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Running your own business can be one of the most rewarding ventures with unlimited earning potential, but learning how to balance self care while boosting productivity at home and finding the right state of mind can be incredibly taxing.
I’m the type of person who gets easily distracted if I feel overwhelmed. If you want to be successful you have to put yourself in positions to succeed. Not setting yourself up for the most success increases the chance of burn out before you have the opportunity to shine. Overwhelm is common when it comes to juggling daily to dos and constantly reorienting priorities. Nowadays more people have side hustles alongside full time jobs than ever before.
In a time where everything seems non stop, there has to be a dedication to work more efficiently. Changing the situation is often not feasible, so it’s time to change the execution. Here are some tips to increase efficiency especially when you are running your own business, becoming a full time blogger/entrepreneur, or wanting to grow in your career.
You Are Your Environment
Surround yourself with a healthy environment to steer clear of demotivation. If you are a recovering alcoholic, you aren’t going to live at the party house, are you? The same goes for trying to sustain a healthier lifestyle.
Succeeding in a toxic environment is nearly impossible, not because you lack discipline although it can feel like that sometimes. It’s making sure surrounding influences are positive ones. It’s easy to become discouraged, but in this scenario you have to remember the truth. You are not the sole influencer in your life.
As your personal influence impacts your life the most, you are not impenetrable to your surroundings: you talk like the people you are around and think like them often. It’s likely you will take a similar path of those you are interacting with because people do what they know.
This is why joining other communities is essential. Sometimes, you are stuck in a less than ideal situation. You wish you had successful and positive people surrounding you. But somehow you are attached (for now) to negative, unhealthy people or situations. Even distracting environments can become toxic whether there are positive people or not.
See if you are able to go to a local coffee shop or library to get into a productive mindset. If your living room has been the place for relaxation, it may be challenging to turn it into your new workspace. Changing up the look and feel can help if you’d rather not leave your home. Add a clean desk to mentally associate the new space. And keep it clear; clutter can trigger mental chaos which will hurt your productivity.
Communities Can Be A Breeding Ground for Innovation
I hear people (mostly the older generations) bash technological innovation relating it to “the good ol’ days.” Their arguments are always the negative effects of social media on social interaction. But the positive impact a social community can have is often understated.
I’m not talking about a fake follow for follow bubble or even one where all of your political diarrhea is reassured through passive aggressive comments. I’m talking about niched groups. Facebook is a great place for this because exclusive online groups can be a breeding ground for innovation and encouragement.
Get Around People That Can Hold You Accountable And Encourage You
If you join a community of people, you can avoid falling into a pattern of feeling alone. These people are putting in the hard work with similar life situations: two jobs, kids, and trying to pursue their dreams at the same time. It’s also important to feel encouraged by others. And more importantly, when you have found something to be effective, spread the love and encouragement back on others that have helped you!
A life well led is one that uses passion and skill to rise and lift others up
Heard the popular quote “a rising tide lifts all boats?” Same idea here! Accountability is also important when it comes to growing in your career, especially when you are the boss. The mental game can be one of the most painful emotional roller coasters, because our thought patterns are often destructive.
It’s discipline that is required of you in order to succeed because you have to push yourself when you don’t feel like it, keep going when you are doubting yourself, and constantly battle the feeling of proving yourself while feeling inadequate.
Whether it’s a specific accountability group, a closed group on facebook, or a group text, seeing how others work will help formulate how you should. It will foster ideas and also give you the opportunity to show your area of expertise.
How To Find Online Communities
Finding these groups is super easy, but it requires you to be social! You can search on Facebook for groups. Simply type in what you are looking for in the search bar and try out both broad and specific names (mommy bloggers group, bloggers groups, entrepreneurial groups etc) and make sure to read the bio to see what they are about before requesting to join.
Interacting with bloggers, writers, and other business owners will help you naturally find these types of groups–sometimes the secret groups are the best to join, but you have to be invited. Comment and subscribe with other bloggers on their websites and you will likely receive “insider information.” Instagram also has certain accountability groups. This is big in the healthy living circle for things like cleanses and workouts, but you could also be led to other opportunities to connect with experts in that area. Aside from networking, a google search always goes a long way. The more research you do, the better off you will be!
