Motivate This: 5 Things to Avoid When You’re Your Own Boss

Even in the biggest markets and countries that promote entrepreneurship more than others, the success-driven business owners can struggle.

Entrepreneurship isn’t easy. Constant decision-making changes your brain. You get wired for high-risk situations, chasing opportunities, and solving problems faster.

You have a thousand duties on your plate, and you’re responsible for managing yourself too.

There’s no doubt that being your own boss is hard, but you don’t need to make it harder on yourself.

Maybe you’ve tried to perfect your self-management technique, but you find that it’s easier said than done.

Step on the path to self-employment bliss by avoiding these five pitfalls that can drag down both your productivity and your entrepreneurial spirit.

Failing to Prioritize

It’s easy to believe that every task you juggle as a small business owner is important. In truth, some tasks are more important than others.

If you haven’t taken the time to prioritize how you’ll handle work demands on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, do it now.

You can decide how you’ll delegate tasks as you prioritize too. Remember that you don’t need to do everything yourself.

It might be hard for you to let others handle important business tasks, but the sooner you learn how to delegate, the better.

There are three words to live by in entrepreneurship:

  • Automate
  • Eliminate
  • Delegate

These actions make the EAD system, which is key to time efficiency and process simplification.

Be sure to share organizational priorities with your employees so they know how to organize their workloads too.

In prioritizing, look at tasks you can complete right now that will cut down on your overall, daily workload.

As a startup or small business owner, you know that you’re interrupted during important tasks dozens of times a day.

Take a hard look at why you’re getting distracted from important tasks. It’s essential to avoid fixing the same things over and over.

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If contractors or clients need help with the same thing again and again, identify and fix the underlying problem immediately.

Managing Your Time Poorly

Prioritizing is a big part of the productivity puzzle. To reach your goals, you must practice excellent time management.

Key to great time management is eliminating distractions that prevent you from completing essential tasks.

That might mean turning off email and phone alerts for a few hours every morning.

It might mean closing your office door at the same time every day to establish a power work hour.

Start by mapping out how you’re spending your work time so you know where you need to make improvements.

Many entrepreneurs and freelancers are wrong thinking that personal time management isn’t necessary. That’s just not the case.

By “personal time management,” we don’t mean scheduling every minute of your off-work time.

We mean ensuring that you have plenty of time away from work to refresh yourself.

On average, 31 percent of small business owners work at least 50 hours a week.

Another 11.8 percent work 60 or more hours per week.

Almost 40 percent of these entrepreneurs share that they’ve missed out on an important family event such as a holiday or a child’s birthday because of work.

Don’t give up your personal life for the office. Doing so is detrimental to success in the long term.

Relying Only on Systems You Create Yourself

You might be an Excel genius or a wiz with to-do lists, but creating your own spreadsheets and project management journals isn’t a good use of your time.

Invest in software or apps that will help you save time, stay organized and meet key business goals.

Some of the most powerful tools available to small business owners are driven by cloud computing.

You can use cloud-based apps for word processing, bookkeeping tasks, customer relationship management and much more.

For entrepreneurs, doing business in the cloud generally frees your time to focus on business development.

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There’s no need to set up spreadsheets yourself or constantly update software across company computers.

Cloud computing can solve these problems. Migrating your business operations to the cloud is also a great way to stay in the loop with profits, losses and other key success indicators no matter where you are.

Losing Track of Finances

Most entrepreneurs don’t enjoy keeping track of finances, but doing so is of the utmost importance.

If you don’t control your money, your money controls you.

After all, 80 percent of entrepreneurs use their own money to start their businesses.

Failing to track and manage your financials puts you at an increased risk of losing the personal capital you’ve invested in your business.

You can hire an accountant or use bookkeeping software designed for small businesses to keep track of essential financial data.

Besides tracking financial essentials, keep all tax data organized. You can use a bookkeeping or tax filing app to store all tax documents and expense receipts.

Unless you’re confident in your understanding of state and federal tax codes, it’s a good idea to work with a tax preparer who specializes in small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Investing in professional tax help protects your business from unnecessary audit risks.

Ignoring Your One Big Thing

Sometimes every entrepreneur feels overwhelmed. Every task seems important, and you look back and forth hectically trying to find the way to do them all.

It’s easy to get caught up in an ocean of details, but you don’t have to feed your stress or anxiety. Instead, focus on identifying one task you can feel great about completing today.

It’s true there are a lot of things that seem like they need to be done right now. You may struggle to pick just one thing.

Finding the answer to the “one thing”, that most important task can be easy if you ask the right question.

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Whenever feeling lost in the workload, ask yourself this: “What’s the one thing you can do, such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”.

We are talking about the task you need to do, a task that is the foundation for everything else. You can ask this question every day.

This method helped a successful businessman, Gary Keller, prioritize his work. Later, he wrote a book about it, called “The one thing”.

To Sum Up

Remember that you are not your job, but you are the grand master behind it. Complete the most important task of the day with diligence and care.

Once you’ve addressed that big, important thing looming over your day, it becomes much easier to deal with all the little stuff that needs to be done.

Putting the focus on the right stuff also helps to avert burnout and depression, which are common among stressed entrepreneurs. It will make prioritization and time management easier.

Doing your one big thing keeps your business on track while protecting your mental health too.

Keeping your cash flow in check will boost the feeling of control.

That will additionally calm you so you can invest your time more productively and take your business to new heights.

Author Bio – – –

Ashley Wilson is a digital nomad writing about business and tech.

She has been known to reference Harry Potter quotes in casual conversation and enjoys baking homemade treats for her husband and their two felines, Lady and Gaga.

You can get in touch with Ashley via Twitter.