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Perfecting your productivity skills as a solopreneur

Updated: Jan 31, 2022

Solopreneur (noun) – a person who sets up and runs a business on their own. Also known as professional plate spinner and Jack-of-all-trades!


The absence of a boss telling you what to do feels fantastic. But being the leader, employee, marketing manager, accounts executive and customer services supervisor all rolled into one can leave us feeling like we’re being pulled in so many different directions EVERY. SINGLE. DAY!


This can have a major effect on our productivity, and ultimately, our mental well-being.

Being a solopreneur is such a different experience from working as part of a corporate team, where everyone has their individual tasks and goals to concentrate on.


If an urgent client issue arises, you can’t just bat that off to someone else. You have to deal with it and pick up the other things you were doing later (probably after you’ve seen to the family’s needs and when you should be trying to carve out some well-deserved ‘me time’!)

pomodoro method, productivity for small business owners, time management tips, time management tools, productivity methods
Pomodoro method

That’s why I believe it’s so important to perfect our productivity skills, to allow us to create that all-important work-life balance and avoid burnout further down the line.


So, with it being Mental Health Awareness Day recently, I thought this would be a good time to write a blog that would help give a balance in work and life too.


I’m going to talk you through my top 5 productivity tips. I hope you find them helpful!


1. Be accountable

Research shows that social pressure boosts motivation.


Do you always show up for phone calls or Zooms with clients? Of course you do! (unless you accidentally forget). Your clients are expecting something from you and will feel pretty annoyed if you’re a no-show.


On the flip side, do you often put off or struggle to finish tasks you’ve started? Like creating sales copy for a new product you’re launching or sitting down to work on your marketing strategy? Nobody is relying on you to deliver these, so they easily get pushed down the priority list!


At the end of the day, it all boils down to accountability. So, try to make yourself more responsible for your tasks.


Keep your vision in mind as you embark on these tasks. Consider how each piece of work slots into the jigsaw of your business and how it will help you achieve your long-term goals.


2. Cooking up a storm

Do you find those small distractions often derail your day? Do you routinely work beyond the point of being productive? Do you feel overwhelmed by open-ended tasks such as research? Do you create endless to-do lists only to find that you rarely cross anything off them? Do you really like tomatoes? Wait! What?


When it comes to staying productive, millions swear by the life-changing Pomodoro (Italian for tomato) method of time management.


I’m a huge advocate of it. We even use it in Social Savvy School when we’re working together in Homeroom. More on that later though!


The Pomodoro Method for staying focussed and mentally fresh is simple! All you have to do is:

  1. Pick a task

  2. Set a 25-minute timer and work until the timer runs out

  3. Then take a 5-minute break

  4. After 4 pomodoros (4 x 25-minute tasks), take a longer break of 15-30 minutes


25 minutes is an ideal duration. It’s neither too short that you can’t get anything worthwhile done nor too long that you begin to procrastinate. And 2 pomodoros are an hour of your day. Simple, eh?!




3. Set boundaries

Anyone who runs their own business will tell you how difficult it can be to switch off! There are always new ideas popping into our heads, tasks we’re chomping at the bit to get on with and endless emails to answer!


Like I mentioned earlier, it’s so important to create a healthy work-life balance. Not only for ourselves but for those around us. Working ourselves into the ground isn’t helpful to us or our families. So, it’s time to set some boundaries!


This could be:

· Setting ‘work’ hours (and, more importantly, sticking to them!)

· Not checking emails first thing in the morning or last thing at night

· Setting time aside each day to get fresh air, exercise or do something else you enjoy

· Managing customer expectations


4. Set deadlines

It’s so easy to delay projects when they’re just pipe dreams. Set a deadline though, and people are expecting something. It all goes back to the accountability I mentioned in tip 1. I like to use events, Lives or tell people when I’m going to do things by. It’s more difficult to allow yourself to put things off when you have a definite deadline.


Use your Outlook or Google calendar to put tasks in. If you’ve tried this before and found yourself constantly pushing tasks back a day or two, then you need to test the Pomodoro Method to help you concentrate and stay on task.


5. Make apps your co-workers!

There are so many amazing, useful apps out there, just waiting to make your life that little bit easier. Need help invoicing and payment tracking? There’s an app for that! Need to plan and store your content creation ideas? There’s an app for that too!


A couple of my favourites are Trello (a visual tool for list-making and collaboratively managing projects) and Otter (for turning voice conversations into smart notes that can be searched and shared).


Seek and you shall find!


Did you find these tips helpful?

If you found these top tips helpful, then I’d love for you to come and join Social Savvy School. It’s a fantastic community of like-minded folk who want to learn more about social media marketing and online business.


For some awesome quick wins, I also have a Time Management Bundle!


Any questions at all, feel free to email me at emma@gossipgals.co.uk


Love,


Emma x



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