*The Illumine Blog is unveiling a new group to join together entrepreneurs! Check out our facebook page and click on groups to join!
Why Personal Development Is So Important
Another way to set yourself up for the most success is to constantly grow. They say CEO’s make a habit of reading daily. What’s important about that is not just the fact that they read, but that they are making a habit out of learning something new everyday and researching others ways of thinking than just their own.
Follow what successful people are doing and put your own spin on it!
Are You A Good Boss To Yourself?
If you are going to work for yourself, you need to make sure you are developing the qualities of a great boss. Think outside of yourself. This may be silly, but just humor me for a second. Don’t just settle for less because you’re the only one that has to deal with it.
If you could be a fly on the wall seeing you work for yourself, would you consider yourself a good/great boss? Would you want to take direction from yourself? Are you creating the capabilities to develop a successful business just like great leaders would do at conventional job?
If you are not inspiring yourself it’s likely you aren’t going to inspire others. Yes, I realize there is bias and you being harder on yourself thrown into the mix, but I’m just talking generally here. Think about what kind of a person you want to be and then put in the work to grow into that person.
Personal development is critical not just because you can be your own enemy when it comes to negative thinking patterns, but because it impacts your mood which can hurt your motivation. But most importantly, it influences how far you believe you can go determining where you land.
How I Fight Distractions
Making progress also depends on your ability to fight distractions: Emotional, physical, and situational. Emotional distractions could manifest as procrastination because the number one reason we procrastinate is overwhelm. The more you are doing to break down information in step by step processes, the more you will accomplish. You don’t need to have all of the answers to move forward, you just need the next step—and keep taking them!
Depression is another emotional factor that can distract from your work. It can manifest through isolation, so it’s essential to make sure you are voicing your struggles with others (your community can help in this area too). Developing a routine can also help fight some of the depression that comes from being remote all the time.
Laying around in your pajamas all day while you are feeling insufficient, alone, and unmotivated is not the healthiest place to be. A morning devotional or podcast can move mountains for your mindset as well!
You should give yourself days to exercise your freedom of staying home by hopping into comfy clothes, but ultimately you need to get up out of bed and do things that make you feel ready for the day. Just because you are at home, doesn’t mean you need to skip getting prepared.
Come up with and organize to dos (I use Trello), schedule your tasks through a task manager (google tasks and google keep are my favorite), and get up and ready to execute.
Find Your Most Productive Times
You should definitely treat yourself with a quick nap later on, a movie, or a visit from her friend to take a break and remind yourself of the freedom of working for yourself. Just make sure you are not treating yourself too often before you have accomplished enough to create a sustainable income.
This is where finding your most productive times comes in. If you know you like to have slower mornings, dive right in late morning. If you know that you feel sleepy after lunch, log back on in the evening. Find times where you get in the groove of your work.
I personally sleep in until around 9:00, get up slow and cook breakfast, and then start my daily to dos. I take a break for lunch around 12:30, work for a little longer and then take a break until the evening time working late.
How To Fight Fatigue As An Entrepreneur
Fighting fatigue is yet another challenge of working from home. I’m sure you have heard the “body in motion stays in motion” tirade which can often discourage us, but the baseline principle is true. If you lay around all the time, you are not going to feel like getting up much and this can lead to weight gain.
Just like the average woman gains 8+ pounds during the holidays, the average entrepreneur can almost guarantee gaining weight if they don’t have a proactive plan to stay healthy. Remember at your 9-5 when you got up to go get coffee or take a walk around the building?
Don’t forget to do something similar at home. I’m not saying to break apart times when you are “in the zone” but as soon as you have been at it for a few hours, remember to take a quick break to do something else.
Something helpful about working from home is taking a break to fulfill needs around the house. Running upstairs to grab a quick load of laundry is the perfect break. Or even getting some fresh air to check the mail.
Just steer clear of excessive snack breaks. Yes, you are at home now, but eating all day is a huge no no. Think about if you were in the office, you would have only eaten once or twice in your 8 hours so be mindful of that at home.
