Anyone with an idea and the drive to make it a reality can get a business underway, but if they’re not taking steps to make sure that they’re organised and in control, then they’re going to find it difficult to be successful. Or, if they are successful, to be able to enjoy what they’ve achieved. If you’re always running at 100 mph, then you can’t slow down to enjoy the finer things in life. So let’s make sure that doesn’t happen. Below, we outline some ways that entrepreneurs can make sure their business never gets too far away from them.
DON’T FILL UP YOUR PLATE
You can’t do everything in life. Well, mayyyybbbeee you can, but you can’t do it all at once. When you become an entrepreneur, you’ll be well served by learning the art of being patient. You might want to race ahead and bring all of your ideas to life as soon as possible, but if you move too quickly, you’ll run the risk of losing control. It’s better to take baby steps to make sure you get things right rather than fill up your plate with so many tasks that you lose track of things.
Our morning routine sets the tone for the rest of the day, so work on making it conducive to a productive, in-control working day. If you’re running around in the morning trying to get ready before you rush out of the door, then you’re going to arrive at the office in a dishevelled fashion, and the only positive thing to say will be that you’ve reached at the time you’ve announced you’ll arrive. So make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get ready and out of the door. A relaxing morning, one spent with a healthy breakfast and good vibes will do wonders. The only rule you should set is that this period should be work-free. You’re going to be working for the rest of the day, so make this a time for reading, focusing on yourself, and so on.
There might be a million and one tasks for you to take care of when you’re a business owner, but they’re not all compartmentalised into their little category. They exist in their little groups, such as “emails to send,” “accounting,” and so on. Rather than jumping from one task to the next, it’s a good idea to set aside time to group similar jobs, and then take care of them all at once. It’s much easier to take care of all the admin tasks when you’re in that particular mindset, for instance. Once you’ve divided your day into “batch jobs,” you’ll be less intimidated by all the tasks that you have to do, too.
GET A DIARY
There’s no shortage of diaries available for your computer, which have different features and so on. But there’s a chance that your computer is the last place you should have your diary! Think about it: when you fire up your laptop or PC, there are a million and one distractions to divert your attention. The same can be said for your smartphone and tablet, too. As such, it’s worthwhile looking at getting a regular old diary, one that - shock horror - doesn’t require a battery. You’ll have it with you at all times, there’s nothing in there to distract you, and you can make notes as you move. While you’ll find plenty of features with digital diaries, it’s worthwhile asking what you really need beyond a pen and paper!
HIRE A PA
If you’re historically terrible at organising yourself, then why not let go of the responsibility - to a degree, at least - by hiring a personal assistant. They’ll be able to take care of all the minor - but time-consuming - organisational tasks that need to be taken care of, and can also be used to answer your phone calls, among many other responsibilities. It’s easy to see a PA as a luxury cost that you could do without, but you could understand them in another way: they’ll help you on the way to becoming the best version of yourself.
DON’T LOSE SIGHT OF THE ESSENTIALS
Sometimes, it’s not the big things in life that derail things. It’s the little things. When you’re an entrepreneur, you’re not just in charge of the company’s vision and growth: you’re also in charge of the practical matters. If you have an office, then you’ll be in charge of the keys that unlock doors, cabinets, parking zones, and so on. When you’ve got so much on your plate, it’s easy to lose sight of them. Make sure you never lose time looking for them by hanging them from a lanyard, like the ones available from lanyards factory. You can also use them to ensure you’re never without things like pens and a USB flash drive, or anything else small and fiddly which you’ll need multiple times throughout the day.
You’re the one driving the bus here. The company is going to go in the direction that you point it. However, it’s important to keep in mind that if there’s one thing that unites entrepreneurs, it’s a reluctance to let go of control and trust their staff. Delegating tasks to your team, and trusting them to get on with them without looking over their shoulder, will help you to focus on your primary duties. While it might sound counterintuitive to say that you’ll gain control by relinquishing some of it, it’s true: you just can’t do everything.
WORK WITH EXPERTS
The things that will take up most of your time won’t be thinking up creative ideas that move your company forward. It’ll be the many, many admin tasks that companies have to take care of. If you can’t afford - or don’t really need - to hire a full-time employee to deal with things like accounting, tax issues, and so on, then look at outsourcing the work to a third party. You’re not going to be “getting control” of the issue rather than passing it on to someone else altogether. It’ll be one less thing for you to think about, and you can rest assured knowing that the important details have been taken care of.
TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS
OK, you’re not going to hear us say that smartphones are all bad, but like most good things, it’s possible that they’ve been taken too far. Every application wants to send you notifications, even the ones that don’t need it. This isn’t as helpful as you or they think! When you’re trying to take care of your tasks, then they’ll just interrupt your flow and make it more difficult to concentrate. So it might be a good idea to turn off notifications altogether. Ask yourself if you really need all these alerts from your phone, and you’ll probably figure out that you don’t. And in the process, you’ll be taking back some control. Nice!
A MOMENT TO BREATH
It’s easy to become overwhelmed when we’re running at a million miles per hour. There’s nothing wrong with this, exactly, and indeed, a little bit of stress is a good thing. But if you can handle the pressure, there’s a chance that it’s clouding your judgement, and that instead of leading, you’re being led by pressure. So take a moment to slow down. Meditation is backed by scientists as a way to gain more control over your actions. When things are moving too fast, it might just be the secret weapon that allows you to slow down and assess the best course of action.
Everyone’s guilty of procrastination. And it’s easy to see why: it’s fun! But while there’s little harm in taking ten minutes to browse the web, if you’re continually losing thirty-minute chunks, then you’ll have issues. It’s hard to feel like you’re in control when you’re lost so much time that you didn’t want to lose. So take active steps to reduce the time you waste. Most people are just triggered by small things, such as opening up Facebook or whatever. Don’t do it!
GET INTO A ROUTINE
Of all the secrets shared by successful entrepreneurs, one seems to come up again and again: they had a routine. If you establish set times to wake up, take lunch, go to bed, talk with friends and family, and so on, then you’ll be able to feel more in control. Organising your day is the first step towards being organised in a professional capacity.
When you become an entrepreneur, you decide to enter a great game where you can’t always know what you’re doing. You have to go with the flow somewhat, purely because when you’re part of the larger economy, then you can’t do everything. But your company will be well-served if you take steps to stay in command and organised. If you’re not, then satisfaction will forever feel like one step beyond you. Collaboration.