Last week I made some confessions and realizations when it comes to working from home. So how am I working to commit to my goals and get stuff done? Well... here's a few ways:
The Oh My! Handmade Goodness 2013 Planner. Best $15 I ever spent. I bought it at the very beginning of the year and I only wish I'd printed it out as soon as I bought it instead of three weeks later. I'm getting a late start with it a month into the year, but it's very inspiring and I'd recommend it to any entrepreneur who wants to organize their life. Plan ahead!
Setting a schedule. I had that when worked full time... that whole drive, eat breakfast, catch up on correspondence, work, eat, workout thing. I'm getting better at that at home. I have a weekly marker board where I list to dos, that OMHMG binder is helping a crazy amount, and I have permanent things that always stay on the marker board: run 3 x a week, groceries, laundry, blog. Lots of entrepreneurs work whenever they have time. I have to have separation from work and personal tasks, so I stick to a typical 40 hour work week when I can.
Blocking time wasting websites. Yep. I had to break out the parental controls on myself. I've been searching for something for months that works the way I want, and only in the past few weeks did I discover Leechblock. It's a Firefox add on that you can specify timespan, dates, and locks for.
Facebook, Pinterest, Google Reader, and Gmail are my biggest time sucking guilty pleasures. I block all of them from 9am-12:30pm, and again from 1:30pm to 5pm. When Sean gets home I want to spend time with him, so I end up limiting my time to at most 2 hours/day on all of these sites, (including business related correspondence) once during my morning window, and again for an hour at most in the evening.
I got into a habit of "taking breaks" from my work by checking social media sites the past five years working at desk jobs, and I continued to do that while working at home... but no more! It's quite refreshing, and I've definitely realized that it was a completely mindless, time-wasting habit.
Getting up by 7am every day. From 7am-9am I have to fit in working out, showering, getting dressed/ready for the day, eating breakfast, and checking email. I've already been asked a number of times if I just work in my pajamas all day. I do on occasion, but for the most part, I still put on makeup, do my hair, and get dressed... but I always wear slippers. Which probably makes Sean happy, as my shoe purchasing habits have changed quite a bit for this very reason!
Keeping a list of things I have to do online when I have access to social media sites. Especially personal stuff- have to email a friend about her wedding invites? Do it at 1pm. Figuring out weekend lunch plans? Responding to a Facebook comment?... at the noon hour only. Before it was so easy for something to pop into my head, "Oh, I need to do this right now!" and then it snowballs and I realize, a whole hour later, I'm completely off task just wasting time.
I keep a single notebook right next to my computer so I can jot down lists and reminders to myself for later. I've tried a variety of apps for this purpose as well but I always come back to paper- it's just what works best for me.
Setting aside time for specific things. I need to blog each week. I need to sketch and design, get out of the house during the workday, watch tutorials, brainstorm, and teach myself new techniques on my sewing equipment each week. A lot of these things can get overlooked otherwise, and I don't want to fall into a routine that doesn't include such a variety.
If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed I've been taking photos a bit more actively lately. I'm finding that it's a good way to remind myself that I am using my time wisely. I can keep track of all those hours I spend not specifically producing products, but doing the behind the scenes work that leads up to producing products in one way or another. It's a bit of a personal pep talk.
All in all, life is a quite a bit different when I'm not on someone else's clock. And if I do say so myself, I feel like I'm working towards being the best boss I've ever had with these simple tricks to stick to a good routine! What things help you manage your time and work day?