Eight TipsPosted: October 7, 2010
Working by yourself in business can be a daunting and lonely means of making a living. If you’re lucky, you have the support of friends and/or family, but here’s a list of 8 ways to retain your sanity when running a solo operation:
1. Get Rest – It can be really easy to overdo things when you work alone, especially if at the end of the day your efforts are the only difference between feast and famine. Make sure you get some proper downtime and decent amounts of sleep.
2. Get Active – A regular exercise regime keeps your thinking clear and your body fit. You don’t have to go to the gym everyday, but commit to getting out for a walk three or four mornings a week.
3. Get Social – Find some time once a week to get out and socialize with friends, former co-workers, or others in your industry. You don’t have to ban talk about work, in fact, it might be helpful to share your struggles and your victories with some trusted peers. Just get out of the home office and spend some social time with others.
4. Plunge in/Jump out – (Paraphrased from James Bach) It’s great to jump into the deep end and be overloaded with work, but when you feel like you’re not being effective or your attention is waning, it’s time to jump out. Take a break from your workday and find something else to do. This leads into:
5. Eliminate guilt. When you do take an afternoon off from work to go catch a movie, run some personal errands or otherwise play hooky, don’t feel guilty for it. My guess is that you spend a lot of your personal time working on or thinking about your business, so time away from “office hours” is allowed too. Sometimes defocusing can allow your subconscious to process whatever it is that is keeping you from being productive.
6. Make time for those around you – Make time to focus with your spouse and children (if you have them). When you do spend time with them, be there with them. Physically, mentally and emotionally. They are the ones that keep you sane.
7. Think Meta – Spend time to think about how you think and how you work. When you discover patterns that were present during highly productive periods, you can begin to recreate the environment to increase productivity over and over again. You can also look at the big picture and adjust your course as necessary.
8. Think Big – Spend some time dreaming about your future, other products or services you could create or provide, a vacation you want to take one day. Whatever it is, thinking about life’s big what-ifs helps keep perspective.
Those are just some quick tips as I practice number four in the list. Feel free to any you might have in the comments.