TIB 59: How to balance focus and freedom as a Solopreneur

Written by Arno Jansen

Solopreneurship is amazing. You know that already because you either are on this journey already or are exploring ways to get into it. But it is a challenge to balance focus and freedom.

You’ll get caught in a whirlwind of tasks, managing your business while having a social life, a relationship and maybe even being a parent. It happens to all of us. And guess what, in this post, we’ll look at 3 common challenges and provide a simple action step for each to help you get started to improve your focus.

I’ll also share additional relevant links if you want to dive deeper into a topic to help you improve.

The Challenge: Balancing Autonomy and Focus

Embarking on the path of solopreneurship, brings exciting opportunities. And the immediate benefit is having more control over your time and autonomy.

But, as you start building something of your own, you will bump into some situations that make it hard to stay focussed. Let’s look at 3 common challenges and figure out ways to stay focused at your work while still spending time with your family and loved ones.

1. Feeling super busy and what to do when:

There is a lot to do at all times. Whether you actually keep a to-do list or not, you have a lot on your plate. You can’t always be working and hoping to make bank in the future and then retire.

You have to balance running your own business, spending quality time with your partner and being there for your little ones. That’s my situation at least.

So how to figure out what to do when?

One option is to simply dive in headfirst, switching between work, family, and personal stuff as you go. That might seem like a good idea at first – you have the autonomy to do so after all.

How about a little bit of work here, some family time there, and a dash of relaxation too. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

But I’ve found it to be counterproductive. It sounds like a low-stress way to go about things, but the reality is often anything but.

Your brain becomes a tangled web of responsibilities. You’ll be trying to hold on to all those thoughts, ideas, tasks,and responsibilities.

It is a recipe for overwhelm and anxiety.

Instead**,** tackle this challenge by making a list of all the things you need to do. Then, mark the stuff that is most important. It will be tempting to do the ones that are most fun. Or easiest. But your focus should be on the few things that actually make a different. In your business, your relationships, etc.

Do this regularly and consistently and you’ll have a roadmap to follow. Its a great way to combat overwhelm and anxiety.

If you want to dive deeper:
TIB #14: LEAD work: 3 ways to measure what matters (to you)
TIB #22: Use The ‘Stoic Archer Metaphor’ To Know What To Focus On
TIB #45: How To Prioritize Like A Pro

2. Making a Plan and Sticking to It:

When you are your own boss, you decide when you work and what you work on. Thats true autonomy.

It also means there is nobody telling you what to work on and when it should be done. When you’re not doing client work, priorities and deadlines are often self-imposed and arbitrary.

See why it is so easy to get distracted and waste time?

To make sure you spend your time right, simply make a plan for your day.

It sounds so simple, yet most of the self-employed coaching clients I have, do not do this. Decide when you’ll work and when you’ll take breaks. Then stick to it.

Having a plan will help you stay focused and get more stuff done! In fact, I recommend you make an “Ideal Week Template” and use it to plan your days and weeks.

Create a daily schedule that includes specific time blocks for work, breaks, learning, family time, etc.

Stick to this schedule to the best of your ability to keep your focus on track. If you have created your Ideal Week Template, it will also be very easy to get back on track if you’re forced to deviate from your schedule.

You’ll find the method to creating your ideal days and week in “How to own your time”.

If you want to dive deeper:
TIB #50: Fix Your Focus
TIB #51: How To Own Your Time

3. Mixing Work and Play Too Much:

Since you’re the boss, your work and your free time might mix up. To stay focused, it is important to have a dedicated place where you work.

Your brain is an association machine. So when you sit there, your brain will associate that with work and focus.

Having a dedicated workspace will get you in work-mode with ease. Bonus points if you add a startup and/or wind-down routine too.

When its time to stop working, the ability to step away from the dedicated work space, helps to let go of work.

Choose a dedicated workspace in your home where you’ll work on your business. That can be as simple as a desk in a corner. When you’re there, it’s work time. And when you leave, it’s time to relax and enjoy quality moments with your loved ones.

You won’t have to do all your work there, but building that association with a specific space, makes you switch focus on and off almost at will.

If you want to dive deeper:
TIB #48: What a bicycle wheel teaches us about balance
TIB #33: Looking differently at yourself after watching Disney’s “Inside Out”
TIB #30: What is Mental Wealth and how do you get it?

Building a balanced Solopreneurial Journey:

In your quest for autonomy and self-driven success, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone on this journey. Reach out and connect with fellow solopreneurs who understand the challenges you face. You can find supportive communities online or even within your local area.

Having friends who are on similar journeys can provide valuable insights, motivation, and a sense of accountability.

By embracing these simple strategies, you’ll enhance your focus and productivity as a solopreneur while maintaining a healthy balance between your business, relationships, and family life.

Don’t try to be a flawless machine, your focus will vary, even with these tips. But having these strategies and routines in place, will help you deal with the ups and downs a lot better.

Remember, you have the power and responsibility to navigate your solopreneur journey with finesse. Embrace the autonomy to work how and when you want, while nurturing the relationships that matter most to you.

With determination and focus, you’re well on your way to long-term success.

I’m rooting for you! 🤝

Looking to get more productive, focused, and resilient?

Join my free Focus Finder email course to transform yourself from deeply distracted to fully focused.

    Looking to get more productive, focused, and resilient?

    Join my free Focus Finder course and go from deeply distracted to fully focused.

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