If you are a self-employed professional, you will understand what we mean when we say people really do underestimate the amount of planning and organisation that comes with working for yourself. Before you know it, weekends and evenings have been taken over by that mountain of paperwork on your desk and the majority of your workload becomes a chore, instead of doing what you love. Well, we’re here to help with a few simple tips to help you stay organised and allow you to spend time building your business.
TIP 1: Capture ideas before they fade
Have you ever been driving somewhere, sitting on a train or perhaps just making dinner when suddenly the most amazing business idea comes into your mind? Before you know it you’re starting to plan it out in your head but then you forget to write it down and the detail is quickly lost! By making a journal or notebook a part of your ‘every day carry’ you’ll have the solution; a low cost, super-flexible tool which you can take anywhere and everywhere with you to capture those thoughts so that they don’t get lost before you have the opportunity to act upon them. Because let’s be honest, it’s just typical that when ideas strike, our phone or tablet runs out of battery and the world changing idea is slipping away just as you realise you’re burning the lasagne!
TIP 2: Keep a to-do list
Cliché we know, but your to-do list is never ending and without keeping track of it tasks can easily go a-miss. Try and set aside time at the end of each day to update your list – even if it’s a simple brain-dump of what’s on your mind and needs to be done. By clearing your mind at the end of the working day, you’ll be able to enjoy a stress-free evening and have a better, more restful sleep. You’ll also start the next day feeling much more at ease because you won’t feel so overwhelmed at all there is to do.
The time you invest into growing your business is extremely valuable so taking that time out of each day to just get yourself in line for what lays ahead can also save you a whole lot of time in the future - time that you could be spending networking, brainstorming and really building the future of your business.
TIP 3: Plan the journey to success
We’ve all heard the business cliché: “If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you know when you’ve got there?” To be successful in business we truly believe that you need to set yourself some clear goals to work towards. Keep a section of your journal for noting your long, medium and short-term objectives and the tactics you will use to achieve them. When you’re feeling demotivated take out your notebook or journal and remind yourself of the great goals you are working toward and celebrate the satisfaction of those you’ve already achieved.
TIP 4: Keep tabs on your finances
We know, we know, the burden of keeping your finances in order is the bit that most of us really don’t enjoy doing! However, ignore the numbers and you risk losing control of the business. Having a clear budget and a simple method to keep record of your finances can be really helpful when the time comes to review them. Dedicate a section of your journal to the numbers to ensure you keep a close eye of money in and out of your business; lack of cash flow is one of the main reasons otherwise good businesses fail so plan ahead and make sure you have some contingency!
Juggling your work and social life as a self- employed professional can be difficult to say the least, but using your journal to keeping yourself organised and motivated can be a huge influence in your eventual success. Grab yourself a journal…it could be the best investment you make.
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