COVID-19 has us trying to figure out ways to slay the day and outdo ourselves. Especially with memes pressuring us to end this crisis with a newly developed skill, hustle or knowledge simply because we are quarantined. Discounting the fact that prolonged isolation causes different levels of stress, depression, and physical/mental health issues. Even more so for single entrepreneurs or anyone riding out COVID quarantine alone with no expected end date to look forward to.
Some of us started extremely productive and living our best lives during this crisis (social introverts anyone?). While others started with having a real tough time being productive and getting work done from home. The reality is that solitary confinement during a global epidemic is now impacting even those that started on a positive note. Our reality now consists of working from home, social distancing, and wearing protective masks for an undetermined length of time. Many believed this would be a short-term thing, like a quick fling, so they didn’t really bother investing time or energy into implementing an effective work from home environment or process.
Keeping busy, being productive, and gaining a sense of accomplishment will be key to fighting the COVID-19 quarantine blues/meltdowns. With that in mind, I created this list on how to slay the day as a single entrepreneur. All to help you stay focused, connected, and accountable to yourself and your business.
Setup a Structure
It’s crucial not to underestimate the importance of setting up your environment to make sure you’re ready to establish a productive routine when working from home. Start with basics to slay the day:
1. Create a comfortable spot
- In New York City space is limited so you have to work with what you got. Find a corner, even if it’s just on your sofa and organize all your things required to get work done in that one area. Basically, create a makeshift desk.
- Create a distraction-free zone If you work for an employer, don’t be afraid to ask for what you need to set up your space (ergonomic chair, back support, etc)
2. Establish separate communication channels
Separating your personal and professional communication channels will not only help you avoid interruptions, but it will also give you a better chance at creating a “work/life balance”
- Phone line – I use Google voice to keep business calls separate
- Collaborative messaging platforms – Slack is my favorite but I have clients using Whatsapp, Asana or Trello
3. Identify your most productive hours
- Manage your energy, not your time (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual). Allocate your time properly according to your energy levels
- Peak energy – important things that require you feeling alert
- Mid-level energy – anything that requires some thinking but is not as important
- Low-level energy tasks – any work that can be done robotically with limited thinking
- Figure out your obstacles to time management (poor planning, distractions, procrastination, not setting priorities multitasking, doing things last minute)
- Recognize your time suckers (social media, email notifications, tv, etc)
4. Create a work schedule you can stick to
Don’t rush into creating an entire routine to slay your day. Be flexible and adaptable to create a schedule that works best for you.
- Be honest with yourself and include the main components – include a morning routine, work hours, breaks, and end of day routine
- Set up to stick to your schedule – breaks and all. I usually set up a 50 / 10-minute workflow which derived from the Pomodoro Technique. This Citrix Podio infographic provides great insight into how you can do the same.
- Be prepared to take sick days when you don’t feel well because you cannot pour from an empty cup.
5. Set boundaries and ground rules
- For yourself and others
- Learn to say no
It’s all about not letting others force you into working longer hours than necessary or deviating you from accomplishing the goals you set for the week.
6. Select your quarantine/bunker buddy
Identify someone who could lessen your isolation during this epidemic so that you can slay your day.
Virtual quarantine buddy
- someone you can connect with frequently just to check in on one another
- an accountability buddy that can help you create a routine and stay on top of your goals
- a person that you know will motivate you to be physically active
In-person bunker down buddy
This one can be a little tougher but worth it if you’re seeking to lessen your loneliness. Benefits include having a partner in crime to cook, workout, Netflix and chill, work on projects with and so much more. You will have to set a few ground rules.
- Make sure you agree on what precautions should be taken when going out to avoid getting each other sick.
- Will you minimize going out?
- Is it ok to meet up with others?
- Will protective gear be a must?
- Determine what expenses you will be sharing.
- Establish boundaries and house rules.
- Communicate goals so that you can identify how each of you can support one another.
Check out part II of this blog post where I discuss your weekend prep and workweek to slay the day as a single entrepreneur.
If you are encountering financial hardship during this COVID epidemic, be sure to check out my list of available funds for small business owners and their employees, as well as, gig workers.
About the Author
Roxana Colorado is an international business strategist and philanthropist. She believes that everyone should be given the opportunity to do something great. Most people want to do big things. But many don’t know where to start.
Through Kandula International, LLC, Roxana leverages her international network and corporate experience to spare purpose-driven entrepreneurs from losing their time, money or sanity during the business development process.
As a philanthropist, Roxana runs a nonprofit, Dare2B, Inc., to equip, inspire, and empower homeless children to survive and thrive. Roxana has successfully created and implemented innovative solutions that consist of a seven (7) step holistic program that drives Dare2B’s mission. Providing homeless children with an opportunity to tap into their potential and become positive influencers in their home. Through this process, children enjoy developing skills important in gaining opportunities for economic growth.
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