How to survive and thrive in Self-employment

The job market always undergoes a lot of changes overtime. One moment it happens that jobs are easy to find and then the next moment they are very few jobs to go round.

The answer for many people has been to create their own work, becoming self-employed. Congratulations if you chose to be self-employed. It is no easy feat. To help you optimize productivity as a self-employed person here are some tips

Follow Strict Hours

The thing about being your own boss is that there is no one to check if you are in your office or at your work station at the correct time. Therefore it is imperative that you establish a routine and stick to it.

Pick any hour that suits you to start your work. Be it Midnight, early morning or midday. Pick a start time and start working. Do the same for your social media interactions. Pick a time when you will respond to messages, comment on pages, and upload new stock.

Do note, making a schedule while you are alone is easy but, if you have a spouse, children or a parent or parents you live with make sure that they know what your schedule is. And make sure that you are available and do not neglect your spouse, children or parents.

Make sure your schedule does not clash with any other activities in the home.

Have an Office Space

If you can afford to rent a work space outside your home then rent one. If not, claim an area in or outside the home that will be your dedicated work space. You may just need a desk and a computer and Wi-Fi or a whole room to store tools. Either way, agree with the family that this will be your space. And they must respect it as such.

Working from home means that there will be a lot of distractions like neighbours walking in, children demanding attention or you taking too long a coffee break. So do establish boundaries on interaction times.

Get Organised

Make a to do list and follow it and at the end of each day, go over the list. If you have some items left over, make sure to start with those items the next day.

Place items in neat and tidy order so that you do not spend half the time looking for things. Also, update any programs or platforms that you use regularly.

Tidy up when you leave so that when you come back the next day you are not confronted by mess. Or clean as you go so that you do not spend time each start of the day tidying up.

Look After Yourself

Eat regular meals. Try not to eat where you work. Make an effort to sit down away from the work space and eat your meals without being surrounded by your work.

Get out and away from the work space and take a walk. Regular exercise and fresh air will help your mental and physical health.

Listen to your body. If you are feeling tired and listless. Take a step back and rest. If you are feeling ill, do go and see a medical professional. Do not self-diagnose and self-prescribe. Make an effort to get the right health checks. You may be self-employed but you are not a medical professional. Even if you are, try and get a second opinion. Your health is very important and you will never be able to accomplish anything if you are ill.

Last but not least, make an effort to keep in touch with people because being self-employed can get very lonely. As soon as you start feeling isolated put the tools down and go out and be with other people. Even if you have to video chat, do so. Talk with friends, family or other self-employed people even if it is just to boost each other’s morale.


A Zambian site sharing quick read articles around work, money and adulting life with selective interviews and quotes.
The founder, editor and lead writer who left university with a good grasp of public administration, economics, money, banking and international relations is also qualified in journalism and creative writing. She has been published in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine and has been featured in several local and international publications.
An avid bird watcher with an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( a Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list ) she often tweets in poetry and short prose @kwachalelo