If you have ever dreamed of becoming your own boss, but you don’t know what to do or where to start, Steve Voudouris can help. In 2009, he was chosen as the SBA’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year after starting his own business at the age of 17. Now, Steve runs AmericanMuscle, one of the largest suppliers of Ford Mustang and Ford F-150 aftermarket performance parts and noted as one of America’s 500 largest retail websites.

Steve enjoys giving back, and AmericanMuscle has raised and donated over $150,000 for nonprofit organizations. In addition, the AmericanMuscle team donated their time and products to rebuild a 2006 Mustang for a terminally ill boy to fulfill his Make-A-Wish dream. Steve also loves to help those who want to start their own businesses. He offers these seven tips to help you succeed as an entrepreneur.

1. Use the Two-Minute Rule

If a task can be done in two minutes, do it as soon as you think of it. Otherwise, it will take you more time to organize and review. Heed the motto “Just get it done.” This will keep you from wasting a lot of time that you could be spending on more important tasks.

2. Minimize Distractions

One of the biggest challenges of working for yourself is resisting distractions. It is very easy to become distracted, and then the work doesn’t get done. The solution? Set aside specific times for checking emails, reading articles, texting friends and clients, and checking social media notifications. Stick to that schedule. Here’s a tip: Try checking emails while you are on the go instead of while you’re working at your desk. Turn off your phone. The fewer distractions you have, the more work you get done.

3. Take Plenty of Notes

Make sure you always have a pen and paper handy, or some other way to jot down notes. We always need to make lists, and we have ideas that we forget about if we don’t write them down right away. Record everything that comes into your mind. You never know when you will need a great idea.

4. Define the Most Important Tasks

Set aside a few minutes each morning or evening to select 3–5 tasks that are important for company-building success and need to be done. Even if nothing else gets done, you will know that you have at least accomplished something by taking care of these things. Knowing what you need to do ahead of time makes it easier to do it.

5. Pick Your Schedule

Everyone has a time of day when they get the most accomplished. Your best time is when you should be doing the majority of your work. The good news is that being an entrepreneur allows you to set your own schedule, so you can tackle projects when you are most comfortable, energetic and focused. Schedule this type of work during your most productive hours, when you know you will get the most accomplished.

6. Use Your Ultradian Rhythms

These are natural body cycles that happen all day, about every 90–120 minutes. Our bodies give us periodic signals to tell us when we are hungry, angry, stressed, etc. Do not fight these cycles, but embrace them. Work in 90-minute blocks, and take a 15-minute break after each block. You will have more energy and be a lot more productive.

7. Stop Multitasking

People think they get more done when they multitask, but the truth is the total opposite. Multitaskers are not giving their full attention to any one task, so nothing is done thoroughly. Work on one task at a time, and you will end up accomplishing much more in the run of a day.

Featured photo credit: Luke Chesser via unsplash.com

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