Man oh man… since I moved back in February life has been a whirlwind of one thing after the other. Because of this, my home based business has suffered. My office is still not completely setup the way that I want it to be, some of my stuff is still in boxes in the basement (and in need of a purge!), and I'm not nearly as organized as I should be. I'll be honest, it's been very hard to focus on blogging, etc. when family tragedy, my day job, my kid's activities, and home decorating are all on my mind from day-to-day. And it's summer in Chicago, which means things are busy anyway. Things are still not where they need to be, but I need to get back on track.
Many people are interested in becoming their own boss because of the many benefits associated with the process. You don't have to report to anyone but yourself. You don't have to sit through pointless meetings. You don't have to fight through traffic to get to your office each day. However, it is important to keep yourself focused and on track when you are working from home. There are a lot of distractions that can get in the way of your success if you are not careful. To help your business grow, the following five tips are crucial.
Getting organized can mean many things. It can mean cleaning up your office, sorting papers, shredding junk mail, or updating your calendar to reflect all of the things that you have to do. Or… it can mean all of that! One of the best purchases you can make is an organizer. Make sure this item is with you at all times. It doesn't have to be fancy, but it does need to be able to hold a lot of information so you can keep yourself focused. Even a notebook will do. I keep one in my bag to take notes when things come to mind.
Once you have your organizer, take some time to figure out what you want from your home business. The sky is the limit, and you are in charge. It is important to have goals so that you can figure out if your business is progressing the way you want. Make a list of both short and long term goals. They will keep you focused on your success.
Structure Family Time
Because you are working from home, your professional life and your personal life are going to overlap a little. You can't let the rest of the household dictate your schedule. Set firm guidelines for what you can and can't do during the day. Stick to those guidelines so that you can be productive. It is SO easy to get caught up in working all day and night when your office is right there. And vice versa… it is very easy to sit in your office and remember all of the things that you need to do around the house. Try to set a time for each. Of course this can be adjusted as important deadlines come up. But, it's important not to neglect the rest of the family by hiding in your office 20 hours a day.
Have A Daily Schedule
One of the best parts of running your own business is that you no longer have a boss. You also don't have to keep traditional work hours. However, to be productive, you need a daily schedule that works for you. Figure out when your day begins and when it ends. Have a general outline of what you want to accomplish during those hours; for example, you may start the day by making phone calls to potential clients or scheduling your social media postings for the week. You also might find that you need to break up your day to get some work done in the morning and the rest done after the kids are in bed.
You may find, especially in the beginning, that you are putting in a lot of hours to make your business a success. Make sure you make time for yourself as well. Take advantage of the fact that you are your own boss; if you want to head out for a long lunch, do it. Schedules and routines are important and need to be put into place. But, you can reward yourself every once in a while for a job well done. You don't want to wear yourself out. I'm doing this very soon, by taking a much needed vacation!
What are your best tips for staying organized in your home business?