Our most creative time is in the morning they say. We can also retain information best at this time. If we have gotten enough sleep, then we have the most energy for the day when we wake up. One of the biggest selling points for a home business is that we can control our time.
We can work when we want to and stop when we want to, etc. If possible we should get things done early when we are thinking clearer. Don’t get in the habit of putting things off. If we do, they will seem as if they are low-priority, and we will possibly begin to just exclude them from our daily business tasks.
Being your own boss and not being accountable to anyone but yourself, it can be easy to just ignore things we need to do. You are accountable to your customers, peers and prospects if you want to have a profitable business. It is too easy to tell yourself to put something off until later and then either forget it or do a poor job because you are tired and need to rush because you have waited until the last minute. A very bad idea.
Having a business needs to be taken seriously if we want to be successful. It has to be one of your top priorities whether you work at home full or part-time. We have flexibility as part of the beauty of working from home. If there is something special you need to do, you can always juggle things around so you can get everything done that is required.
There is great diversity among people. There are some that work better at night. They should do whatever works for them. With a home business, things are not rigidly controlled by hours such as 9 to 5, where we have 8-hours to do your job or be late (bad form). If you get behind it will begin to ‘catch up with you’ and your job performance ranking will begin to degenerate whether it is an outside job or your own business where you work from home.
Look at the clock as 24-hours. Realize you have much more time to do everything you need to do each day. So you are free when you work from home to work a few hours here and there. Just so you get it all done timely most of the time.
Every waking hour shouldn’t be spent glued to your computer. There has to be moderation – a balance in everything. Enough work, enough rest, enough play and enough money. If we can achieve this balance, we are doing great!
If you are really serious about wanting a successful home business, you should start right out being organized. This involves having lists that include tasks and clearly outlined target goals you need to accomplish.
A few tips about making ‘to do lists’: Do not try to put a whole year of tasks on one list. You should ideally have at least three lists – one for now
(today or this week for example), one for near future (the month) and one for distant future (6-months to a year for instance).
One reason for this is so that you are not trying to be organized using a list that looks like a complete snarled (scribbled) mess. Every time you cross something out because it has been done* or been cancelled, it gets harder and harder to navigate. Remember you don’t want your lists to become another obstacle. Lists are to help you, not hinder you further by becoming tedious.
Another tip about lists is that you should be realistic. Don’t put something on the ‘now’ list unless you are absolutely sure you will do it today or this week. When you don’t get to it, cross it off and move it to the next list = whether it will be part of the newest ‘today’ list you will create or pushed out to ‘near future’.
A point about not doing what you projected or planned, is that it can get discouraging when you don’t accomplish what you intended. No just once or twice (stuff does happen), but as a rule. If you often do not meet your deadlines, it would be a good idea for you to analyze what is happening to keep you from your target goals.
If you are really sophisticated you might want to look into Gantt Charts. It is really fun if you like to plan in detail. It has charts that show the beginning of a project and what needs to be in place at that time. Then as you go along it lists the dependencies. For example, can’t use the swimming pool until it is filled with water. It outlines how much time and what resources are necessary to accomplish each step of your plan so you can be ready for the next step.
Remember the tighter your plan and the closer you stay to the target, the better the outcome for your business. If you are a born procrastinator, you may find that just having the plan will encourage you to accomplish your target goals pretty much on time.
You would be surprised to learn as groggy as it may feel, that you are your most creative when you first wake up. Maybe it is just because of maximum velocity; or maybe stressful situations have not arisen yet so you are better able to focus on what needs to be done.
Whatever you use that extra hour for – to accomplish anything you know you need to do today
– get it over with. Getting up earlier will also cause you to be tired earlier and you may start to fall asleep sooner. Many people have trouble sleeping and the sooner you start to try to fall asleep the better. It doesn’t take that much effort when you are really tired.
Sometimes you need to actually train yourself to fall asleep – you can practice with naps which are really good for you, especially if you do not sleep well during the night. If you can’t fall asleep keep your eyes shut, stretch out in a comfortable position and keep trying. On the other hand if you can’t fall asleep in an hour then get up and do something away from your bedroom so that your mind does not associate not being able to sleep with that area. Then go back and try again.
If you don’t have something you think you need to do in that extra hour that is business related then how about using it for some exercise? This will energize your day for sure if you start out with something healthy. Although the gym or gadgets will do, frankly something that involves fresh air is best if possible. It can change from day-to-day as long as you use the hour for something productive.
Particularly if you have a very busy schedule with a day job, a family, a home based business etc., any extra time you can squeeze in will not only make you more creative and productive, but will eventually make you feel a sense of peace and well-being because you are no longer rushing or feel like your life is just too tedious.
If you are fortunate enough to work from home either part or full time, you have a lot more time on your hands than you may realize. When you work outside the home the usual time span for work is 8-hours. You may also include an hour for commute time and another for lunch.
So you have this small window where you need to get everything done or you start to fall behind or are not meeting deadlines. This creates a special stress that is in addition to all the other time constraints you have to meet. However when you work at home
it is not as limited.
You actually have 24-hours in a day and right off the top you can see where that is 3 times as much time as you have to get things done if you have a job. It is not only that you can take advantage of all the hours in a day, but you can use those hours in any way you feel most comfortable.
For example, if on Monday you want to go shopping and out to lunch, you can do your work when you get back. Then on Tuesday you want to dig in and get your work done first thing. So you work for 4-hours and then get ready to head out to the gym. When you get back maybe you do some more work or not.
The point is you can both meet deadlines and be flexible. You can be comfortable. This type of environment is what stimulates creativity and productivity. If you enjoy what you are doing, it makes life so much more fun. Of course if you have a family you can probably see where you would have more time to spend with them.
