When you’re starting your own company for the first time, you experience many ups and downs and go through big changes, both good and bad. You no longer have any bosses who check your work or make final decisions. Instead, you take responsibility for your decisions, take care of nearly every task required to start a business, and overcome any obstacles that get in your way. For first time entrepreneurs, these sudden changes can be initially overwhelming and hard to adjust to.
When I first started out as an entrepreneur, I thought I would be able to maintain a healthy work-life balance and wouldn’t be too work-obsessed. Unfortunately, a few weeks later, I found myself working more unproductively than ever, creating unnecessary stress and working long hours. My weekends were often spent working on tasks that were not even urgent. And I thought, this was not what I signed up for! A couple of months later, I realized that I had to start changing my work habits to boost my productivity. Here are five easy ways for first time entrepreneurs to improve productivity, which made my work-life more enjoyable and less stressful.
1. Set daily goals and stop working when you achieve your goals
Every night, set daily goals for the next day. I suggest writing a checklist of daily tasks, which may include contacting target customers, managing social media channels, or creating an advertisement. Then, the next day, follow your list, put a checkmark in every checkbox, finish your work, and call it a day. Spend the rest of your day doing something else, like meeting your friends or going out on a date. A healthy work-life balance can keep you energetic and happy at work in the long run.
2. Establish a time limit for each meeting
Spending too much time in meetings can waste everyone’s time. So, what is the best way to run productive, effective meetings? Let’s say your team plans to discuss your company’s marketing plans during the meeting. One day before the meeting, you can make a list of marketing ideas to be discussed, such as whether you should make a YouTube video or whether you should focus on Facebook or Twitter. You can show it to your team, and they can edit the list if necessary. Then, when the list is finalized, you can establish a time limit and let them know at the beginning of the meeting. By setting a time limit, you can run more focused, tighter meetings with your team.
3. Let go of work on the weekends
When I started out as an entrepreneur, I realized I was constantly working on the weekends, which often made me exhausted the following week. Unless it’s a week before you launch, I highly recommend that you explore the world or take time to relax during the weekends. As an entrepreneur, it’s very important to stay inspired!
4. Learning something new? Find experts and ask them how to learn quickly
When you are a first-time entrepreneur, you need to know a little bit of everything, including finance, law, marketing, operations, and strategy. You may also find it useful to learn web design or coding if you’re building an app. Before you learn anything new, find shortcuts to make learning quicker. If you can find experts or friends who know how to do it, ask them how to learn it fast and efficiently. Or, you can ask people on social Q&A sites like Quora. By doing so, you will not only save your precious time but also create an organized study plan.
5. Outsource small tasks
It’s a great idea to outsource trivial tasks that are not important but time-consuming, like editing images or finding data. By outsourcing, you can focus on more important and urgent tasks. I recommend you use freelance marketplaces like Freelancer or Fiverr to find freelancers for your company.
After I implemented these strategies, I was able to develop a stable work ethic and became more productive at work. I realized that it’s not about how much you can accomplish but about how much you can enjoy your experience as an entrepreneur. Once you follow these tips, you too will be able to find yourself much happier and stay focused at work!
Emily is the co-founder of Funfundate, a social matching game dedicated to connecting people with like-minded singles nearby in a stress-free, fun way.
Image credit: CC by koalazymonkey