Houston, we have a problem!
Yea, hi, hello! I’ve missed you! Really I have. I’m not just saying that. Have you ever been so caught up in the every day that you feel like you somehow got caught up in a tornado only to be dropped thousands of miles from home and you have to find your way back. Without a map. Or food. And wait, did I just miss my friend’s birthday?
[raises hand sheepishly and hopes she’s not alone]
But seriously, life has been super super hectic for me. And then I had a thought. It’s pretty possible that maybe life has been super hectic for you too. And what if I could make that just a little bit easier, for the both of us.
So here’s the plan…
I made a checklist. We are both going to print it out and use it. And then we will be able to breathe because we actually managed to accomplish something and GO US!
Here is what the checklist looks like:
I designed it to be helpful regardless of what type of business you might be running from home. I originally considered assigning time slots to each task and really getting super detailed but there were a couple problems with that. 1, the list needed to be able to be used by a wide variety of business types who all still need to accomplish the same end goal and 2, one of the reasons we choose to work from home is for the flexible schedule. Of course, I think you and I have both figured out by now that this flexible schedule is a bit of a double edged sword. Because really, it is SO easy to get sidetracked when you aren’t being held accountable to anyone but yourself. (In reality, you are also accountable to your customers. And they can fire you by not spending their money with you! So it’s pretty important not to get TOO distracted, right?)
Here is a fabulous tip for you: Did you know that we tend to fill the time we give ourselves? How ever much time it is we allow for a task, that is how much time it takes to get it done. It’s really true. If you give yourself an hour to answer emails, you likely won’t finish until your hour is up, regardless of how many emails you have. Will you be answering emails the entire time? Probably not. It’s more likely that you will get distracted in between those emails because, well, you can. But if you cut that time in half, you will still get all your emails answered. You just might not have found as many funny videos to watch in between there 😉
What am I getting at? Even though we are rocking running our own home businesses, we still have to get serious about getting down to business on a regular basis. It can be super challenging to do if you don’t set some dedicated time aside every day (or however often works for your business… some can set aside time once a week to accomplish their tasks) to get the work done. I have found this is further challenged when family members are not understanding of the fact that you actually do work for a living. The best thing you can do is to set at least a few restrictions.
1. Determine approximately how long it will take you to complete your tasks if you were able to do them with ZERO interruptions.
2. Dedicate that amount of time every day to only work. Whether it is 2 hours or 4, say “I will take ____ hours to get these tasks done!”
3. Choose the hours. This is where the flexible part comes in. You know what you have going on. work your hours in around the family schedule. It’s ok to break the time up if needed (take 2 hours in the morning before the kids wake up, and 2 at night- for example).
4. Let your family know that this is what time you are working today. Write it down. This will reaffirm it for yourself and for the rest of the family. Pin it to the fridge or somewhere else that will be prominent for your family. And if you find that you are needing more hours than what you can seem to get (ie, your spouse works a lot or you are a single parent) call on your friends and outside family for help for a few hours each week.
5. Stick to it. Check off your items as you go and once they are done you will feel AMAZING!
Do you have productivity tips? Share them with us below or on our fan page! We’d love to hear from you!