Working from Home - The Rules!

By
Jo Garden

So you are now working from home.  Whether you approached this with joy or horror, the time thief of procrastination will worm its way into your daily life unless you armour yourself against it.

I have run several businesses over the last 30 years.  Many times I have missed opportunities and sales due to procrastination dulling my drive and enthusiasm. Here are some steps to help you build that armour and make the most of each day.

1. Set your days and hours of work and communicate them to customers.  If you advertise a mobile phone number, state the hours you are available

(eg 8.30am to 6pm).  

2. Establish a set daily routine for each working day.  Use an alarm to get you out of bed; you are not on holiday.  Set a time to start work and have your breakfast, walk the dog, speak with family or friends BEFORE that time.

3. Agree this routine with other members of the household.  Check with them every few weeks to ensure small niggles do not become major irritations.  

4. Shower and dress for work.  Consider what your customers would expect you to wear; be tidy and professional.

5. Ensure you are active for part of the day; get outside if possible, move around.

6. Setup a room, or an area within a room, as your office.  Have the right equipment and tools to run your particular business.  Have places to store paperwork.  A messy desk results in messy thinking.

7. Use an electronic or physical diary/wall planner to schedule your day, week, month for bookkeeping, invoicing, paperwork, customer calls etc.

8. At the end of each week jot down everything you have achieved that week.  List all the things you need to achieve the following week and schedule them.

9. Avoid working on your business outside of your set hours.  It’s easy to let self-employment become 24/7 which will result in burn-out, depression and family arguments.

Jo Garden is a businesswoman and business trainer with MENTA Business Support - discover our range of Start-up Business training options across Norfolk and Suffolk

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