According to the cartoonist Jen Sorensen, a solopreneur is a "captain of an extremely tiny dinghy." He or she has to cross a large ocean in a tiny vessel, all alone, which sounds like an impossible feat.
In non-pirate terms, this means you have to develop a scalable business, capable of producing a passive profit, and all that with zero employees. With such non-existent resources, time is like the wind in the sails of the tiny dinghy - crucial for you to cross the ocean, but scarce.
To help you reach the mainland and bring success to your business, here are:
5 Time Management Tips for Solopreneurs
- Create schedules
- Analyze how you spend your time, especially if you work from a home office
- Keep distractions at bay
- Take care of your health
When you’re in charge of everything, you have to keep track of everything, and scheduling will be your best friend in the process.
Every evening, compile a to-do list with everything you have to tackle the next day.
Order tasks based on their priority. Tomorrow, you’ll work on these tasks in this order.
Define time blocks in your calendar to clarify when you’ll be working on these tasks, and for how long.
Block 1-2 hours for miscellaneous activities that may arise unexpectedly. This will help you avoid unpleasant surprises.
As briefly mentioned in the previous point, you should always order your to-do items according to their level of priority, and then tackle in that order.
One method you can try here is the Eisenhower Matrix. It prioritizes tasks based on how urgent and important they are:
- urgent and important - you should tackle this task first
- important, but not urgent - tackle this task second or put it on your schedule
- urgent, but not important - delegate it to someone from your team
- neither urgent nor important - you can skip this task altogether
If you define all your tasks based on how urgent or important they are, you’ll never have to wonder about your priorities.
Analyze how you spend time
The best way to improve your time management in the future is to analyze your work routine and figure out how you really spend your time. You can do this by tracking time with a time management app to see:
● Whether you waste too much time on mundane activities
It may turn out to be an hour, two, or even five. In any case, this is the time you can allocate to more profitable activities in the future.
● How long it really takes for you to finish an assignment
Perhaps you always set yourself up for failure with deadlines that are too short. Or, perhaps you block too much time for an activity, finish it much earlier and then procrastinate to pass the time. Once you start tracking time, you’ll be able to figure out how long everything takes, and then set more realistic deadlines and milestones.
Keep distractions at bay
You have a lot to do, so you have to invest more effort to concentrate. The distractions you face every day only make it harder.
Chatty colleagues and other distracting sounds are likely to take their toll on your focus, so it’s best that you put on your headphones and listen to some instrumental music, or an online noise generator.
The tempting call of social media, quirky YouTube videos, and numerous popular news articles is another big obstacle. It’s best that you try a website blocker and blacklist all time-wasting websites so you don’t feel tempted to frequent them during work hours.
Your phone is another big distraction. In order to resist the urge to check it every few minutes, simply put it in another room and mute the tone. It’ll be much harder to keep checking it then.
Take care of your health
If you’re thirsty, sleepy, or simply on the verge of a nervous breakdown because you haven’t eaten all day, you won’t be able to manage your time (and work) well.
Make sure to sleep 7-8 hours every night. Or, if your solopreneurship requires you work for 80+ hours every week, so you don’t have the luxury to sleep 7-8 hours in continuity, schedule in some naps during the day. You’ll make up for lost sleep then.
Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Coffee is fine on occasion, but don’t go overboard with caffeine as it will disrupt your sleep patterns.
When you’re hungry, don’t try to power through, but instead take a break to eat a healthy snack. Always block some time for your meals in your calendar as well so you don’t miss them.
By taking care of your health, you ensure you’re always well-rested, energized, and alert enough to tackle any challenge.
Marko Maric is a marketing manager specialized in digital marketing channels. He has worked with several startups over the years and helped them with their online brand visibility and recognition. Marko currently works at Clockify trying to make the world a more productive place. Find him on Twitter @mmmaric and @clockify.