So the world has changed a lot in recent months and many of us are working from home for the foreseeable future. I’ve worked from home for the last 20 years, and if I’m honest, I love it! But it does take some discipline (which I’m not always as good as I’d like to be at, so it’s always a work in progress).
The thing that I love about working from home, is that it gives you flexibility in how and when you work, but with that can also result in often working more hours than is healthy. This can be a tricky problem to deal with, because there is ALWAYS more work to be done.
I’ve burnt out in the past from working too much and I’ve achieved nothing for an entire month. The goal is to find the balanced middle that works for you. It was particularly challenging when my kids were young (I really feel for those of you who have young children!) but it is also challenging for those with no kids, because we all have pressures that seem to require our immediate attention.
When you don’t find the balance though, you seriously run the risk of burnout… which can then pull you out of your business for weeks if not months (and yes, I’ve been there!). Trust me, it’s not worth it. The other side effect is that it affects how you feel about your business and you can sometimes resent it, fall out of love with it and in the most extreme cases decide to quit your business.
What I have learned and really try my hardest to do now, is create some boundaries. I’m an early riser and find that I can be super creative first thing in the morning (hello 4:00 am) but that also means that by 5:00pm I’m pretty much done. Mentally there is not much left so I really try to avoid working after this time and if I do work much later than that, my brain starts to feel fizzy and can stop me being able to get to sleep, which then throws everything out of kilter.
So my advice is to find your own rhythm. Create a schedule that works for you and recognise your own energy.
Do the stuff that matters
When you are running your own business there are literally a million things that you can be doing… and they can all feel urgent, like they need to be done now. That overwhelm is real.
So my advice is to be really honest with yourself about the activities that. you are doing and focus first on the activities that are going to move the needle and lead to increasing your revenues.
Procrastination isn’t always watching Netflix
My favourite form of procrastination is what I call tech wrangling. I know for many of you, this sounds weird, but as well as being a trainer, I am also a retired web designer… so while training is my jam, so is web design and I know I’m procrastinating when I start tinkering with my websites… particularly if I decide that I need a redesign!
Other types of procrastination can include:
- Online learning (we never feel like we know enough)
- Social Media
- Writing blog posts
- Doing housework or laundry (this is one of my favourites 😊)
- And whatever your favourite form or procrastination is
So when you find yourself doing something that feels easy for you to avoid doing something that takes you out of your comfort zone or feels challenging. Take a pause, recognise it and do the stuff that matters.
It can sound counter-intuitive, but you will be more productive if you take proper breaks during the day. Go out and take a walk in the park or the woods, talk to a friend, make a healthy lunch or watch something funny. A friend of mine recently told me that sometimes she will just lay flat on the floor or sofa for 10 minutes to just relax her brain. I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m definitely going to!
The trick is to put a time boundary around it and just allow your brain to relax. It will put your brain in a different state and refresh it.
If you want some more ideas about working from home, listen to our podcast episode with Judy Hemingsly and Joanna Penn here.