If you sit down right now and make a tentative schedule for the next week, you will see all the free time you have to fill in with both work and play, You may remember the song from the 60’s where they say ‘relax and float downstream’. You can do that!
Procrastination really is something that people should try to avoid. However it seems like a given with many people. They seem incapable of sticking to a schedule or in doing things in a timely way. It is so pervasive that it appears they need the pressure of always being late or behind in order to do the task at all.
There are some things that may not be obvious that we can get away with up to a certain degree. It is only when there are actual deadlines that it becomes apparent to our customers and peers that we are disorganized to the point where we are rude and you may wonder why you are doing business
with this person.
Obviously this is not something you want people to remember about your service. However if it is something that you do as a rule and not an exception, you can bet you are building a bad reputation. If you want to stick to your sloppy ways, then don’t mind when people choose your competitors instead of you when it Is time to make a choice.
It is not just a matter of being on time so that you don’t inconvenience others when you ignore deadlines, but also the fact that after a while people begin to wonder how anything you do can be trusted. If you are organized and efficient yourself then it is much more important to you when you are repeatedly disappointed by dubious procedure. You realize that having a clear mind is important and comes from being organized rather than always in a state of chaos.
It may be the case with certain personality types that they can be brilliant and creative, yet as far as business goes, slobs. Maybe with real artists they can get away with a certain level of being ‘untogether’.
Another good excuse would be if the product was particularly brilliant. People would be more willing to put up with some level of inefficiency in order to get the product regardless. However you never know when the person will cross over to being insulted enough to just walk away.
Whenever possible try to have advanced notice of something that you need to do to keep your business running smoothly, and then go for it. You never know what may happen between now and the deadline for this issue. It could be anything – lots of little things or some that will be time consuming and may prevent you from being on time.
If you can handle doing things ahead of time even in increments, you will be ahead of the game whether or not anything out of the ordinary happens to delay you. Best case you can sit and feel prepared and on top of things. You may at this point even be able to identify something you could have done better – and even do it that way either this time or next time.
The point is there are things that do need to be done all the time with a home business. It may not be as apparent but you know what they are. Putting things off is a terrible idea for many reasons including deadlines and becoming overwhelmed when too many things stack up.
Making lists is of course very useful in staying organized – however you don’t want to have too many of these going on either. Lists may be critical but they are only instrumental in assisting you to keep track of what you need to do. They do not actually do anything to influence your bottom line.
When it comes to keeping lists it is helpful to have a few that reflect different time periods. You want to be able to see your target goals clearly. Mixing up what you need by this Wednesday is hardly relevant to what you need next month except maybe indirectly. The point though is you end up with a big scribbled mess that could hardly help you feel organized.
You should have at least 3-lists. One that reflects what you need to do in the short-term – today or this week. Another that has mid-range goals as may be necessary within 30-days. Then you can have a ‘master plan’ that reflects your long-range plans and might cover 6-months to a year so that you will remember what your long-term target goals are.
It is not just a new business where you have to take special care to plan and schedule your duties but it is an ongoing affair. However you will naturally begin to remember things on your own after a while. However it is still a good idea to have simple schedules and lists as things do come up that interfere with the usual flow.
Another thing that is pretty important is getting things done early if possible and out of the way. That way if something unexpected comes up you are not rushing around and trying to squeeze things into a small time period. It is only natural that in this situation things can be overlooked and that can range from being late all the way to completely forgetting something for an extended period.
Either way it can result in serious consequences that can involve paying fines, cancellations being reversed, and etc. It is just a real good feeling to know you are on top of things and have everything taken care of before you venture out in your day. No trying to remember if you did everything you needed to or worrying about the need to check it out as soon as you can.
Your lists and schedules don’t have to get cumbersome and become another task you need to worry about all the time. Maybe just one day a week take an hour and try to map out what is usual and what may be different for that week. Keep the list organized and neat and have a special place where you might keep notes or questions for issues that you need to address.
You can still run your business the sloppy way and just do whatever whenever if that is your style – there are different strokes for different folks but if you would at least try it the ‘right’ way you might find that you start enjoying your business more and actually accomplishing more!
It may not seem to you that you need a real schedule – and to some it may even be repugnant to live in rigidity. More than likely the majority of people who start home businesses do so, for one reason to be on their own and to do things how and when they want to.
While any part of the above said may or may not be true to some extent, there is a definite need for at least some level of organization. There are important issues that do have time constraints and it can cause you a lot of trouble if they are missed.
Most critical are things like your domain registration being updated BEFORE it actually expires. Some registrars will start reminding you months ahead and #1 you may start ignoring them because 2-months ahead you don’t need to worry. #2 eMail is so very unreliable (deliverability) due to spam and spam filters and some are blocked completely (lost in space) because the mail service has inferior filter software. Sometimes because people don’t even read the email mixed up in all the spam or they are just disengaged.
Another critical element is your hosting account. It is usually set up on automatic debit but sometimes you may prefer to pay each month or so manually. In any case your website will be deactivated eventually. Unless it is a very long period of time where you have ignored this, the files will still be there and will display again as soon as you catch up on your fees. If they have really terminated your account you will have to rebuild the site.
Then there are things of lesser consequence that range from optional duties like checking your affiliate programs for commissions or to see what new information may be posted there that you didn’t receive through email. If you are using your blog like you really should be, then you may want to remind yourself to ‘blog today’ (as frequently as possible but no more than once a day is effective).
Of course if you have any automatic services that should be advertising you might want to check they really are, as well as be sure you are paid up so that you have some kind of list building or advertising going on at all times.
Lists are much easier to deal with if you have 3 formats – short term (today), mid-range (this week or month), and long-range (future goals or projects). This makes it much easier to deal with a big scratched out mess. Do no put anything on short term that you absolutely are not positive you will accomplish today. If necessary move it to tomorrow.