You’re a newly minted entrepreneur. You’ve given up the daily nine-to-five grind, annoying coworkers and a soul-sucking commute. You’ve taken control of your career and life, and now you’re living the self-employed dream!
Yet as you read this from your home office, bunny slipper-clad feet on the desk, commanding every aspect of your business, you can’t help but wonder:
“Isn’t my favorite show on soon?”
Face it: No matter how passionate you are about your business, inspiring yourself to complete tasks every day without a boss to push you is hard. Distractions are everywhere, and their siren call is difficult to ignore.
Luckily, your fellow entrepreneurs understand these challenges and have developed tips to help.
Are you a member of professional organizations in your industry? Your colleagues are probably self-employed, too — engage with them to share ideas or challenges. In-person meetings are great if people live nearby, but if not, MeetingBurner offers free online conferencing for up to fifteen people, and AnyMeeting offers it for up to 200. You can now have as many “coworkers” as you want on a given day.
Self-employment gives you the freedom to work (or not) as you choose, so if you’re low on motivation, offer yourself a reward for staying focused. Use a time tracking tool to monitor your progress, and reward yourself when you accomplish your task by going on a coffee run or watching that TV show.
Do you have a weakness for social media? It can be a major time-waster if you’re not careful, but if you lack the willpower to ignore it on your own, tools like AntiSocial (Mac only), Freedom or StayFocusd will lock you away from Facebook, Twitter or other pre-selected websites for a set period of time.
Find your Work Rhythm
Entrepreneurship means you can work during the most productive time of day for you. Don’t know what your most productive time is or what your work pattern looks like? RescueTime is a web-based tool that will send a detailed report of your productivity to show you how to maximize those working hours — and when you’re better off just watching TV.
The number one motivational tool for running your own business is the very thing that got you started: pride in your accomplishments. You’ve taken the leap and gone out on your own; you have passion for what you do and control of your working life. Recognize this every day and celebrate it.
Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, and if you’re brave enough to undertake it, you’ll find the rewards — both professional and personal — are plentiful. Still, low energy periods should be expected. It’s how you deal with challenges that ensures your future success. Now, get your feet off the desk and get to work.