Q&A with Rachel Spratling from ActionCOACH.
Working from home can provide a great work-life balance, and who is going to miss the daily commute and office politics? Here are some tips from Action Coach on working from home effectively.
How will I stop myself from getting distracted?
It is all about Time Mastery – not time management. You can’t manage time but you can master how you use it.
Set up a ‘default diary’
This involves blocking out fixed time each day to do fixed tasks and then you need to ensure you stick to them, for example:
9am to 10.30am each day is recruitment:
look through applications and arrange interviews etc.
10.30am to 11.30am each day is admin
clear and file emails, reconcile Xero transactions etc.
Important or urgent
Look at the tasks you do each day and plot them against two axis – important and urgent. Any jobs on your to-do list that fall into the non-urgent and not important box, you could question whether they really need to be done at all. Tasks like this waste your time, like browsing friends posts on Facebook!
I’ve been used to working 9-5 and travelling to an office for the last 10 years, can you suggest anything to help me transition into running my business from home?
- Create a workspace at home, ideally somewhere you can shut yourself off from the rest of the house. You can then distract yourself from household chores that don’t bring in the money.
- Set up the default diary as mentioned above. Log how you spend your time each day so you can see tasks that are eating up time but don’t add any value.
- Have a plan – there is an old adage that failing to plan is planning to fail and this is so often the case. If you have a plan for your business it is easier to stay focused.
- Break down the plan into quarterly chunks and then into daily and weekly tasks to ensure you stay on track and keep the same level of discipline you had when working for someone else.
I often find myself working all day (on and off) and all evening, but I still don’t get through my ‘to do’ list and I don’t get enough time for family. HELP!
The tips above will help with this but another top tip is to write your “to do” list at the end of each day as a way of switching off your business brain.
Categorise the things on the list in order of importance, and urgency, and make sure they are all things that will help you achieve your business plan.