13 tips to help aspiring Solopreneurs focus on business
These 13 tips can help you be the business owner you really want to be, the business owner that gets shit done, and reaches your goals in business and in life. So let’s go!
Focus is one of the most important things to reach your goals both in life and in business. That is why I want to give you these 13 tips that will help you on this journey. You might ask why this is so important. As new Solopreneurs just starting out, we have a tendency to get impatient and see new shiny objects all over the place. We lose focus, and never really get any traction with our plans and ideas. At the end of the article, I will tell you about some of the things I have done along the way.
2 different strategies
There are 2 different main strategies, within which my tips in this article will fall. The first is relating your actual task. The second is everything else, not directly related to the task at and, but still very important to create the optimal working environment for you in your business.
1 – Make a list
When you have a lot of stuff in your head, it can be really hard to focus. That is why it’s a great idea to make a list of all the tasks you need to get done. When you get them down on paper (or on your computer), you no longer need to use mental energy to remember them. This will make it easier for you to focus. Also keep pen and paper at the ready, for when other thoughts emerge. That way you can write them down at once, and keep your attention and focus where it’s supposed to be.
2 – Chose a strategy
Next, you need to choose with which strategy you tackle your to-do list. Are you the kind of person who gets momentum by starting will small wins? Or do you work better by eating that frog as author Brian Tracy calls it in his book Eat that frog.
This concept is about starting the day working on the hardest and most important task first.
So you need to figure out, which strategy works best for you, and then start prioritizing your tasks, which is the next item on the list.
3 – Prioritize
When you prioritize your tasks, keep in mind that you are actually getting to some of the important stuff at some point (sooner rather than later). Starting with the easy tasks is just meant to give you momentum to tackle the harder and often more important ones. You can read my post on how to figure out which tasks are more important to you and your business here.
4 – Single-task
The next tip is to single-task, and yes that is the exact opposite of multitasking! We are as humans not made to multitask. We can be so much more effective if we choose to focus on one task at a time. So take a look at your list, and choose your next task, and then forget about the others for a while.
5 – Time blocking
Block time in your calendar for your task. As in actually make an appointment with yourself on the calendar. This is especially important if you have the option for others to book in your calendar. Even if you only have a shared calendar with your family, it will send a signal, that you are unavailable for this period of time.
Each time block you make should be for only one type of task. You might have a block that is for writing or contacting leads for your business. The only thing you should do in this time block is the assigned task.
6 – Visualisation
The last thing before you start your work session is to visualize what you are about to do. Visualize how well you will be doing the task, how easy it will be, and how you feel when it is accomplished. Our mind is a funny thing, and it can get us a long way towards our goals if we know how to treat it. I will get back to that last part.
7 – Notifications
You have probably heard this before. The reason it’s something you need to do to focus is that even then small vibration, to the notification on the top of your screen, will ruin your focus.
They are designed to give you a small dopamine rush and make you look at what is happening, to distract you to whatever platform or device they are coming from. So turn them off!
8 – Exercise
I just finished reading the book The real happy pill: Power up your brain by moving your body by Anders Hansen.
The interesting part here is that exercising really helps focus. There are two things I want to tell you about.
1 – If you move while working you can focus better, so taking a walk while having a phone conversation, or having a treadmill desk can be a really good idea.
2 – When you get your pulse up 3 times a week for 45 minutes, you help yourself a lot. You will be preventing stress and depression, and a whole lot of other things. Actually, if you are stressed your brain physically shrinks, and going to a run (or doing something similar) will build your brain up, and make it more resistant.
I know this is a really short description, but I do highly recommend the book.
9 – When do you work the best
We all work have a time of day where we do our best work – Our optimal work energy (OOWE) time. When we are aware of when this is and start to plan around it, it will help us focus on our tasks much better.
For some their OOWE time is in the morning, for others right after launch, and others again late at night. There is no right or wrong here, in my opinion. The important thing is when you have your OOWE. When you know you can plan around it.
10 – Sleep
When we sleep our brain gets rid of the toxins that build up during the day. This is really important for your focus, to have your brain work at its optimal. The thing is that this process happens in the last part of your sleep. So by not sleeping enough (about 8 hours a night), your brain will not get to this part of the process.
You might be thinking, oh but I don’t feel tired at all and I only sleep 6 hours a night. To that I say, the first thing you lose when not getting enough sleep is the ability to judge if you are getting enough sleep. So I challenge you! Try sleeping for 8 hours a night for 14 days straight and see what effect this has on your ability to focus and get shit done 😉
11 – Create a work-cave
It’s not only the tech world that can be a distraction from your work. So can your family, friends, pets, and the mailman.
This is why you would create a work-cave for yourself, somewhere you will not be disturbed. Put a note on the door, saying to not disturb you unless it’s an emergency. Pro tip here, discuss what counts as an emergency beforehand. One my husband needed me to help him put sunscreen on his back – Not really an emergency!
Create clear rules for when you are in your cave, both for you and for the people, animals, and things that might disturb you.
12 – Food
There is so much research on why you should eat healthy food, so I won’t go into that, but I do want to give you some advice on who to make it easier for yourself.
1 – Do not snack or eat at your computer. We tend to eat mindlessly when doing this.
2 – Get rid of the easy to access unhealthy snack and food options in your house.
3 – Food prep, we often end up with ab unhealthy option because it’s the easy choice on a busy day. By food prepping your meals and snacks, you can make the choice a lot easier for yourself in pressured situations.
What I noticed when I focus on my food and eating healthy. is that I do not get these energy dives during the day. I am therefore more focused and more productive. Also, I have fewer moodswings.
13 – Clean up
When the space around you is a mess, you also tend to be a mess. So basically clean up your desk.
The other day I felt overwhelmed and stressed and had a look at my desk. It was a mess! I chose to spend 10 minutes cleaning up the desk, it helped my mental state a lot.
I hope these 13 tips on how to focus on your business inspired you. We all work differently, so take the things you can use for yourself and your business.
Always remember – Have fun and Get Shit Done!
MSc in Business, branding, and communications management.