How to Successfully Operate a Home Based Business

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Time and time again, an overwhelmed client of mine will ask me to come in and reorganize their home office. Their filing is in chaos, administration is non-existent and everything is everywhere.  I calmly step into their ‘office’, scope out the mission ( without judgement – obviously) and ask the question, “what do you want to achieve today?”.  Most people will shrug and say something along of the lines of, “well i need it all organized you know – filing and stuff.”

Well guess what? 9 times out of 10 I’ll reorganize an office and I guarantee a week later it will be in the same chaotic disorganization! Why? Because people don’t understand the boundaries that are essential to successfully working from home. Those pesky little procrastinating voices argue with you, it’s easier to work on the couch with your convenient little iPad, Facebook is screaming at you to like all 400 pictures of your best friend’s birthday party. Before you know it it’s 4pm and you’re still in your pj’s, pretty much nothing productive has been completed and the familiar stress and anxiety start to creep in.
On the other hand, maybe you are great at not procrastinating and instead wake up working and go to bed working and low and behold –  you dream that you are working! You go to bed tired, you wake up tired and you walk around all day with an endless cup of coffee and a stress migraine.  No amount of wine or yoga can help you switch off! Sound familiar?
So how can you stay in control of your home based business without your home based business controlling you?
1) Have a completely separate designated work area – be strict with yourself and only work here. No working on the couch, no working in bed. Work stress stays at work. The couch is for relaxing, the bed is for sleeping. There is no room for work in either of those activities.
2) Set your working hours – set a schedule and do not deviate! Get up at the same time every morning. Give yourself only 1 lunch break and stick to either 30 mins or 1 hour. Anything under 30 mins is too short and anything over an hour is too long. Lastly, have an end time and shut down the laptop when it’s home time.
3) Be balanced – exercise releases endorphins that help to cope with stress and make you feel happy, meditate to ground and balance your mind, eat healthy and spend time focusing on family.
4) Be organized – a cluttered desk is a cluttered mind! So have good filing systems. Have a large wall calendar and set out your deadlines, goals and appointments where you can see them. Give yourself 15-30 minutes a day to get yourself organized it will make life a lot easier and keep your stress levels at bay.
5) Goals – without a destination how can you know which direction to go in? Set out daily, weekly and monthly goals in order to make the most of your time. Set out your monthly goals for your business and personal life on the last day of every month. What do you want the new month to bring? Every Sunday, look at what you’ve accomplished and decide on what you’d like to accomplish the following week. Crystallize your weekly goals by thinking every evening, what you’d like to accomplish the following day.
Look at what areas you could improve on in your home based business. Please feel free to share with us any tools you’ve used to improve the smooth running of your home based business. We’d love to hear from you!
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4 responses »

  1. Great advice. I need to get better at doing these things although I do try to exercise at least 3 times a week and work at keeping my home office organized. It’s not always easy, so thanks for the well written reminder.

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