I am going to give you some genuine reasons why you are not achieving your goals. However – a word of caution at this point – many business owners and freelancers find these make for uncomfortable reading and possibly may find themselves feeling just a little “hot-under-the-collar”.
Why aren’t you getting things done?
Apparently, we were not able to get things done in a better and faster way because instead of looking into the core of the problem, we build defences to justify our errors. We tend to make excuses that would save us from the blame.
Here are some of the reasons why we do not accomplish what we set out to achieve:
- No assigned workspace. Most freelancers consider their own workspace a must-have. It can be messy and time-consuming to be constantly moving work to one place and then to another resulting in frustration. This is more evident when hot desking and remote working is in play for the employed. This also has an effect of forming a routine. Human beings are habitual creatures. If you have established good work habits, they will serve you well. Having no work routine can slow you down. Face each day as if you are “going out to the office” even if in reality, you are only going into the spare room.
- Lack of focus. Do you suffer from a lack of focus – if you find yourself flitting around from one task to the next without achieving anything you may indeed be lacking in focus. Develop a good, sound work-plan then follow it. At times interruptions are no good – if they are caused by demanding clients, learn to say “no” once in a while. Taking time to rediscover your rhythm and therefore productivity is difficult. I find that social media can be a real de-focusing tool. It is possible to lose your entire day on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Thanks to social media, we have more opportunities to be social and distracted than ever before. If you are guilty of this, perhaps it is a good idea to invest in some blocking software.
- Lack of the right equipment. Perhaps you are missing a crucial software or hardware tool that you need. Tools that can drastically improve workflows include Google Apps, Google Docs and of course Skylight.
- No clear Project scope. Do you really know what your client wants you to achieve for them? A surprising number of freelancers do not have a clear scope for their project needs. Solution is to simply ask!
- Illness. If you have been neglecting your health to get those extra hours, fatigue might be in play here. Nobody does their best work when they are sick. If you do not feel well, focus on your health issues so that you can get your work done. Take time to get well – then forge ahead again. Tiredness. Burning the candle at both ends can seem a great way to find more time in your day; however, sleep deprivation actually slows you down and can even make you ill.
- You just do not like what you are doing. Disliked tasks can become elephants in the room and although they may not be difficult, take on lives on their own in the fevered imagination of freelancers. Tackle things immediately when they come in – it is guaranteed they will not become any easier and will not mature well like a good wine.
- Overbooked and overwhelmed. It is not a good idea to take on more work than you can realistically handle – learn to say no occasionally when you realize that your workload is becoming stressful.
- Unhealthy attitude. Do you find yourself angry with your clients or your situation? A bad attitude can affect the way you do your work even at sub-conscious level effects with your client dealings. As your business grows so does your network, past clients or colleagues asking for “just a little favor” – turn what, on the surface look like minor tasks into major headaches with little or no reward. Again, learning to say “no” is not easy but sometimes essential for your own well-being.
- Depression and stress. Do you struggle to motivate yourself every single day? Do you find more and more reasons to simply stay in bed? Do you lack enthusiasm for tasks you used to love? If this has been going on for some time, depression may be the culprit. You may need to seek some professional help. Stress can turn a pleasant day into a nightmare. It stops you thinking logically and panic can set in. It can even, left to its own devices, lead down the road to depression. Take time out sometimes – even a half hour walk in the fresh air may do the trick.
- Your own boss. Some freelancers and entrepreneurs find that not being accountable to anyone but themselves is a real struggle. As a freelancer, you are primarily responsible to yourself for getting your work done – be a firm employer.
- No Milestones and goals. Without goals, you may not get anywhere – goal-setting is an excellent way to improve yourself and your freelancing business. You can use Skylight’s Project Milestones and tasks to break larger goals in to tangible chunks.
- You are just not taking on the right work. It is one of the reasons we choose to work as we do; freedom to select the work we do. However, we can be guilty of choosing projects not best suited to our skills – be careful when selecting projects. If you are as precious about the quality of project delivered as I am than taking on the right project can make that much difference in getting it done right.
- Lack of passion and drive. We are creative and so to obtain the most productivity, creativity has a large part to play in our work. Like a lover, business owners and freelancers needs passion to keep the fire and flare alive. Losing passion can cause a dip in productivity when a project becomes simply a chore instead of a love.
- Procrastination. It should come as no surprise that putting things off can keep you from being productive.
- Multi-tasking. We are constantly bombarded with cliche’s like multi-tasking. As freelancers and business owners, we can become stuck in the mind-set that multi-tasking is a good thing. Research however has shown that far from being good, multi-tasking can actually harm productivity. Focus on what needs to be done and when and stick to your plans.
- Not asking for help. DIY – freelancers are martyrs to it. “Do-it-yourselves” seems to become a mantra and instead of seeking help when required, we actively avoid it. Sometimes however, climbing down from our self-imposed pedestal and asking for the occasional helping-hand is the best and quickest way to get things done and again, can reduce unnecessary stress and worry.
- Effective Time management. A common problem faced by many business owners. There is always more to do than there is time in a working day. Split your work down in to manageable chunks. If you are behind than reflect this on your schedule. There are many time management options available in Skylight. Prioritize your tasks so that you tackle the most important ones first and do not be tempted to back-track. Full-time business management and part-time freelancing can be difficult if you do not set aside scheduled time for work. The idea behind highlighting all the various aspects that I think might hinder your progress is to reduce time spent on each individual task and in essence reduce the time you spend on each project!
For the last point, you would ask why? Well, the reasoning is that the more tasks you complete means the more projects will be done, and the faster you can close the project, the more revenue you’ll generate. Hence, we can easily say that closing more jobs or projects effectively and easily is what is going to bring in more cash.
Yes, I know it is difficult especially if you have type A personality who thrives more on perfection in every project, this is only possible when you spend more time on the project, however, time is money.
As a freelancer or a business owners, your monthly income is reliant on how many projects you can successfully close. Essentially this means, more time for yourself or your family and friends; even so, you have more time to learn new skills or improve the old ones.
For business owners it’s about having time to market and network, and also spending leisure time with friends and family
Over all if you think I have missed something please, feel free to leave a comment.