Becoming an entrepreneur – especially when that means quitting your day job and working from home – is the kind of thing people often dream about for years, largely because of the fact that this particular lifestyle offers so much more freedom than the typical office job.
Specifically, being a home-based entrepreneur means you can wake up whenever you want, go to sleep whenever you want, wear whatever you want during the day, go out whenever you want, and pretty much do whatever you want — as long as you are meeting your deadlines and professional obligations.
There’s no team of managers to look sternly over your shoulder and judge whether or not you’re being organised enough.
While this can seem like a blessing at first, it’s often actually more like a curse. Because, in order to be successful in business, and in life, it’s necessary to impose a bit of structure on your life.
So, here are some tips for adding some more structure to your entrepreneurial life, if you’ve been letting yourself slip since making the transition.
Use third-party services that can help to establish a bit of structure
One of the issues with being an entrepreneur, and being solely responsible for running your own business, is that there are a lot of different things for you to focus on and manage.
In order to reduce some of the chaos, and free up more of your time and energy to spend in a focused manner consider using third-party services that can handle particular tasks for you, and that help to establish a bit of structure.
www.houkconsulting.com/, for example, can give you some useful insight into the benefits of managed IT services.
Reduce the distractions in your life, and train the skill of focus
Structure implies the ability to focus, and manage your attention.
There’s no point writing up a daily schedule, if you constantly violate it, and absentmindedly give in to all sorts of procrastination throughout the day.
To improve your ability to focus, realise that you need to treat it as a skill. In any event, that’s the finding from modern scientists. To do this, reduce the distractions present in your life as much as possible, and work on building your discipline from the ground up.
Use web blockers, unplug your TV, whatever it takes. But understand that the more times you resist the temptation to let your attention wander, the easier focus will come in future.
Create accountability systems to keep you from straying from the path
One of the key reasons why traditional office jobs typically manage to establish and maintain a good degree of structure, is because there is always the implicit threat that you’re going to get the hammer dropped on you if you don’t toe the line.
As an entrepreneur, you’ve got to create accountability systems so that you can drop the hammer on yourself when you stray from the path.
Services such as StickK and BeeMinder help you to create “accountability contracts” and put your money on the line. But you could just as easily come to a similar agreement, in person, with a friend or relative.