Monday, December 13, 2010

Make Time For Business

Each day, each person is given the same 24 hours to spend as they choose.  People's days can look so different, even our own days can vary.  Have you had a day where you accomplished nothing or maybe a day when you were in a groove and managed to accomplish everything on your list plus some?  What is the difference? 

Our businesses can be like cleaning house.  Under normal circumstances, it could take days to dust, vacuum, do laundry, and clean bathrooms, but if you have guests coming, you could accomplish all this in a morning!  A sense of urgency really pushes us to get things done and fast!  How do we translate this to our business in order to get things accomplished efficiently each day?

First, you must know your "why".  Why do you have a business?  Why are you choosing to work?  For many, it is because your family has a need for the money.  Seeing a low dollar amount in your bank account when paying bills should create a sense of urgency for sure!  Or perhaps you are saving for a special vacation, a new car, or some home remodeling.  Make your "why" the motivation that helps you get up in the morning and get busy!

Second, you need to know what has to be done.  Create a "to do" list to keep you focused and complete the tasks in order of priority.  (I prefer to start my list the evening before just before bed.  It takes things off my mind so I sleep better.)  Having a physical list will help you accomplish more each day.  It offers additional accountability, especially if it is visible to other family members.  You have to be your own boss and check in on your productivity daily.  A list will not lie about how much you've actually accomplished in a day.  There is great satisfaction when crossing through an item you completed!  You just might find that the busier you are, the more you get done each day!

Third, there are two approaches for completing tasks.  The first is creating a specific time to work and the second is to work your business in and around other activities throughout the day. 

#1 Utilize "office hours" or a "Focus Hour" to complete your tasks.  Scheduling specific office hours for each day holds you accountable to work your business daily for a specified amount of time.  You can list your office hours on your voicemail or in email communications to create more accountability.  Customers will expect you to be working during those times.  Even if you only work 15 minutes, work every day.  If you take one day off, it may lead to pushing tasks back another day, then another and before you know it, you haven't worked all week.  A routine creates consistency and habits.

#2 Work your business in the "Nooks and Crannies" of your day.  Use a binder or electronic organizational device to keep your To Do List handy with any materials you need to complete the items.  When you get a moment while sitting at the doctors office, waiting in line at the bank teller, or sitting in the pickup line at school, pull the list out and make a few calls or complete a few tasks.

It is easy to get caught up in other activities and fill our schedules with too many non-business activities which leaves little time for working.  I'm sure you've gone online to check your email and quickly spent over an hour on the internet doing other things.  Or you may have been glued to the tv watching shows for hours. Before we know it, we've lost site of our focus.  By creating daily lists and scheduling in work time, you'll make sure the work is done so you time to spend with your families, take care of your household, and relax!

Most moms say their family comes first, which includes providing for them financially.  Working your business a little bit each day is not neglecting your duties as a mom.  You are a role model for life skills such as: work ethic, multi-tasking, prioritizing, and sacrifice.  We want to do it all but we need to choose activities that meet our goals and needs.

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