When you run a small business, you quickly learn the importance of discipline. Luckily, there are ways to make sure you’re as effective as possible with the hours you put in. To help, I’ve created a list of tips that have worked for me over my years at The MediaHaus and as a freelancer – maybe they’ll be useful for you, too.
Choose Your Best Times: If you’re self-employed, you may not be a 9-5 type of person. Do you know when the best time to work is? It’s whenever you work your best. For example, I’m currently most productive in the morning. By lunchtime, I’ve completed most of my daily To-Do list and can be more flexible with my afternoon tasks. Because of this, I don’t schedule morning meetings or calls; that is my dedicated work time. Pay attention to the times of day that you feel most alert and useful. If you’re able to, build your workday around that.
Celebrate The Little Wins: Is running a business hard? Sure. Some days will make you wonder why you didn’t stick to a day job. But you do this for a reason. That’s why it’s important to celebrate any and all wins throughout your day. You hit a sales goal? Celebrate that. You went all day without pulling your hair out? Celebrate that, too! Everything counts.
Lists, Lists, & More Lists: This may not be true for everyone, but I love lists. I have lists for my lists (and even those have lists) that help me stay organized. This also goes hand-in-hand with celebrating the little wins. Crossing something off gives a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment, and will help you stay motivated to do more.
Streamline Your Process: Eventually you’ll learn which tasks take the most time out of your day. From there, you can create ways to streamline some of the work you do often, so it’ll take less time and be more effective. Using templates you’ve created, following routines, outsourcing, and advance planning can all help to improve your workflow.
Take a Walk: When in doubt, take a walk. You know that point in the day where you hit a wall? You can’t work well in that state. It’s a good time to get outside and take a breath. Not only does it clear your head, but it’s also when some of the best brainstorming can happen. This is where Daisy the MediaHaus Mascot comes in especially handy for me.
Pick a Tune: I’m sure we’ve all worked jobs where a radio station we hated was playing in the background, slowly driving us crazy. For me, listening to the music I choose helps to keep me in a good mood while working. And a good mood translates to better work. I’ve also been known to de-stress by dancing around my office – hey, sometimes a song comes on that you just can’t ignore.
Write it Down: As soon as an idea hits, get it down. For this, I use Google Keep on my phone and create constant notes for myself. Sometimes they’re blog post ideas, sometimes they’re reminders, and sometimes they’re just a word or two that would only make sense to me. I’ve also been known to use brightly colour Post-It notes all over my office – and myself – but that slight obsession may be a topic best left for another time.
What are your tips and tricks for making your workday effective?