By Connie Ragen Green
Ralph wrote in to ask me if I have difficulty in staying focused and organized because I work from home. It’s an excellent question, and one that requires a discussion about the importance of organization, focus, and discipline in your life. This is especially true for entrepreneurs.
It may appear at first glance that people like myself, who work from home or from wherever in the world we happen to be, have a completely unorganized life and business. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you do not have the discipline to run your life like a business, running a business from home will be a disaster. Furthermore, once you accept the notion of a “disciplined life” everything else in your life will fall into place more easily.
When I first started my online business from my spare bedroom at my home in Saugus, I had not a clue as to how to spend my time each day. I had transitioned from working as an employee (I was a classroom teacher for 20 years) to having total and complete autonomy from rules, schedules, and deadlines. I thought this was the best thing in the world at the time, especially the part about not getting up in the morning until I felt like it.
Within two months I realized I was floundering in my attempts to be a successful entrepreneur and decided to make a schedule for myself. It was a simple one that allowed me to begin working at my desk at eight each morning and to end at four. I took 30-minute breaks at 10:00 and 2:00 and had lunch from 12:00 until 1:00. This gave me six full hours to work each day.
My results were excellent with this schedule and I also felt better about the discipline it was giving me. People in my life began respecting the idea that I was actually working at home and could not be interrupted during the day. Also, spending time each morning just thinking about my business gave me the focus and clarity to create the exact business and life I wanted.
Here is what I am recommending:
Spend 10 minutes every day in quiet contemplation, focusing on what you want to achieve
Use a “To-Do” list to calendar out the tasks and activities you need to do
Stick to a schedule every day so you will have the time to work uninterrupted
I spend my ten minutes early each morning, before turning on my computer or doing anything else. It allows me to clear my head and to focus on the work I need to do, and to remember why I am grateful to be working from home. This grounds me in a way that has helped me to achieve results in many areas of my life over the past eight years.
I use a mini legal pad, about five by eight inches, to write down everything that needs to get done each day. I refer to this as a “dynamic” to-do list, because new items are always being added and others completed. When something is finished I simply draw a line through it. If I delegate it to someone else (one of my favorite things to do!) I make an arrow across the page to the name of the person who will be getting it done.
My schedule is not too flexible at this point. I now write from about 7 a.m. until 9 a.m., check email and make calls until 9:30 and work on my latest product or course until around 11:00. Then I am out in the community, volunteering and connecting with others and going to appointments and meetings. My afternoons are quiet because I tend to have lower energy at this time of day, and evenings are for family.
Having clarity and focus in your life is crucial for business success. Organizing your work space and tasks will make everything much easier every day. Maintain a simple schedule and discipline yourself to accomplish everything you set out to do.
Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the Internet since 2006. Her ninth book, “Living the Internet Lifestyle,” was recently released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing and is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2014 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.
Questions? Email Connie at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to put “Home Business Question” in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.