Success in the home office: 1
Welcome to the first of my top tips series on discipline for home workers. With more than a few years of self-employment behind me I’ve learned a lot about how to enjoy all the benefits of home working without giving in to the lure of the sofa, or an extra few hours in bed! If you’ve got anything to add to these tips, I’d love to hear from you.
Plan your day
No matter where you’re working or who you’re working for, you need structure in your working day. When you work for a company, this comes naturally – you have your start and finish times, your lunch breaks (if you’re lucky, these days!) and your boss managing what you do.
When you’re running your own business from home, it is no different. You have the flexibility to set your own hours and work when you like, but you still need to make sure you know what you are going to spend your time on. Being your own boss means doing all the things for yourself a boss would normally do for you – so you need to manage yourself and your own hours. Plus, as a self-employed person, you are usually wearing a lot of hats in your business, so planning is even more important to ensure you can keep all your plates spinning!
Allocate time to spend on these essential areas:
- Client work – the bread and butter of your business.
- Breaks – you need to pace yourself, especially if you’re busy, so use breaks to make sure you keep going throughout a long working day. Healthy snacks keep your energy up.
- Managing your business – this is easily neglected but it’s just as important as working on your clients’ businesses. Set aside time for your bookkeeping, answering emails (a few times a day, rather than being distracted by them as they come in), strategy and business planning.
- Marketing – this includes meeting with potential clients, networking and, these days, I’d recommend carving out some time for your online networking, too. I hear a lot of people say they don’t have time for blogging, Tweeting, and online forums, but online networking is a valuable tool you’d be crazy to miss out on. So treat it as a face-to-face networking event or client meeting, and raise your online profile.
Let me know if you're struggling to effectively plan your day and we can book in a virtual cuppa. Mentoring might be just what you need to help you move forward.