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Streamlining Workflow: 5 Productivity Hacks for the Self-Employed

Did you know that over 44 million people in the United States are self-employed? That's about 30% of the total workforce! And if you are one of them, then, as a self-employed individual, you know that time is money. The more efficient you are with your workflow, the more productive you can be.


But sometimes, knowing where to start streamlining your workflow can be difficult. It can be overwhelming, and without a streamlined workflow, productivity can suffer.


But don't worry! In this blog post, we'll share five productivity hacks for self-employed that can help you simplify your work processes, save time, and focus on what matters most – growing your business.


So let's get started!


1. Embrace Time Blocking

Time blocking is a method where you plan out your day in advance and dedicate specific hours to accomplish certain tasks. It's like making an appointment with yourself to get work done. This technique helps you manage your time effectively and ensures you're fully focused on the task at hand during its slot.


As per resources, time blocking can significantly enhance productivity for self-employed people.


Here is how you can implement it;


  • ✔ Make a list of all the tasks that you need to complete.
  • ✔ Everyone has certain times of the day when they are most productive. Identify these periods and schedule your most challenging tasks for these times.
  • ✔ Once your time blocks are set, treat them as non-negotiable appointments.

2. Eliminate Distractions

As a self-employed individual, it's easy to get distracted when you're working from home or in a flexible environment. Whether it's the pile of laundry that needs to be folded or the endless scroll of social media feeds, these distractions can hinder your productivity.


That's why eliminating distractions is a crucial productivity hack every self-employed individual should consider.


Here is how you can implement it;


  • ✔ Create a designated workspace that's free of any personal items to help you stay focused.
  • ✔ Schedule your tasks daily and try completing them during the day.
  • ✔ Set smaller goals within larger projects to make them more manageable and less overwhelming.
  • ✔ Use productivity tools and apps like RescueTime to track your time and help you stay on track with your work goals.

3. Automate Your Finances

Automating your finances is a powerful productivity hack for the self-employed. It saves you time and reduces stress by ensuring you never miss a payment and helps you stay on top of your financial goals.


Many investment apps offer features that automatically invest spare change from everyday purchases. This is a low-effort way to consistently contribute to your investments without even thinking about it.


Here is how you can implement it;


  • ✔ Set up direct debits for regular payments such as utility bills, rent, or mortgage payments. This ensures that your bills are paid on time every month without you manually making the payment.
  • ✔ Set up automatic transfers to your savings or investment accounts. This can be particularly useful for self-employed individuals with irregular income streams.
  • ✔ Use tools like FreshBooks or QuickBooks. These allow you to set up recurring invoices, send automatic reminders for unpaid invoices, and even auto-bill clients for ongoing services.

4. Use Time Tracking

Time tracking is another amazing productivity hack for self-employed individuals. It involves keeping track of the time you spend on various tasks throughout the day. This simple practice can have numerous benefits.


Time tracking provides valuable insights into how you're spending your time. You might think you're spending most of your time on high-priority tasks, but a time log could reveal that you spend a lot of time on low-value activities. It can also help you identify inefficiencies in your workflow.


Here is how you can implement it;


  • ✔ Use a spreadsheet or a notebook to jot down what you're working on and when.
  • ✔ Use tools online; numerous time-tracking apps are available, such as Toggl or RescueTime, which can automatically track your time and provide detailed reports on your activity.
  • ✔ By weekly check tasks that take most of your time.

5. Outsource Tasks

Outsourcing involves delegating tasks that are time-consuming, outside your skill set, or not directly tied to generating income to external professionals or agencies.


The importance of outsourcing lies in its ability to free up your time so you can focus on core business activities. As a self-employed individual, your time is limited. Every hour spent on administrative tasks or learning new skills is taken away from your revenue-generating work.


Moreover, outsourcing can often lead to better results, as you're hiring experts who are skilled in their specific fields. Whether it's bookkeeping, social media management, or graphic design, professionals can likely do the job more efficiently and effectively than if you were to do it yourself.


Here is how you can implement it;


  • ✔ Freelance platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer are great places to find professionals offering a wide range of services.
  • ✔ You might consider hiring a virtual assistant or an agency for recurring tasks, such as bookkeeping or social media management. The virtual assistant could research potential clients, send out pitches, and even manage follow-ups.

Wrapping Up!

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Streamlining your workflow and maximizing productivity allows you to not just survive but thrive in your business. Incorporating these productivity hacks into your workflow can help you maximize your time and productivity, ultimately leading to a more successful business.


The best part is that they're easy to implement and can have a huge impact.


Moreover, as a member of the American Business Association, we are here to support small businesses like yours. With access to resources like networking opportunities, business advice, and discounts on services, we are committed to helping you succeed.


Contact us now for more!