Working from home can seem like a dream until you remember that you still have to do a job, be productive and grow a business. Home is comfortable, has distractions and may find you still in bed at 11 am on a Tuesday watching television if you aren’t careful. Our whole business was created, grown and nurtured from home. There is not one way to make it work and many of us build our businesses around family, in carpool lanes and while cooking dinner. Working from home is the best of both worlds if you can set some guidelines and have self-discipline.
Now more than ever before we find ourselves running our businesses from home. Here are some of my best tips for keeping your motivation and focus while working from home.
#1. Morning Reflections
I find that if I honor the mornings without jumping right into my todo list that I have a different mental energy all day. I do not end or begin my day with my phone in my hand. This allows my last and first thoughts of the day to be slow, intentional and focused. I then get something warm to drink and sit down for devotions and prayer. No matter what your faith, this time of slow in the morning can transform your day.
The next thing I do in the morning is move! I have found that if I do not move in the morning that with three kids, crazy schedules, marriage, business etc. that moving just for me may not happen. I honor this moving because it is good for my heart and head and I may end up sitting a whole bunch for the rest of day.
#3. Morning Re-Cap
My husband, Kelly, retired from his job almost three years ago to come on full time with our business. One of the best things that we have started doing is to sit together for 10 minutes in the morning and go over each of our priorities, what we have on our plates, how we can help each other and what problem areas we are noticing. This small amount of time checking in and connecting keeps us both aware of the big picture and to not feel as if we are going in two different directions. If you do not have another person working at home with you I encourage you to take 10 minutes before you get your day started and focus on your intentions and priorities for the day.
#4. Get Dressed
Get dressed. For real. You will feel like a movie star. This one little thing is really a big thing. You will feel more professional and you are more likely to say yes to connections and opportunities throughout the day. You are also telling yourself subconsciously that you are committed and showing up. Try it and FEEL the difference.
The best part about working from home is that you get to create your own schedule which also means you need to create your own schedule. Create and implement a schedule that works with your lifestyle and honor it!
#6. Limit Distractions
Having 10 tabs open, a phone in your lap, writing an article, and having music going actually doesn’t help you accomplish more. It does just the opposite. I have found that when I need to accomplish a task that by focusing on that one thing and moving on, that I not only get it completed faster but also better. I have also learned that by setting a timer when working on social media I limit the chances of getting off track and falling down the rabbit hole of distractions. This also works when it comes to answering emails and questions on other platforms. If I leave my email open all day I find that I keep checking throughout the day and then answer emails one at a time while doing other things. If I only check my email 3-5 times a day I find that I quickly answer, get out and move on to other business tasks and also provide myself more time for the personal things that I have been neglecting. By limiting distractions I accomplish more in a shorter period of time and leave myself more time for LIFE!
#7. Create Hours
This means knowing and honoring when to call it a day. Working from home can make this really hard if you are not careful. When we were just starting our business I would get an email at 11 pm asking why someone couldn’t get into a course or where their order was and I would race out of bed and want to fix it. My site would clearly state that all emails would be answered within 24 hours but I still felt compelled to resolve it at 11 at night. The heart of our business is our customers and customer service but we also need to guard and honor our lives and family time. If you turn your computer and phone to do not disturb guess what? You won’t be disturbed and all of those lovely emails will be waiting for you the next morning after you reflect, move and get dressed.
This is the one I had to learn the hard way. I am a worker. I love projects and tasks and accomplishments. I also love coffee shops, art museums, taking walks and exploring. In the first year that Kelly and I were working so hard to transition to a one income family I had forgotten how to honor fun. So, we came up with a mandatory “fun day” each week. We would still do our work but do it while going to different coffee shops, trying new restaurants and answering emails while having a cocktail. We needed a new view and to work across from each other because so often we are working in separate areas of the house because of our responsibilities. The coolest thing about working from home is that you don’t always have to work from home!
I am a part of a business mastermind group and we meet in person a few times a year and weekly via Zoom. I highly encourage you to connect with other business owners and not just online. Have an intentional meet up with others that are doing the hard things you are even if you are not running the same kinds of businesses. We need each other and can not do this alone.
Building, growing and nurturing your own creatively made business is the most exciting and exhausting project you may ever take on. It will require you to dig deeper and more authentically than ever before but it also requires rest. Take one day in the whole week and step away. I promise it will all be waiting for you when you get back. Allow yourself to be refreshed and you will also watch new ideas grow like never before. We rest on Sunday but it can be any day of the week based on your family schedule or business model. Make it a mandatory part of your schedule and honor, honor, honor it.
I would love to hear how YOU keep your motivation and focus while working from home. Comment below. If you like this post I would love to have you share it with your friends.
Is your business aligned with how you want your life to look and feel?
Many creative business owners feel trapped and overwhelmed by the business that was supposed to add more freedom to their lives.
You didn’t take the risk of starting a business just to end up in the same place, or worse – moving in the opposite direction of the life you want.
Your business should be a bridge to the life you dream of, not a barrier.
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