Taking care of your business alongside trying to live your life can be overwhelming at times. You’ll have countless tasks with tight deadlines, meetings with clients to attend, and influential people to call. Doing this alone may seem downright impossible, especially if you begin to get swamped. This, along with trying to enjoy a normal life or taking care of your family, can be exhausting. While every business operates in different ways, there are some methods that you can employ to assist you in these endeavours, making it easier to manage your workload and live a fairly normal life.
Taking Care Of Yourself
Overworking yourself, for a start, can lead to you getting sick. This can come from stress or sleepless nights or just general exhaustion. Taking care of your mental wellbeing and your physical health is so important, especially as an independent business owner. In terms of your business, if you get ill and there’s nobody to pick up the slack, you’re just going to be creating more work and more chances for you to get sick again once you return. First of all, you need to have someone at hand to help you out with your work if you are forced to take time off work. Plus, that extra pair of hands can take some of the stressful tasks away from you, giving you more energy and the opportunity for a more relaxed approach to your business.
When large businesses choose to find ways in which they can boost efficiency, they tend to look towards methods such as automation. Whether that’s in a factory, replacing certain tedious roles with accurate robotics or by replacing manual computing tasks with automated systems such as automated spreadsheets and communications. As an independent business owner, you’ll have plenty of tasks that you need to deal with, and many of those will be easy to automate. Things like email responses and even certain marketing tasks are great choices here. For your social media posts, for example, you can schedule as many posts for as long as you want, which will free up a large portion of your day trying to think of a good post. This automation will help your accounts to remain relevant and engaging with very little prolonged effort.
Be Reasonable With Goals
As a business owner, you are the one in control and the one in charge. This means that you’re accountable to nobody except for clients and investors. This does mean that many indie business owners push themselves more than they need to, as they’re worried that they’re never doing enough. If you’re like this, then cut yourself some slack and be reasonable with your deadlines and goals. Focus on the important tasks and plan out your workload without being too hard on yourself. Also, try to split your tasks up focus on a batch of similar tasks before moving on to the next. You’ll find it’s easier to get all of your emails done in a row, for example, rather than coming back throughout the day to write new ones.
Set Up A Dedicated Work Phone
Allowing your personal life and your work life to intertwine can feel unavoidable, but it’s worth trying your best here to keep them separate. Answering work calls on your personal device can risk you sounding unprofessional, and work emails can get lost in the myriad of notifications you could receive on your phone. Instead, consider getting yourself a cheap device solely for work-related tasks. Combine this with an affordable SIM-only plan from Lebara, and you can run this device separately from your personal phone without spending a fortune. This will increase your efficiency when running your business by allowing you to maintain focus on just work-related issues.
Delegate Tasks To Outsourcers
The chances are that you chose not to hire a team because you wanted to do all of the work yourself. And while that is an admirable goal, overworking yourself can be incredibly damaging for both your own mental and physical health, as well as your business as a whole. Many professional businesses out there offer quality outsourcing assistance with certain tasks such as marketing, accounting, and distribution of goods. Identify which aspect of your business takes up the most of your time and whether or not you can feasibly outsource that role to someone else. This will provide you with more time to focus on your other tasks and hopefully reduce some of the stress that you get from being overburdened.
Consolidate Your Workload
When you’re the only person running a business, it can feel like you don’t even have enough hands or pairs of eyes to keep on top of everything. You might find yourself going backwards and forwards between tasks, trying to juggle a number of different jobs throughout the day, and sometimes well into the night. This can increase your risk of getting confused and making mistakes as you’re constantly having to reset your brain when starting a new task, never letting yourself really get into the flow of your work. But instead of this, you should try to direct your focus at one particular role at a time and then only move on once that task is completed or if it’s essential for you to do so. Try to bunch together any tasks that are done in similar ways. For example, in the mornings, you could answer emails and write up documents, and in the afternoon, you can do more physical tasks like packaging and sending deliveries.
Choose Your Working Hours Carefully
You might find yourself working whenever you feel like doing so as an independent business owner. After all, there are lots of jobs to be done, and you don’t have a team to delegate tasks to. This has likely seen you working into the late evenings often with little concern for the strain this could be putting on your mind. Make sure to set your own working hours as, while the flexibility is great, you still deserve to live a relatively normal life, whether you’re a business owner or not. It’s also important to consider things like starting to work earlier in the morning and building your career around your personal life. These early mornings are a great time to get some tasks in before getting the kids ready for school if you’re a parent. And if not, you’re still allowing yourself to get some quality rest in the afternoon and evening. This time is essential for everyone as it will enable you to decompress and contemplate the day, getting you ready for the next without you burning out, as this can diminish your efficiency and ability to deliver quality work.
Good Networking Practices
One of the things that you can do as a business owner to improve your business is to network with other professionals that are in similar positions to you. Of course, you may be unwilling to speak to your competitors much, but business owners that aren’t in competition with you due to offer completely different products or services are great to ally with, especially if you can benefit each other. Building up a strong network of like-minded individuals is the perfect way for you to ensure you have a pool of talent to choose from when you need to complete certain tasks that you don’t feel qualified to do. Remember to repay the favour to maintain a strong working relationship.