Organization And Running A Business At Home
Let me guess. You work from home. You had everything all lined up before you took the plunge. You had ideas of how you wanted things to go. You bought yourself some new supplies and set yourself up for success. Organization was something you had your mind on and even your colorful sticky notes were sitting perfectly on your desk. A dust-free workspace had your name all over it and was waiting for you each morning to sit comfortably at your computer to work.
You had your mind made up that you would wake early and get ready for the day. Once stretched and on your feet, you were ready for your first cup of coffee. You were able to work, uninterrupted for quite some time. Things went well. You even got in the habit of tidying up your things before you settled down for the evening. You did it… for a few days, week, months, even.
All the sudden, you began to sleep in. You didn’t need to get dressed. No one was stopping by to say hello. That tidy workspace – shambles. Dust bunnies spent more time working at your desk than you did. The television became more appealing and you spent less and less time working. And the guilt! You began to feel so guilty for lounging all day and not accomplishing things you had your mind set on. The dishes and laundry were even beginning to pile up. What happened to the organization? The lack thereof had you ready to throw in the towel. You weren’t meant for this stay-at-home stuff. Or were you?
Blessing Or Curse?
Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to work full-time from home. Whether you’re choosing it for yourself or it’s the only option, it can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s all in perspective. However, something I’ve found is that being organized helps me tremendously while running a business at home. Luckily, being organized is fairly simple for me, but I understand it’s not for everyone. No matter where you fall on the ‘tidiness scale’, I’m confident that these tips will help you stay organized while running your business at home.
10 Tips On Organization & Home Business
10 – Routine
Because life is what it is, every day is different. You know just as well as I do that every day will not be the same. However, it is important to realize that since most of your time will be spent at home, you need to make the most of it. Create a flexible schedule for your day.
Allow yourself some wiggle room as changes happen and things come up you weren’t planning on. That’s ok. You might receive a phone call from a family member. Your dog might run away in an attempt to catch the neighbor’s cat. You accidentally burned your lunch on the stove. Your business partner is panicking and he needs your help ASAP! It’s ok! Just breathe.
9 – Wake Up
Go ahead and giggle! It’s true! You won’t accomplish anything if you stay in bed all day. Check back at the list you made of your schedule. What time is your goal to wake each morning? It might not be 6:00 AM every day, but you should be in the general vicinity. Get your body in the habit of waking up around the same time each morning. Stretch and let your feet hit the floor. Tell yourself it’s going to be a great day and get a move on!
8 – Get Dressed
As much as this sounds cliche, trust me on this one. If you stay in your pajamas all day, it’s true, you’ll be comfortable. I might suggest this is borderline dangerous and could be disastrous for the success of your business. But everyone loves to feel comfortable. I get it! However, there’s something about getting out of those pajamas and into some jeans and a t-shirt that makes you feel a little more outgoing and prepared to work. If you don’t believe me, try it. Commit to getting dressed for 3 days in a row. On day 4, go ahead and stay in your pj’s. Your feeling of being too relaxed might be a detriment to your working attitude for that day.
7 – Make Lists
Making lists is imperative for running a successful business at home. Some of my friends prefer to create a list at the start of each week, detailing the big items they want to accomplish. Others prepare to make a list at the start of each new day. Lately, my preference has been to create a list after the day’s work is complete. I like to go to bed knowing what I might work on the next day. Sometimes, I wake in the middle of the night and a different idea strikes me. I just add it to the list the next morning.
Lists are made to be modified or changed, and ultimately, checked off. There’s really no greater feeling for me than having a long list of tasks and getting to cross them off as I complete them. It’s gratifying and leaves me feeling that I’ve accomplished something great for the success of my business!
6 – Set Timers
This idea of setting timers was never important to me in the beginning stages of starting my business. I have many friends who count on their timers to lead them from one task to the next. I’ve recently taken their advice and am so happy with the results. You see, it’s easy for me to get started on something and not want to move on to the next item of business until I finish what I have started. That’s sometimes created stress for me. I have learned that with timers, I am more focus-driven and want to use that time wisely to complete the task before me. If I don’t finish, then I am able to set it aside and work on it later, with a fresh perspective.
