do to move yourself and your business to the next level.