How to Create a Realistic Work-At-Home ScheduleMar 18, 2020
I started my digital marketing agency, Shar'Enterprise, on Oahu in 2010. We provided social media marketing, consulting work, marketing management, website design, and other services and "face-to-face" was super important in Hawai'i -- everyone wanted to sit down and meet.
Fast forward to 2014 or so and I wanted to expand to other islands;
where ongoing face-to-face was impossible -- so I switched to a virtual model. After the initial meeting, I would rarely see some in person again, but meet via video conference (Zoom). Now, in 2020, my entire business model is virtual. I only meet with clients if I am training an entire team... That's why I can easily share some realistic tips on how to manage an at-home work-life...
#1. Don't schedule for 8 hours or 12 hours... schedule for 6-hour work days:
People are amazing creatures -- when focused, we can get 10 hours of work done in 4. We can also stretch out 2 hours of work over 10, so unless you are in a phase of business where it's really really high workload -- schedule 6 or so hours a day for work (or less).
#2. Schedule Personal Development Time + Workouts:
Personal development looks different for everyone -- I personally take that time to work on a course (mindset, spiritual, emotional -- not work), write, journal, meditate, etc. I also schedule my workouts in the workday or right at the end of it. The goal is that during your 'scheduled' time, you are getting ALL the things in -- so when you are off, you are off and totally free.
#3. Know Your Non-Negotiables:
My Non-Negotiables are the things I MUST work on every day, even if for 15 minutes. Assign time limits. Here is my real-life sample:
Personal Development + Coffee Time - 1 hour
Sales + Marketing: Content, following up, setting up sales calls, etc. 1 hour
Admin: Emails (inbox to 0), financials, operations stuff -- 1 hour
Client Work: If applicable, these are tasks that come from meetings or emails.
Project Time: This is different each day of the week -- but really it's a mix of networking events, client calls, or working on a project. Mondays and Tuesdays are generally client calls, Wednesdays and Thursdays are more networking and Fridays are personal/project days. 4 hours.
Workout w/trainer 3x a week
#4. User my "Super-Sexy Work Batching System" which is basically the Following:
Spend only 20 minutes on emails: Answer all emails with no follow-up tasks so they are done!
Create a task list from emails (follow up with Joe, call and get quotes for Jon, etc.)
Archive, not delete ALL emails -- get to zero
Spend 1 hour on the tasks from the email list
Why? Honestly, your brain functions in different modes for reading emails and processing information versus being focused on a task. It will take SO much longer to read an email, start a task, get distracted, leave 50 emails unanswered, and realize it's been four hours and you haven't done shit.
#5. Shower And Get Dressed Every Day!
This will look different for everyone -- I definitely and much more casual when working form home -- yoga pants! BUT, I do shower every morning and wear makeup most days, just so I can have some routine. You may not like makeup, but having a grooming routine of some type can really give you that extra oomph to show up like a boss.
#6. Create a post-work Routine:
Have something that you do that signals your body and mind that you are done with the workday. For me it's either going to the gym, my workouts are at 5:30 during the evenings, OR taking my dog for an extra-long walk. What could that be for you?
#7. Find An Accountability Friend
I have two, one of which is my sister who works with me full time virtually from Alaska. Having someone you check in with daily or bi-weekly can make a huge difference. Finding that motivation to either do anything or do the things you don't want to do, but desperately need to do is key. Can you tell I am coming from personal experience here? (PS You can join our bi-weekly Social Media & Accountability Mastermind Today!)
#8. Enjoy The Process
Whether you are brand new to working at home, or a pro, these tips can really help with not only the productivity factor but the joy of the process! Flexibility is amazing, and getting to match your schedule to your natural energy levels is KEY! I love spending my mornings on personal development and feel ready af to go at 10:30a for my first calls.
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