For those of you who own businesses or have the ability to do your jobs from home, it can be extremely difficult to know how to a balance your schedules, to know when to start and stop working, when to take breaks and when to schedule your personal time.
The biggest lie we tell ourselves when trying to cram all we have to do into one workday or week is that there just isn't enough time in the day. And though there may not be enough time in the day to do everything you've ever wanted to do in your entire life, there is plenty of time to do all that needs to get done on this day.
All we need to handle the tasks at hand is scheduling and compartmentalization. Before you dive head-first into your work load, separate what needs to be done and put them on your schedule in order of importance or relevance.
There are a few key pointers that will help get you started. I first drafted the Work/Life Balance Sheet for my accountant to assist her in better organizing and planning her days. It contains helpful tips like:
- Create and schedule days and times of operation
- Create and schedule days and times for personal time
- Created and schedule dedicated days for each project or project category
Also included are a few lunchtime, bedtime, and fitness scheduling tips. This quick guide is just a template to help you find your best, most effective work schedule, allowing plenty of time for sleep and personal time. It is based on a five day workweek, leaving you the evenings and weekends for unwinding and tending to personal affairs and asks you to create cathartic rituals like cooking dinner with your friends and/or family every night or fitting in a workout before lunch.
Here is an example of compartmentalization and scheduling:
- Monday: Billing and shipments
- Tuesday: Emails, conference calls, and meetings
- Wednesday: Writing and editing
- Thursday: Studying and research
- Friday: Website and social media updates/queues
The concept of this sort of separating and scheduling of tasks is very simple. Assign a set of jobs for each day and only focus on those. It helps if the tasks you choose are related. For instance, handling billing and studying on the same day would be too much of a leap and leaps tend to create stress. So, as you can see by my five-day example, like tasks are grouped together.
Most people create unnecessary stress simply by not scheduling and compartmentalizing their work, as well as working longer hours than necessary and not resting enough. Proper diet, exercise, and rest are all beneficial to a productive workday. In fact, the most successful people in the world are known to rest frequently during the day and get the recommended eight hours of sleep most nights. Highly effective people understand that when the brain and body are well fed and rested and the min and spirit are in tact, they work at their greatest capacity and yield better results than people who skimp on sleep, never take recess, or don't take optimum care of their physical and emotional health.
Working from home is as much of a skill as working outside the home, if not more. You must learn and practice balance and allow yourself time to tend to your personal affairs and create an inner sanctum. I hope this starter guide helps you create and entrepreneurial routine of your own!