With the internet playing such a prominent role in all of our lives today, and with the traditional office environment and culture becoming increasingly fragmented and decentralized, more and more people are working for themselves.
Self-employment offers various perks and benefits, ranging from greater freedom to manage your own time, to less oversight from bosses and managers. At the same time, though, there are undoubtedly certain drawbacks that need to be acknowledged and accounted for.
Perhaps one of the biggest issues that face self-employed people, by and large, is the struggle to stay motivated, focused and driven when operating in a fairly chaotic professional context.
Here are just a few tips for staying focused and driven when working for yourself.
Stay Focused By Practising
Always keep practising and refining your craft.
For someone working in a more traditional office environment, there is always a good deal of feedback likely to be provided by managers and other team members, on a face-to-face level, which leaves little ambiguity about whether things are heading in the right direction or not.
For self-employed people, on the other hand, the situation is quite different. “Feedback” is often vague at best and has to be inferred and filtered through, and there are unlikely to be annual reviews.
All of this creates a dangerous situation, where the entrepreneur in question is at real risk of professionally stagnating and failing to continue to develop their skills as they should.
To avoid falling into this trap, always keep practising and refining your craft. Read books on the subject, attend training courses, and ask for client feedback regularly.
Create frameworks in your life to maintain order and fast-track yourself into “work mode” every day.
As mentioned already, a lack of structure is one of the key hurdles that entrepreneurs tend to face. It’s simply much trickier to maintain your own schedule and to hold yourself to account than it is to be punctual and organized within the context of a wider business and office environment.
To ensure that you stay focused, diligently create frameworks in your life to maintain order and fast-track yourself into “work mode” every day.
Resources allowing, you might want to buy a commercial property to use an office. At the very least, consider setting up a dedicated home office space. Keep it separate from everything else.
Then, ensure that you have accountability measures in place — such as an accountability buddy, or a tool like StickK.
Create Daily Rituals
Create daily rituals to keep your motivation, self-belief and energy high, and to avoid succumbing to a defeatist mindset.
An old Roman saying tells us: “We don’t rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training.” In business, that saying can shift to: “we fall to the level of our habits.”
You won’t always feel motivated to work. You may often struggle to overcome a mental block or to identify the most practical path forward. In times like these, you’ll rely on your pre-established habits to carry you forward.
The best daily rituals and habits to have are ones that will boost and reinforce your energy and self-belief.
Practice affirmations. Listen to upbeat music. Read motivational material. Regularly fuel your own sense of potential. So long as you prioritize staying focused, you’ll create a system to keep you focused.