4 Proven Techniques to Stop Procrastination in its Tracks

4 Proven Techniques to Stop Procrastination in its Tracks

It’s really easy to keep postponing tasks you don’t want to do—or are afraid you won’t do right. Everyone procrastinates to some degree, but allowing procrastination to become a habit can be destructive and self-defeating. It can keep you from being successful. In general, procrastination creeps in when a task is: Overwhelming New, with an unknown path to success Something you aren’t good at Unpleasant, uninteresting, or downright boring Whatever the reasons, procrastination can overtake you if you’re not on guard. Here are a few proven techniques you can rely on when the temptation to procrastinate seizes you. When the task is overwhelming, break it up.  A huge task may seem impossible when looked at as a whole, but as Lao Tzu says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Figure out that one step, and take it. After that, identify a few more and build them into your schedule at a pace that will meet your deadline. Keep going. When the path to success is unknown, start anywhere. When you’re headed into unfamiliar territory, you often don’t have enough of the big picture to know where the beginning is anyway. Pick some aspect of the job that seems approachable and start there. Once the task is underway, momentum usually takes over. Eventually, you’ll see how to fill in the rest. When it’s something you aren’t good at, ask someone else. There’s no point in forcing yourself to do something you don’t really have the skill to do. Chances are there’s someone whose business is built on doing exactly what you’re not good at. Give that...
One Simple Way to Avoid Big Problems in Your Solopreneur Business

One Simple Way to Avoid Big Problems in Your Solopreneur Business

When you’re managing a solo business, you never know what sort of problem is going to pop up. Something slips through the cracks. A detail gets lost. No matter how careful you are, you’re just one person, and there are only so many plates you can keep spinning at one time! What can you do to keep one from crashing? Your best strategy is to make things simple. Checklists make things simple. They document routines. They standardize the tasks you do on a regular basis. They eliminate having to think your way through every step of an activity; you simply follow the checklist. You perform the same set of actions, in the same way, in the same order, every time. As our business becomes more complex, we discover that our focus isn’t so easy to maintain and our memory isn’t as reliable as we thought. Especially when it comes to what should be routine matters, we’re shocked to find that obvious and important things are easily overlooked. Even well-entrenched habits can fail us. Checklists rescue us. When we rely on habit alone, we’re likely to skip a step here and there even though they’re part of the routine. The assumption that this small step doesn’t really need to be done in this exact way, gives us permission to do it in some other way, which leads to dropping it altogether if we think it won’t make a difference. Unless a bad outcome is immediately apparent, the revised process gradually becomes the new habit. Eventually, the accumulation of seemingly unimportant changes or omissions can have grave and unforeseen consequences. Remember...
3 Ways to De-Stress Your Solopreneur Life

3 Ways to De-Stress Your Solopreneur Life

If there’s anyone who lives with constant stress, it’s today’s solopreneur! The very definition means that you’ve taken on the responsibility for running your business single-handedly! While having your own business can be very rewarding, allowing you to do work you love for clients who value your talents, there’s no question that there’s a lot of pressure. Anything you can do to de-stress your life is a big step in the right direction! Here are a few suggestions: 1.  Make it easy to work anywhere. If you haven’t yet moved your files to the cloud, I suggest you do it right now. Instantly, you’ll discover how astonishingly convenient it is to be able to access all your documents from anywhere you happen to be! You’ll never again have to copy files to flash drives or attach them to emails in order to work on a project while traveling. You’ll also eliminate the confusion of wondering if you have the most recent version of whatever you’re working on. With only one version, available from any device, you’re always certain.   2.  Delegate tasks. As a solopreneur, you may scoff, “Who in the world am I going to delegate to? It’s just me here!” In fact, the reason you’ve chosen to run your business solo may very well be specifically to avoid the complications and complexities that come with employees. The truth is, you need to find others who can take on those tasks that don’t require your personal touch. Otherwise, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. This is one of the benefits of networking...

What’s the Difference Between Solopreneurs and Entrepreneurs?

The term, “solopreneur” has become quite popular in recent years. Sometimes it’s used interchangeably with the word “entrepreneur,” but there are distinct differences between the two. The differences may not be readily apparent, however, since some entrepreneurs work alone until their businesses are large enough to need a team. In general, those who choose solopreneurship over entrepreneurship are usually not interested in building a large business. Many of them start solo businesses with no intention of ever adding employees. Here are the basic differences: 1.  Entrepreneurs dream of a buyout. Many entrepreneurs initiate their businesses with heavy outside investment, counting on being acquired by a larger company for millions of dollars in profits. At that point, they’ll pocket significant gains and move on to their next adventure. 2.  Solopreneurs dream of a business they can run by themselves. Most solopreneurs, in contrast, prefer small businesses they can capitalize and manage on their own. They don’t want to negotiate with outside parties or manage investor expectations. They tend to work in one type of business, becoming expert in that particular industry. 3.  Entrepreneurs focus on their business. Entrepreneurs frequently choose to be out socializing with colleagues, making connections with potential investors or partners and leaving their team behind to do the actual work. They thrive on the energy and excitement of the start-up and growth phases. They look to delegate administrative and technical tasks as quickly as possible so they can focus on increasing the value of their businesses to a potential buyer. The work itself is often of less interest, and they may start up multiple unrelated businesses throughout their careers. 4. ...
Hate Disorganized Paperwork? 8 Ways to Keep It Under Control

Hate Disorganized Paperwork? 8 Ways to Keep It Under Control

One thing about solopreneurs—while the challenges they face may be similar, each person has his or her own way of dealing with them. Every business has its own personal style, and so does every business owner. Take paperwork. Despite everyone’s intentions to move toward paperless offices, many of our documents remain in hard copy. And when it comes to keeping that paper organized, there’s no single method that works for everyone. Most would acknowledge, however, that traditional filing is a chore they’d rather avoid altogether. Therefore, they keep postponing it until all that loose paper degenerates into unidentifiable stacks of stuff scattered all over the office. Then, when something truly important can’t be found, panic ensues—followed by renewed resolutions to stay on top of this tedious task. Things can get really bad. I had one client who was so disorganized that whenever he got a call from a customer, he claimed to be on the “other line” at just that moment, and would need to call back. Which he did—as soon as he was able to locate the client’s file! Clearly, there should be a better way. For those who hate filing, but also hate disorganized paperwork, you may be interested to know that it’s possible to avoid both. Begin by minimizing the amount of paper you need to deal with in the first place! Try these strategies: 1. Stop incoming paper at the source. Paper you never receive is paper you don’t have to file. Or keep organized. Or keep at all. Eliminate this excess paper altogether by unsubscribing from magazines, catalogs, and other mailings that aren’t useful....