How often have you set out to get work done and then it got completely derailed? Daily? Weekly? Many people that work from home or are entrepreneurs really struggle with this. The great thing about working for yourself is that you have freedom. The worst thing about working for yourself is that you have freedom. Really, there are two sides to this coin.
Unless you put some perimeters around that freedom and manage your time, you can get to the end of the week and not have made any progress. In today’s episode, we’ll discuss a few ways to manage your time to get more things done.
Roughly Sketch Out Your Work Hours
I say roughly here, because I think it’s important that entrepreneurs make space in their schedules to do spontaneous things during the week or take off time to spend with their family. But, it’s important that you come up with somewhat of a schedule for your week. Ideally, you’d have general work hours every week, but some people do best with scheduling themselves a week at a time.
Either way, you need to have an idea of what days and hours you plan to work in a week. If you don’t, then that time can be eaten up by other things that weren’t planned.
Regularly Take Breaks and Clock Out
A difficult thing for entrepreneurs is to take a break or clock out for the day. Part of this is due to the fact that they have a fluid work schedule since they aren’t necessarily clocking in for someone else. But, the other reason for this is that they usually work out of their home or have the ability to carry their work computer home with them.
Do what you can to take breaks during the day. Obviously, you need to reign them in and limit yourself. For example, a lunch break can easily carry on for 2 hours if you’re not watching the clock.
The other thing you need to do is clock out. Maybe this isn’t at 5 pm like an office job, but you need some stopping point each day. Also, you need to have days off in a week. Whether you take the weekends off or some other day, make it a habit to take time off.
Handle Personal Business Outside of Your Work Hours
While it isn’t always possible to handle your personal business outside of your work hours, because a lot of businesses are open during the day only…you should limit as much as you can. That means you should schedule doctor’s appointments around your schedule if possible. Use your lunch hour to make personal calls that need to be handled.
It’s important to note here is that these suggestions are a general rule of thumb. Not necessarily that you have to be super strict. But, you should be sticking with your habits more often than not or it won’t be a habit.
Train Other People to Respect Your Work Schedule
Whether it is clients, friends, or family, you have to teach the people around you to respect your work schedule. Gently tell friends or family that just because you’re home, doesn’t mean you have the time to do things during the day. If it is a client, don’t work for them outside of the office hours you establish with them.
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Until next week, get out there and start breaking the mental chains that are keeping you from producing!