Whether you’re a seasoned business owner or it’s your first try at being a virtual entrepreneur, there are certain habits that will help make working at home a success.
Many virtual entrepreneurs in this Digital day and age know by now the pros and cons of working from home. Despite any obstacles or challenges there might be to overcome, for me, the pros and joys of working from home far outweigh them all. Once having had the privilege to experience the difference, I doubt there are many work-at-home entrepreneurs who would go back to a 9 to 5 grind much less the daily commute.
My husband and I are so cognizant of the luxury we have to be able to work from home. Do we work hard? Yes! Absolutely! And as time goes by we’ve realized that we’ve got to set ourselves up for success when it comes to keeping that healthy balance of work and home life. That healthy balance includes laser focus for productivity, sufficient downtime, time for exercise, proper nutrition and relationships. All these will help to leave you feeling satisfied and fulfilled when you close your day.
No matter how digital the world becomes, for us natural human beings, to make this setup sustainable for the long term, certain habits and routines need to be implemented. Below are just a few habits that we have found
Rituals to skyrocket the success of your day
Head into your day with the confidence and empowerment of a highly accomplished virtual CEO. Setting yourself up to feel this daily starts with your morning ritual. Develop a morning ritual. Do whatever you have to to get your blood circulating, bring in some extra oxygen, and center your mind. It’s self-evident that exercise plays a key factor in our mental and physical state. Give this gift to yourself. Feed your mind with a thought-provoking podcast or audiobook. Meditate. Spend a bit of time visualizing your goals. All these assist in alleviating unnecessary mental clutter. We can’t guarantee the outcome of any day, but by going in prepared, we can navigate the day confidently, knowing, every action will take me closer to my set targets for today.
Get clear on your top daily objectives
Keep it simple. Before you dive into your day, get clear on what you need to take action on. Chose the tasks that will impact the long-term growth of your business, tasks that will affect the company’s bottom line, and tasks you can delegate to make your time more efficient. When you begin work, act on your most challenging task first. That’s making the best use of peak mental energy. Avoid “busy work” like tidying your desk, checking your email or messages. Leave this for the latter part of your day.
Ease and flow
means sometimes stepping away to reset
There’s nothing better than approaching tasks at any point in the day from a state of ease and flow. Keep your eye on the target of those things you set out to accomplish today, meanwhile being flexible enough to roll with interruptions. Over time you will gain the ability to discern when
Focus and flexibility will keep you sane. Without flexibility, I risk the tasks owning me. When that happens, my flow is broken, and I begin to feel my energy wane as now I’m starting to “push against.”
At any point during the day, at the first sign of feeling like you’re swimming upstream, take that as a cue to step away for a reset. Or better yet, be proactive, set a timer every thirty minutes to “check in” with your mind and body. You might be surprised to find yourself slouching in your chair, breathing shallow, or brow-furrowed and hunched over scrutinizing your display.
Even if it’s a reminder to take few deep breaths, drink a glass of water or stand up and do some stretches. Sometimes it might mean a quick jog around the block or a walk in the garden. Stop for a moment, look into a flower, hug your dog, your cat, or cuddle your mouse. A brief pause and shift of focus will work wonders to reset the trajectory towards a successful day’s end.
Be it work or play, I believe life is meant to be enjoyed and if you’re not “enjoying” the day, (yes, obstacles and challenges included) you will need to observe where the balance is lacking.
Respect a closed door
Once you’ve established a designated working area, be it a spare room, a corner of your loft or a section of your living room, maintain those boundaries as if it was an actual office. Whether you have children or not, everyone in the house needs to respect the other’s office space just like you would in a regular office. You’d never barge in on a boardroom meeting (unless you were having a fed-up, hand-in-your-notice kind of day,) so this is no different.
Having those boundaries helps you or your work-from-home partner portray and maintain the professional presentation they need. It also gives them the uninterrupted focus time required to execute tasks and be productive. That said, you might not want to go as far as I have sometimes where I get so focused on my work, the only way my hubby can get through to me is to text me in from his office one floor up. Either way, respect a closed door. Knocking before entering sets everyone up for professional success.
Dress for the job
It's easy to roll out of bed in the morning and flick on your phone or, check messages quickly at your desk. You look up at the clock and holy smokes! It's 5 pm, your legs feel like stumps, and your right foot is sleeping. There you sat 8 am and here you sit 5 pm in jammies with hair tousled. You feel kinda icky and discombobulated, off-centre, and your head is thick. Self-explanatory of why we want to avoid making this a habit.
As tempting as it might be to check messages or newsfeeds first thing in the morning while sitting in your boxers on the edge of your chair, use your self-control to take two min for this one thing first: Dress for the job. Believe it or not, it will make you feel more confident and successful overall. Take time to get to establish morning routines that set you up in a way where the day or tasks (or newsfeeds) don't own you.
Set hours and stick to them.
Guilty as charged. One of the cons of working from home is that you don’t get to leave your location of work. It is very tempting to keep on working long after “the stop time” a healthy balance would require. As a work-from-home entrepreneur, it’s vital to set apart hours for work and play/rest. Set a time to turn work off. Now, this doesn’t mean there won’t be days when you need to put in an extra long day but don’t let these become the norm. Stick to the hours you set because if you don’t, chances are your productivity will begin to diminish and you risk losing that passion fire for your work. Resentment can set in or worse yet, you’ll burn out.
Ask or observe any successful entrepreneur and they will reveal just how much downtime positively impacts productivity. When we take enough time to rest and rejuvenate, productivity and creativity will skyrocket exponentially during the hours you do spend working.
Nutrition to fuel your body for the day
As a full-time entrepreneur, the days of me spending hours in the kitchen cooking up feasts for my family are a thing of the past. That said, I make a determined effort not to skimp on the quality of our nutritional needs. There is an endless variety of quick and nutritious meals we can make to sustain us throughout the day. Given society’s largely sedentary lifestyle these days, the days of 3-course lunches and 5-course dinners are long gone. Instead, I like to prepare quick and healthy power snacks/lunches/dinners that sustain but don’t
Keeping meals and nutrition simple doesn’t mean you can’t eat quality or variety. Our bodies are wise machines, that, if we learn to listen, will guide us to the nutrition it needs. Spend time daily learning to listen to your body and you’ll know intuitively what to eat to sustain it. You’ll be amazed how it works with you and the lifestyle you’ve chosen!
Thanks for stopping by today. Stay tuned for more tips and ideas!
What about you, do you have certain proven habits or routines that make your work-from-home life easier? We’d love to hear about them! Please comment and share.