5 – Turn Off Distractions
Everywhere you look in your home, you will notice a distraction. If you haven’t paid attention yet, try to sit in peace and quiet and you’ll see what I mean. You will hear the clock on the wall. The furnace will kick in. The phone rings. The music you wanted playing quietly in the background really isn’t that quiet at all. The washing machine is on its spin cycle.
If you’re like me, you’re easily distracted. Cars driving by or dog walkers steal my attention far too often. Then I find myself day-dreaming. Before long, I’m checking emails or social media. These things have nothing to do with my business and now I’ve lost an hour of my day. Just. Like. That. Turning off your phone – or at least putting it out of reach could save you so much valuable time. Also, I don’t work with the television or the radio. Some do – it’s just not helpful for me, so I don’t.
4 – Designate A Work Space
Choosing to work from your bed is not the best choice if you’re aiming for a productive day. Once you’ve established the fact that your bedroom is for sleeping and relaxing, there’s no need to return to it for work. In fact, you should set aside a place that is designated only for you to work. When you sit in that space, it’s for work. When you leave it, you’re not working.
It doesn’t have to be fancy with a desk in front of a beautiful window inside a designated office. Shoot, in my house, there isn’t even a place for a desk. My workspace has become the dining room table, and I’m perfectly content with it. Find a place that makes you feel comfortable, but not too comfortable. For example, lounging on the sofa all day might feel nice on your back, but how much progress do you think you’ll make if you’re taking little cat-naps throughout the day?
3 – Take Short Breaks
This is another thing I have recently learned is beneficial. I’m generally not one to take a break. One of my weaknesses, as I’ve mentioned earlier, is that when I start something, I feel the need to finish it before moving on. Many times, I would get stuck on a task and time is just wasted. If I would have simply taken a quick break to clear my head, I could have returned and got right back to work with fresh thoughts.
I’m continuing to work on this, but I’m already seeing the benefits. When you start to feel restless or stuck, just get up and take a quick 5-minute break. Throw on a song and have yourself a little dance party. No one’s watching! Get some of your energy back and feel refreshed when you sit back down to work.
2 – Keep Track Of Progress
I have found it extremely helpful to have a list of tasks or goals for the day. As previously mentioned, it gives me so much satisfaction to be able to cross things off after I’ve completed them. I like to celebrate small successes just as much as the big wins in my day.
For example, I might make a deal with myself that if I can write a blog post by noon, I’ll celebrate with one of my favorite coffee drinks. Maybe I’ll have a 10-minute break to call a friend or check on social media. Little rewards are what keep me going throughout my day.
1 – Make It Enjoyable
Work feels like work if it’s not fun. For me, working from home is awesome. I get to spend time working on the business that I’ve created and built from the ground up. I’ve also got a pretty great business partner to share ideas with and that keeps things fun. Obviously, you’re going to want to like what you’re doing. As an entrepreneur, you get to call the shots. You’re the boss, Applesauce! What you say goes! Pick something you have a passion for – and work to make your dreams come alive!
Call It A Day
For me, something that I need to get better about is knowing when to quit for the day. I could literally be working on some part of my business all day long from early morning until late at night. Call it commitment. Call it passion. Call it crazy. I enjoy what I do and so I feel there’s always something I should be doing. After all, if I’m not doing something, I’m not doing anything. I’m a work in progress, but what can I say? I love what I do! I think it’s a real privilege to be able to work from home.
Nah! There are no rules! The thing is, you’re your own boss! Congratulations! It’s really something to be able to say that. Are you treating your business as a business? If so, you’re going to create a successful business and see big results. If you’re treating it as a hobby, then don’t expect business results. The fact is that if you can keep yourself organized, you will successfully be running a business at home – and loving it! Your success is in your hands! You’ve got this! I’m wishing you more success than you know what to do with!
Until Next Time!