Updated: Mar 8, 2020
Time - if only we had more of it! When you are running your own business and working from home it can be so deflating to get to the end of your working day and find you have hardly ticked off anything from your To Do list. In fact, the task list may even be longer.
I’ve struggled with this in the past, but many of those times when my To Do list was still long at the end of the day I had actually accomplished plenty - it’s just that the jobs I had completed were never on my list! By keeping a Time Audit you can clearly see where you spend your time and it helps you to focus on the task at hand.
I can’t promise to find you an extra hour in your working day, but I can offer some tips that can help you stay focused and on track when it comes to hitting your daily goals.
We are creatures of habit, especially at the start of the day. Have your routine and stick to it - even if something has prevented you from starting work at your regular time. Sit down at your desk with your laptop, a hot drink, a pint of water, your phone, phone charger, headphones, mouse, pen and notebook. Have everything you need before you log in?
Morning Rituals - coffee, news, diary, inbox!
Set a timer
You can’t be expected to work nonstop for the whole day - it’s counterproductive and isn’t good for your wellbeing. 50 minutes is plenty of time to be sat in front of a screen. Set your timer and after 50 mins stand up, stretch, grab yourself another glass of water and walk around the house.
On top of your inbox
Block out 15-30 minutes each morning to check your email, catch up on the industry news and reply to any urgent messages. Do this everyday and you won’t get to the end of the week to discover you are frantically moving emails into folders or replying to invites at the last minute. Starting the day knowing your inbox is up to date allows you to focus on your plan for the day and you won’t be trying to remember who you need to get back to.
Make time for lunch! It’s too easy to work through, but you will be far more productive if you take the time to walk away from your desk, enjoy eating something that you have made and have a break from your work. Take a walk in the fresh air or try a bit of exercise outside if you can. You’ll be rewarded with a clear head when you sit back down at your desk afterwards.
Make time for a proper lunch
When you start your day make a note of the time you’re going to finish. It’s really important to set a time you are going to walk away from your office space, otherwise working from home can become relentless. As a business owner you will always find another job to do - so ensure that you don’t let the enthusiasm for your business to succeed impact on the balance of home life.
Keep on top of your follow ups!
Batch up all your follow up calls/emails/chasing and tackle it in one go. If you have your own CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system you can set yourself a reminder to do this, along with a list of everyone you need to get back in touch with. It means no one falls through the gaps and you continue to nurture and build those customer relationships.
Closing up shop
Before you clock off set aside 15 minutes to look at what you’ve got coming up tomorrow, also remind yourself what’s in the calendar for the whole week. Have a clear idea of what your task list is for tomorrow and think about what you have accomplished today. Take the wins! And if life got in the way and there were some unexpected interruptions or some urgent matters that needed addressing ensure you take the credit for dealing with those curve balls.
Have a clear idea of what your task list is for tomorrow.
Keep a clean line between work and play
When you finish up for the day close down all your tabs and turn your laptop off - there is nothing worse than opening a ‘sleeping’ laptop the next morning to find 20 plus tabs open from the day before. You are done for the day, now go and enjoy some family time.
Finally, it really helps if you can account for where you have spent the time in your working day. Download my Time Audit to help you understand where you are spending your hours and what you have achieved in a day. Sometimes when the day has flown by and you haven’t ticked off much on your To Do list it can be really disheartening, however, you have probably forgotten all the extra jobs you completed that weren’t even listed! This Time Audit enables you to stay focused and record the tasks you’ve completed.
If you are struggling to find enough hours in the day to work IN your business and ON your business you may benefit from some additional support. I offer a virtual business support service where I can take on some of your responsibilities and tasks, enabling you to focus on the growth of your business. Please drop me an email to arrange a chat, I would love to have a conversation with you about being part of your growth plan.