Being an entrepreneur sounds great on paper. You set your own hours; you are working towards developing a business which will support you in your old age, and, ideally, you’re actually doing work that you like and find meaningful.

Unfortunately, though, many new entrepreneurs find themselves getting a pretty bad shock when they finally do make the plunge and set themselves up as small business owners.

Instead of the path ahead being pretty direct, there are an unlimited number of things that seem to demand your attention, and you find it difficult to structure your time effectively.

The life of an entrepreneur can be chaotic. In fact, it can be too chaotic. Relax. There are some ways of dealing with it. Here are a few tips.

Stop trying to do it all on your own — focus on your core competencies and let others handle the rest

For various reasons, including limited resources and the desire to remain in control, entrepreneurs tend to be highly motivated to “do it all solo”.

The bottom line, though, is that there will be various aspects of your business that you are not an expert in, and that consume a lot of your time and mental energy. If, for example, you are a graphic designer, you might find managing the technical side of your business’s IT systems a bit frustrating.

The solution? To hire a professional Computer IT Support company to take care of this aspect of your business for you.

As an entrepreneur, you need to learn to focus on your core competencies, and let other people pick up some of the slack. These days, it’s easy to work with many businesses and freelancers without having to employ full-time staff.

Stop trying to execute on every idea that occurs to you — there’s an unlimited number of things you could be doing, but you need to focus

If you’ve ever spent a while paging through the different business-oriented books in your local bookstore, or checking out the various entrepreneurial guides to be found online, you might well have had a mini breakdown.

When all is said and done, there are a literally unlimited number of things you could be spending your time on in any given moment.

Unless you want to go crazy, though, you really need to focus your energies and attention. Identify a core area or two to focus on, and pretend the rest isn’t there.

Get back to basics — impose some structure and routine on yourself

A good many entrepreneurs step straight out of the traditional office environment, and are instantly exuberant at the prospect of setting their own hours and doing just what they like.

It would be a pretty fatal mistake, however, to think that just because you’re an entrepreneur, you can live like a bohemian artist.

Success in business – any business – requires that you are able to impose some structure and routine yourself.

So, get back to basics. Act as if you really were back in your old job, and had to clock in at a certain time every day. Set yourself a daily schedule, get dressed each morning, and keep your to-do lists organised. This will help to regulate the chaos, and will make you far more productive, too.