The holidays are over, the kids are back to school and now it’s time to get back to work and get focused on your business. Are you ready?
If you haven’t already set yourself up for success, take some time this week and put into place these five habits that will position you for success this year.
Maintain an Organized Work Space
An organized work space will mean more comfort and less stress—a combination that is guaranteed to lead to higher productivity. When you’re organized you spend less time looking for what you need and more time getting things done. Part of organizing the work space means making sure your work space works for you.
An organized work space includes comfortable seating, good lighting, and a work area where you can actually work. You also need a system to store materials and keep track of files and important papers. If you have room for a dedicated office, take advantage of it. If not, consider ways to at least give yourself a work space that doesn’t have to double as the kitchen counter, dining room table or your bed. You work much better, and are more productive when your surrounding are pleasant and you aren’t uncomfortable. Not sure where to begin on this one. Here are some simple suggestions for organizing your home office.
Learn to Prioritize
You can’t cram twenty one-hour tasks into one day and not end up frustrated and burned out. Make a schedule. Prioritize by order of importance and/or deadlines. Some days you’ll find it works better to get the big hairy task out of the way first, and other days it will work better to get all the piddly little tasks cleared off your calendar. Figure out what has to be done first and what can wait until later. And don’t forget to ditch those tasks that don’t have to be done at all.
Can you outsource? If you are in a position to be able to outsource (remember, in every job you need to weigh time v. money and figure out which is more valuable at any given time), outsource the tasks that aren’t the best use of your time and focus your energy on those things that will most quickly and effectively move you toward your goals. Accept that occasionally circumstances beyond your control may make it impossible to do everything on your list on any given day.
Create and Follow a Business Plan
If you’re going to make it to your goals, it helps to have a road map. Your business plan is your road map. Now, before your eyes glaze over and you click away quickly, understand that your business plan does not have to be a formal, fancy boring document. Unless you’re looking for financing for your business, your business plan can be whatever you want it to be.
A good business plan needs to include your goals, an outline of how you plan to accomplish them and your timeline for achieving your goals. It can include your vision board, it can be a bulleted list or it can be journal entries. A successful business plan is the plan that works for the way you run your business. Your business plan should not be a static document, but should be updated as your business grows and your focus changes and refines. Keep your business plan in a place where you can see and refer to it on a regular basis. This road map will help you stay on track as you work toward success this year.
Pace Yourself & Find Your Working Rhythm
Plan some buffer time between tasks. All work and no breaks really do make Joanie a dull girl. Overwork leads to brain fatigue and burnout. Give your brain a chance to rest and start the next task with a fresh attitude. In addition, sitting and working all day is not good for your body. Plan to get up from your work, whatever it is, at least every hour and move. Varying your day between sedentary and active will help you stay healthy and alert. Your body, your brain and your business will all thank you.
Take a break at your slow time of day – a real one, not two minutes to rest your eyes. Twenty minutes will take away a lot of stress and make it easier to keep going. Multiple studies have shown that a 20-minute nap is the ideal rest time to help you recharge without feeling groggy or foggy for the rest of the day.
Along with good nutrition, being well-rested and not working yourself to death is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself healthy and productive. End your work day on time and leave your work behind at the end of the day. Set an end time to your work day and stick to it. Spend 10 or 15 minutes at the end of each work day planning your next work day and tidying up your work space. You will be amazed at how motivating it is to start work each morning with an organized work space.
Build a Network
A network is important both for developing possible contacts for building your business, and for having a support network. First, you need to get out and network to spread the word about your business. While online networking can be great, having local clients with whom you can meet face-to-face can provide you with growth opportunities you may not find as easily online. Local in-person networking can lead to speaking opportunities, workshops, consulting and new connections who can help to extend and grow your influence.
Second, you need a support network. Most entrepreneurs work alone. Many of them work from home and often don’t have a lot of social contact. It helps to have others who understand the challenges and life of an entrepreneur. In addition to providing social support, your network is great for exchanging and evaluating ideas, problem solving, keeping one another accountable and partnering on projects.
Incorporating these five important habits into your routine will not only position you for success this year, but these habits firmly established will position you and your business for success far into the future. If you need help putting any of these into practice, or figuring out how to get your business from where it is now to where you want it to be, let’s talk. I can help you turn your entrepreneurial dreams into goals and accomplishments. Leave a comment below or message me through the “talk to me” link above.