There are hundreds, if not thousands, of books on time and productivity management and most of them appear to have been written by dedicated individuals who work in a vacuum -- they certainly aren't entrepreneurs building businesses from home offices with all the distractions that environment can bring.
When I first started my business, I quickly realized that it was much easier for me to manage my time while in the corporate world than in the "spare bedroom" world.
In corporate, I would close my door or block access to my cubicle with a chair and a note requesting I not be disturbed when needed; in "home office world", neither the dogs nor cats pay any attention to the note and closing the door is an invitation for them to ALWAYS wanting to be on the other side of it. . .repeatedly.
It didn't take long for me to realize I had to set up a productivity schedule which I could stick to. That meant training not just me, but everyone around me: my team, my husband, my family and friends, my "four- legged children", everyone.
And then it hit me. . .there could be no "training" of me. This had to be a schedule which worked with my natural productivity rhythms -- after all, why own my own business if I can't set my own schedule!
Here's an overview of my weekly schedule:
Mondays -- Write and do project work
Tuesdays and Thursdays -- One-on-One coaching and mentoring calls with clients
Wednesdays -- Group coaching program management and implementation, writing and project work
Fridays -- Completely depends on my mood: either out and about or in the office reviewing client websites and marketing materials and generally catching up
The day-to-day of when I do what is pretty consistent, I simply swap out one-on-one coaching and mentoring for project work, writing, etc. Here's a quick overview of a typical day:
5:30am -- Up and out walking Sasha
6:00 - 7:30am -- At the gym
7:30 - 8:00am -- Have breakfast with my hubby
8:00 - 9:00am -- Write
9:00 - 10:00am -- Email management
10:00 - Noon -- Project implementation
Noon - 2:00pm -- Lunch, run errands, check emails
2:00 - 5:00pm -- Write
5:00 - 5:30pm -- Prep for next day
My energy tends to slow down a little around noon -- so it's a perfect time to do something which involves action (running errands or walking Sasha again if I have no errands). Some days I even nap during that time (now you know why I only work with clients on Tuesdays and Thursdays).
The above is made possible by an incredibly supportive team, clients I love working with and my Polder timer (I couldn't do business without any of them!).
Your Next Step
What would it take for you to DESIGN the business of your dreams? What's holding you back?
Now after those "hold backs" have generously moved aside so you can get going, WHAT is REALLY holding you back?
I'd like you to take a few moments, close your eyes (after reading this) and think of all the reasons WHY you created your own business. What are they? Why'd you do it? What was your goal(s)? Now, holding those responses in your mind, go up a paragraph and ask/answer the question again. Doesn't seem quite so important now, does it?
Observe when you're naturally most creative and productive and protect those times for working ON, not "in", your business. Once you have those times mapped out, create a daily and weekly schedule which supports rather than detracts from your business success.
Let's DO IT! I'm right here with you!
P.S. If you'd like to share your schedule, I'd love to see it. . .just email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. :-)
Sandra Martini may be contacted at http://www.SandraMartini.com
For the past 5 years, Sandra Martini has been showing self-employed business owners how to get more clients consistently by implementing processes and systems to put their marketing on autopilot. Visit Sandra at www.SandraMartini.com for details, compelling client testimonials and her free audio series “5 Simple and Easy Steps to Put Your Marketing on Autopilot”.