Whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur or taking your first steps into self-employment, developing habits that increase your productivity is supremely important. The most successful self-employed people got to where they are because they found what works for them, developed it, and stuck to it.
Though there are many tips and tricks of the trade, there are some tried-and-true tasks that every self-employed person should practice. Here are four professional tasks all self-employed people should make time for:
1. Create a Routine
The importance of creating a routine cannot be overstated. The most successful self-employed people create and stick to a routine that helps them most effectively run their business.
If you're a creator, such as a writer or an artist, set aside a set time when your creative juices are flowing at their best. If you're running a physical business, dedicate a time to take care of what needs to be done. Create a schedule for yourself and try to stay true to it as much as you can. A routine should be malleable — if you find a better way to spend a day or hour, change it. If you streamline your work days, you'll stay focused, organized, and efficient.
2. Network Constantly
The word you hear repeated over and over again in the self-employment world is “networking.” Though it can seem esoteric or unreachable at times, it's an important tool for everyone.
Reaching out to others, meeting professionals, and creating a solid network of people increases the strength of your business like nothing else. Take as much time as you can to develop relationships with other professionals in as many ways as you can. There is strength in numbers. Your work is as strong as the professional network you create.
3. Sending Thank-You Notes
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There's no better way to say “thank you for your business” than writing a thank-you note. Though it may seem like a small gesture, it improves your relationship with clients substantially.
Let them know you appreciate the opportunity to work with them. If they feel you appreciate them, they'll appreciate you in return. In addition to appearing thoughtful, it may lead to ongoing work or a solid node in your business network.
When you're self-employed, you know you get as much business as the amount of effort you put into it. This can-do, work-hard style is how you got here, but it's easy to allow yourself to always be on the clock. If you're constantly running at full speed, you can experience burnout and decreased efficiency.
Give yourself a break. Get up from your desk and do something else for an hour. If you can, dedicate one day each week where you don't do anything related to work. When you get back into your work week, you may find yourself rejuvenated and ready to get back down to business.
When you're self-employed, you're your own boss. This business is all about self-discipline. If you perform these tasks and the ones that got you to this point, you'll stay at the top of your game.