Work smarter, not harder
This is a big topic at the moment on social sites like LinkedIn and Facebook, but I don’t understand why people are making a fuss of it in 2019… and didn’t consider it 5, 6, 7+ years ago.
I admit, when I first started in the industry - I said yes to every project. I worked 24/7 and burnt out (without knowing what that was), I just powered through. It wasn’t just me that did it, every startup entrepreneur has done it, and will continue to do it. I said yes to every web design enquiry for various reasons…
• I wanted to impress people and show what I could do
• I wanted to expose my name further afield
• If I did a good job, they’d recommend me for more work
• It was financially beneficial
However, there’s a point in time where this needs to change. Whether that be 6 months or 6 years, your business gets to a point where you don’t have to say yes to every enquiry. Right now, we say no to enquiries for various reasons and it works. But working smarter, is not just about the amount of work you have on. It’s a combination of things in my opinion.
If you’re stressed and your work isn’t functional - then take a break, whether that be a walk, eating, going to the gym - whatever it is, that hour away from your desk can make your day more productive.
Plan your schedule in advance. I have a simple structure that has massively helped workflow. Reply to important emails as soon as I wake up, and filter out all the rubbish. Then reply to other emails when I arrive at work at 8:30am. This means that by 9am I can concentrate on other tasks.
Split your day. Working on the same thing every day, every month will become boring and you will lose interest, so your output won’t be as good - or at least, it won’t be consistent. If you’re a developer, you might think - but I build websites every day, how can I split my day? My advice would be balance projects out with your project manager, if you know you’re working on a big, technical eCommerce site - balance that out with a small restaurant website that is more creative. It keeps you interested in both projects and keeps your brain ticking.
Traffic. Nobody likes it. Make sure to plan meetings around busy periods, don’t waste time being stuck in traffic. And don't sit in traffic to and from work... what's the point?! Change your working hours to suit you, so it's more productive.
Book holidays. It sounds simple but I know a lot of people who don’t book holidays then just use them all up at once at the end of the year. If you plan holidays in the diary, you have something to look forward too and it eases your mind when being away from your desk and socially being with other people.
Why is this all relevant to scaling up your business? Because if I had 40+ staff, I would be more stressed, I would have more work to do - it would mean that my lifestyle/worklife balance wouldn’t be as I want it to be.