Jean has been a home-based business owner for a number of years. She has gained valuable experience and insight along the way.
Your Silent Business Partner
17 Habits at a Glance
- Get to bed at a decent hour and get up two hours before your work day starts.
- Relax and have a good breakfast.
- Plan tomorrow tonight.
- Take time to read as much as you can.
- Get some exercise.
- Organize your work area tonight for tomorrow.
- Set up some tried-and-true business systems.
- Prioritize your to-do list with the Eisenhower decision matrix.
- Check your to-do list often to stay on track.
- Use 20-minute power work sessions to motor through your tasks.
- Have a business development day one day a week.
- Always expand and improve your product line.
- Develop multiple streams of income.
- Limit your interruptions
- Limit your evening TV exposure
- Your website is your sales team
- Learn something new today.
1. Get to Bed at a Decent Hour and Get Up Two Hours Before Your Workday Starts
Laying in bed later than you need to be is counter-productive. Yes, getting rest is important but the morning is when you should be at your brightest and most energetic. Use that energy to set up and motor through your day. Sleeping in is for your days off.
2. Relax and Have Some Coffee/Tea and a Good Breakfast Before You Start Your Day
Sitting down and enjoying some nutritious food and a hot drink is important to set the tone for your day. A relaxed meal with good nutrition not only gives you energy to sustain you until lunch, but it also helps keep you healthy. Food you can prepare ahead in bulk and keep in the fridge or freezer will also save you time during your workweek.
3. Plan Tomorrow, Tonight
At the end of your workday, plan for the next workday and prioritize the tasks you need to accomplish. If you use the Eisenhower decision matrix as your blueprint, you can do most of your tasks in quadrant 2, if you keep organized and avoid crises. Putting out fires all day is counter-productive and a time-waster. Do those tasks before they become Quadrant 1 urgent issues that hoover up your time.
Planning for today, tomorrow and next year is important to keep you on track for your personal and business goals. Don't think you will remember everything in your head. Use a notebook, your phone, i-pad or laptop to keep track of what you are doing and where you are going so you can see progress and see an ever-increasing bank account.
The Eisenhower Decision Matrix
What It All Means
4. Take Time to Read as Much as You Can
There is something about reading that calms the mind and you learn something to boot. With all the e-readers available now, you don't have to carry a pile of books around with you, you can have them all on one sleek little device.
There are a lot of brilliant writers with impressive skill sets that can teach you much more than you can discover on your own. Making mistakes is time-consuming and they can be very expensive. Writers often talk about those mistakes so you can learn what to do to avoid them.
The Eisenhower Decision Matrix
5. Get Some Exercise
Go for a walk, ride a bike or take an early morning yoga class. You will be full of energy and ready to tackle that prioritized to-do list with gusto. Exercise is important to keep your brain fresh and your body healthy. You don't have to run a marathon, just get moving a bit before you start work.
Working in timed segments of 20 minutes or so of intense work, motoring through what you have to do than getting up out of your chair and moving around refreshes not only your muscles but also your mind. Keeping fresh and not running out of motivational gas is important for your health and your success.
6. Organize Your Work Area Tonight for Tomorrow
When you know you are going to get up and go for a walk and your exercise wear and your work clothes are organized and ready for you, there is less time rummaging through the closet, trying to find something that is not wrinkled. Your exercise wear reminds you its time to go for a walk or run or early morning spin class. It gets you going, then all you have to do is go home, shower and slip into your work clothes. Of course if you are working from home, it could be your bathrobe and bunny slippers. But nevertheless, preparation in all you do saves time and energy in the long run.
That goes for your work area too. Even if you are using your dining room table, clean it off and organize your next day's projects neatly off to the side. Your work area needs to be constantly organized so you don't waste time looking for that piece of paper with the phone number on it. By preparing yourself in all ways concerning your home and business life your productivity cannot help but increase.
7. Set Up Some Tried-and True Business Systems
There are all kinds of simple systems that are free or have free trials that you can use and adapt to your home business. They help you stay organized and on-track and some even help you manage your interruptions. Examples include:
- The Eisenhower decision matrix
- The Clean Sweep Assessment
- Coach U new business startup program
- Business Development Bank programs
- Provincial and State programs
Helpful Apps to Monitor and Control Social Media Interruptions
8. Prioritize Your To-Do List With the Eisenhower Decision Matrix
I talk about the Eisenhower decision matrix in a number of hubs. It is a table that you input and prioritize your daily tasks. By getting into the habit of using it, you can double or even triple your productivity over time.
The idea behind this matrix is to organize your tasks so you are not constantly dealing with urgent situations and you spend most of your time in Quadrant 2 where you are most effective in growing your business and expanding your profits.
It helps you manage the time wasters and distractions because you need to finish your not urgent and important tasks first before you can be rewarded with what is not urgent and not important.