Don’t Neglect Self Care
Make sure you’re drinking lots of water and taking bathroom breaks regularly. You still need half your bodyweight in ounces a day for water: and don’t believe the lie when people say that’s only for athletes, because I talked to my local physician.
I’ve fallen prey to getting in the zone and neglecting basic self care. And, I know It’s not rocket science, You already know when you need to potty etc 😉 but sometimes we get so wrapped up in our to dos that if you really look at the clock you may not have moved in more than six straight hours. That’s not healthy at all.
Scheduling alarms or calendar reminders can prompt you. Getting up, drinking water, taking breaks to stretch are all things that will help blood flow fighting mental fog and slumps in motivation. Think about taking time for exercise as well.
All those years you mentioned you had no time to exercise and now that you’re working for yourself you have more than enough time to fit exercise in your daily routine. Even if exercise is not your thing at first, you can start slow by stretching and doing warm ups or a yoga video and work up from there.
Exercise Your Cooking Skills
Falling into the trap of ordering in all the time is also something that you don’t want to do. Your stomach and bank account will thank you for setting aside your hour or so for lunch to cook at home. I always thought to myself “ten or so dollars isn’t going to break me.”
But when I added up all of my receipts from going out to eat I had spent over $300 on top of groceries. Ouch! That one hurt my bank account big time because that tens or so dollars adds up quickly. After, I never said that again.
If you do the same with starbucks or another addiction, you may be surprised when you add everything up. Remember all those times you wish you had more time for meal prepping and cooking?
Here’s your chance to spend just a little bit of time putting everything together, and before you know it, you will have accomplished all those little to do’s you never made time for before.
Create A Schedule And Checklist
Be clear with others about your work schedule and expectations since you’ll be at home. Having friends “just stop by” may need to be renegotiated with roommates and perhaps relocating is going to be key in order to focus.
Within your personal platform where you keep all of your information like google drive or trello etc keep a checklist for your content–sort of a rubric. Remember those in school? In order to score an A you’d need to rid passive voice, relate the topic to personal experience, and so on.
Think about that same thing now. If you are writing valuable content, you will land your ideal client or customer, but creating a checklist for yourself will help you follow the advice of those that have gone before you to actually do so.
Remember people really only care about the results that you can provide, and there is a reason they chose to follow you. If you are neglecting to tailor content to your ideal customer, your business will plateau and you will not understand why.
Set Realistic Goals
While It sounds nice to put 50 things on your to do list but sometimes you may only be able to do one thing in a day. Come up with goals that you wish to achieve in the day, week, month and start thinking ahead about where your business could go years down the road.
Insert strategy here! But don’t let that word intimidate you because of its official title: it simply means “plan.”
Tips For Executing Tasks
Remember to put together ideas that can help you work smarter and cut time to complete regular tasks or solve problems. Don’t feel like typing anymore? Talk to text in your email. I say email because if you have ever used the notes app and hit one wrong button, your entire work will be gone.
In email, a draft will be saved for future reference if needed. You’ll need to go back and edit (READ IT OUT LOUD), but this can cut your time in half and help times where you are staring at the screen. Think about what point you are trying to make and explain it as if you are having a conversation.
Create Canned Responses
Do you say the same thing repeatedly in email or text correspondence? You may want to template your text messages in settings or email using a google extension (gorgias). That way, you may only need to type one letter and the entire message is populated. These little processes put in place will help fight overwhelm which leads to inaction.
Prioritize based on your ROI
Prioritize not by what you feel like doing but by what gives the greatest return on your investment. If you know that your content is key, create new content first before you get on social. Or if you haven’t spent any time marketing the content you’ve already written, spread the word before you spend time writing new content. You don’t want to spend time on something that no one is going to see.
Overall, you want to make sure you are physically and mentally in the best position to unlock your potential when growing your business. Constantly coming up with better ways to execute your normal to dos will make you more efficient to strategize but this can only be done when you are free from distractions and a part of a community of like minded people.
What has been the most helpful tip you have learned working from home? Comment below and don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive updates!