By Roxie Shaw
University can be an expensive experience. As education funding doesn't always cover all living expenses, many students take on part-time jobs. If this is you, then perhaps you are considering Entrepreneurship as an alternative to the less attractive student jobs market.
Or if you’re a final year student dreading the post-graduation job rush, then you might be considering branching out on your own full-time in the near future.
If you believe that working for yourself would suit you, then you want to go into this armed with the ability to be as productive as possible. In every new venture, the first couple of years are the toughest. It takes a lot of time and energy to carve out your place in the market. So productivity will be key to your success.
Here are some smart hacks to help you focus when you are busy with business and study.
Hack Your Focus
Whether you're working on campus or trying to concentrate in a noisy student house, music is a popular choice to block out distractions. But did you know the music you choose can be distracting too?
According to Study International, music with lyrics divides your attention. This can happen on a subconscious level, so you may not be aware. But having lyrics in your headphones is similar to having somebody chattering in your ear. It takes up bandwidth in your brain, damaging your focus and slowing your productivity.
Instead, many Entrepreneurs opt for binaural beats. There are no lyrics, and the frequencies in these specially designed tracks are said to boost your focus.
Some people find binaural beats too intense, especially for long periods of time. So you might want to download some gentler instrumental only tracks or nature sounds.
If all else fails, order a bulk pack of earplugs from Amazon. They will help you sleep too.
Hack Your Email List Growth
No matter what type of business or side hustle you choose, one of the first things you want to focus on is growing your email list. New and repeat business from your email subscribers has the greatest return on investment for you.
When your list is engaged you will rarely need to spend budget on advertising, making the cost of acquiring your next sale significantly smaller.
Getting people onto that email list organically saves you a lot of time on social media too. Of course, you will still invite people to join your mailing list through your social media posts. But don’t exclude the in-person opportunities. Being a student on a busy campus gives you a rare opportunity to hack your email list growth.
Give your business cards out everywhere and invite people to join your mailing list. Yes, that might seem a little retro. But consider how much time and budget this will save you on social and advertising. It’s a good hack, and one that many young Entrepreneurs are overlooking right now.
Create your business cards with a free tool likebusinesscards.co, and be creative with what you print on them. For example, give the link to join your mailing list. Then when they join your list send an automated email with a discount code for their first order.
Hack Your Calendar
You have probably heard of time blocking – but are you using it properly?
The art of getting it all done as a busy Entrepreneur and student involves you creating some non-negotiable boundaries. People will always want your time. It’s up to you to make sure you give it within the bounds of what you can reasonably manage. So don’t overwhelm yourself with other people’s requests.
Time blocking is all about having periods of deep work, and ultimately trying to get into that magical flow state, where the work just happens. So block out periods of time for deep work, and during these blocks turn off your notifications. It’s also a good idea to work somewhere that people won’t come looking for you.
Find a quiet spot to set up, and get into building your empire in peace. Keep separate time blocks for your business, your studies, and your personal admin.
It is important not to switch back and forth between tasks as this burns through your mental energy. Stick to one focus at a time, with quality rest time in between.
Hack Your Holidays
Time away from University will give you bigger time blocks to work with. Holidays are the ideal opportunity for getting those bigger projects done, like website building or content batch creation.
Writing a batch of content for your business during your next holiday can save you having to think about it during term time. You could plug that content into a scheduling tool to maintain your social presence over the next term. This will leave you free to focus more on your studies.
The more you can get to grips with focusing and maintaining productivity now, the greater success you will enjoy after your University days are over.
There is a world of opportunity out there. Having some Entrepreneurial experience will stand you head and shoulders above the other graduates, no matter what you choose to do next in life.