9. Check Your To-Do List Often to Stay on Track
If you are using the Eisenhower decision matrix it is easier to track your task completion by starting with Quadrant 1 and working through the Quadrants 2, 3 and perhaps 4. You need to resist jumping into matrix 4 before you have completed the other quadrants. Have some discipline and get your business moving forward. If you are not putting money in the bank, you won't have a home-based business for long.
How on-track are you? Are you getting done what needs to be done or have you been browsing social media for the last hour? Get and keep on track by crossing completed tasks off your list. Present yourself with a sense of accomplishment. Then reward yourself with a nice walk in the sunshine or a yummy hot drink.
10. Use 20-Minute Power Work Sessions to Motor Through Your Tasks
One of the productivity busters is how you can get in the habit of plodding along at a slower pace than if we had a boss breathing down our necks. But no one is standing over your shoulder and no one is going to tell you how little you have accomplished. One way to see exactly how much you are getting done is to get a timer sitting beside you, set for 20 minutes. Pick a task on your to-do list that would normally take some time to do. Start the timer and work as hard and as fast as you can on the task, being careful not to get careless or do a messy job. Pretend that this task is so important it needs to be exemplary. When the timer goes off, see exactly how much more you accomplished than when you just plodded along. This article explains how the process works.
11. Have a Business Development Day, One Day a Week
Checking up on where your business is at and where it going to go from here is an important function of a business development day where you are working on your business. Yes, you still need to fill the orders and answer the phone, but you focus for this day is to steer the business bus and make adjustments to your course at least once a week. As you develop more efficiencies you may be able to work on strategic planning and analysis twice a week, although some of those tasks only need to be checked once, unless your business has gone crazy busy.
The business development day is where you go through every aspect of your business from your accounting to your marketing to see where you can improve or expand. After all, business success is ultimately measured by what is rolling into the bank and making sure it is not all rolling out.
12. Always Expand and Improve Your Product Line
Set some time aside on your business development day to analyze your products/services to see how they are performing and if there is a way to improve them. Your website is your world-wide sales force and perhaps the only way someone can find you and what you are selling. It too is a product that must be maintained and updated.
13. Develop Multiple Streams of Income
Think of ways you can develop multiple streams of income by adding relevant income streams to what you do. For example if you are a fitness coach, look on Amazon.com to see what products they have that you can recommend through their affiliate program to your clients or potential clients. Items can include books, fitness training tools like weights, skipping ropes and the like. You can also advertise classes or coaching session on your website that you can do over the internet in various ways. Freeconferencecall.com has a free service where you can have a hundred people on the phone or the web at a time. Skype can be very useful for one-on-one coaching sessions as long as the client has access to it.
14. Limit Your Interruptions
Some interruptions are unavoidable like nature calls but some interruptions can be put off until you have your next break. Having discipline and asking the co-operation of those in the house, goes a long way to business efficiency and success. Forwarding your phone to an answering device helps you stay focused on the task at hand. Then on your break you can return phone calls and answer only the most important emails. Everything else goes to the bottom of your list.
If you have young children at home, you may find the best time to do business activities is when the kids are napping or after they have gone to bed.
15. Limit Your Evening TV Exposure
Watching TV is mindless and literally turns your creative brain off. Besides, watching TV is a sitting activity and weren't you sitting most of the day already? If you want to be creative tomorrow, then do something that will inspire and energize you. If it has been a busy day, you could nod off sitting there and miss the show anyway. You might as well prepare for tomorrow, go for a walk and retire early.
16. Your Website Is Your Sales Team
With everything you have to do, it is important that your sales force, ie: your website is up to date and polished. Glaring spelling mistakes or broken links reflect on you. If you have a webmaster, you need to monitor them and how effective they are at managing your data.
Awesome pictures are paramount. It has been proven on social media that the picture is king. People are automatically attracted to excellent pictures and presentation. Keep that in mind if you are showcasing products on your site.
17. Learn Something New Today
Never stop learning. Just remember if you want to be someone you've never been, you need to do things you've never done. And you need to do them differently than you've ever done them. It's about finding something valuable that has been done successfully by someone, learning how to do it and applying it to your business. If you learn and apply every day, imagine the expansion your business could present. You will need to be on top of your game to keep your business and your life from falling into chaos.
Learn from the mistakes of others. There are not enough days in your life for you to make them all yourself. I'm kidding, of course. Yes, you learn from the mistakes you make but if you can avoid them, it usually translates into greater profits and productivity. That's where you want to be.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2017 iamradiantrose
iamradiantrose (author) on March 09, 2017:
Yes, it is. The trick is discerning what is really important versus what you want to think is important.
H Lax on March 09, 2017:
Thanks for this much needed information. The Eisenhower Decision Matrix seems like a great way to stay on track.