As the owner of a startup business, you have so many things you should be getting on with, from emailing a client or supplier to sorting out your invoices.
But instead, you’re talking to colleagues or browsing the internet (that’s how you got here) – everything apart from work.
Here are a few tips to help startup businesses avoid distractions and get on with work.
Plan your time carefully
Sit down once a week and plan everything you’re going to do for the next seven days. You can organise it however you want – put everything down in order of importance, for example – but all that matters is that you write everything that you need to do in the next week.
Whenever you get distracted, just have a look at your list to remind yourself that you really should be getting on with work – if you’re distracted because you’re bored, maybe start something else on the list to keep things fresh.
You know that panicky feeling, where you think everything around you is about to fall apart? You probably get it any time you forget to do some really important bit of work, where if you don’t get it finished you’ll lose a client.
When you write out your weekly work plan, make a note of the really important stuff, and remember how it will feel if you have to do it last minute – that just might push you to get off Facebook and do the work.
Make a conscious effort to avoid getting distracted
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that distractions are an external force making your life difficult. Sure, a colleague asking for a favour might distract you, but you could always say no (just point to your weekly work plan and say you’re busy), and Facebook doesn’t open itself to waste an hour of your time.
You have the power to stop things distracting you, but first you need to take notice of when you are avoiding work by doing something else.
Make yourself comfortable
It’s too hot so you go searching for the fan, get it out of the cupboard, notice it’s a little dusty so go looking for the screwdriver to take off the cage so you can dust it, then you turn the fan on and you go back to your computer. Now it’s too cold so you get back up to turn the fan off. You sit back down and notice your chair is a little uncomfortable so you look for a cushion…
If your environment is regularly distracting you, do something about it. You might have to spend money on new chairs or even air conditioning, but if it stops distracting you from work, it’ll make your startup business more efficient in the long run.
Stop reading this blog
Let’s face it, you’re here reading this post because you’re distracted. You’re at the office right now, but you’re not doing any work.
So stop pretending all this reading is a real attempt at self-improvement and accept it for what it is – a distraction. Close your browser and get back to work.
When you start a new company, you can find useful information on the web, sites such as limitedcompanyhelp.com that allow startups to grow in the right direction from day one.
Shoaib Aslam is the co-founder of Pearl Chartered Accountants, a UK-based chartered accountancy firm that has multiple locations across London. They are experts in helping startups and established businesses with all aspects of growth, strategy, scaling up, accounting and tax planning.