5 of The Worst Habits to Have When Self-Employed

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Being self-employed is a wonderfully rich experience. You’ll learn responsibility, be in control of your own schedule, and you’ll get to keep all the profits (after your finances are taken care of, of course). But with all of that freedom comes a crushing weight that some self-employed folks fall victim to. The discipline required to keep yourself in line can sometimes be a challenge, and bad habits like these certainly don’t help the struggle in your favor.

Here, we’ll cover five habits you simply must get rid of if you’re self-employed. They only serve to hold you back, cost you money, or affect your productivity in a way you won’t like when those quarterly reports come in. Whether you’re new to the self-employment stage or a seasoned veteran, this guide is for you.

1. Getting Up Late

No boss to call you in the morning? You should just sleep in, right? After all, you’re the boss, you make the calls, and you’re responsible for the consequences. This is a pretty solid argument at six in the morning when you’re still groggy from getting up before the sun, but later in the day, you’ll pay for it (unless you’re on the night shift).

Sleeping in is all too tempting. The bed is warm, the blankets are soft, and the chilly morning air is less than inviting. However, learning to avoid the temptation and get yourself out of bed is a habit you’ll be grateful for later in life. Getting up early is associated with certain mental health benefits, such as better focus, a more positive attitude, and even more motivation.

It’s important that you maintain a strict sleep schedule when you’re self-employed. Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time during the week, just like you would if you were employed by someone else. Being your own boss can quickly evolve into being your own worse enemy, and no one wants that!

2. Smoking

So, you thought smoking had no effect on your self-employment? Think again! Smoking affects every aspect of life, and your business is no different. Not only is smoking claiming precious funds that you could be investing in yourself or your business, but it’s also jeopardizing your physical and mental health. You won’t be working much if you’re attached to an oxygen tank or battling cancer!

The unfortunate truth is that smoking is one of the most destructive habits out there. It offers no benefits, but consumes money, health, and well-being. You’ll spend thousands on cigarettes and tobacco alone, thousands more on keeping your home and vehicle smoke-free, and even thousands more on the inevitable health complications you’ll experience.

There’s no way to get out of a daily smoking habit unharmed, except to quit entirely. The moment you quit, the body starts healing itself. You’ll be richer, happier, healthier, and more able to run your business. Try nicotine gum, tobaccoless products like Black Buffalo, or even vaping to leave tobacco behind forever. You’ll thank us later!

3. Poor Eating

You don’t have time to pack a lunch, but what’s the harm in eating McDonald’s, Burger King, or some other fast-food chain a few times per week? It can’t be that bad.

Poor eating habits can affect mental and physical health, concentration, motivation, sleep…the list goes on. The old phrase, “you are what you eat” is quite true. A poor diet will leave you sickly, tired, and unable to perform at your peak.

This isn’t simply speculation, either. There have literally been thousands of studies and hours upon hours of research conducted on the subject for decades. Fast-food is especially dangerous, contributing to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes; none of which will help you run an effective, profitable business.

Maybe it’s time to start packing lunches…

4. Not Maintaining A Strict Work Schedule

I’m not really feeling good today…I’ll just take the day off and get back to it tomorrow.

This attitude is all too common with self-employed people, because they’re in control of their own schedule. When you start slacking, there’s no one but you to kick yourself back into gear, but that becomes more and more difficult the more you abuse that power. Taking days off is a habit that can quickly run your business into the ground.

That being said, you also shouldn’t run yourself into the ground by working all the time. Even if you love what you do, you should still take a day or two off every week to avoid burnout.

5. No Dedicated Workspace

Not having a dedicated workspace in your home or an office to go to can cause plenty of trouble for self-employed folks. Distractions are everywhere at home, and you’d be amazed how easily something like a TV remote can make you want to slack off.

You should absolutely have a dedicated workspace, even if it’s just a plain room in your home with a door. Make sure that’s your space while you’re working, and that you won’t be bothered.

The Bottom Line

Being self-employed can be a wonderful gift, but it’s a double-edged sword; on one side, you’ve got the power to shape your own destiny, and on the other, you’ve got the power to destroy your efforts entirely. Be careful, stay focused, and maintain your discipline.