How do you manage your time? If you work from home, I’m sure this is a challenge. Those who have never worked from home can’t actually imagine all the ways you can be pulled throughout the day. You have to be firm with family, friends and clients to make your freelancing work and/or grow successfully. A big part of this is time management. When I first started out, I was a solopreneur and did everything on my own. I knew at the beginning that there may be a few who would give a bit of push back to my working from home, but it wasn’t anyone in my family or my friends; as these people know me and understand that I’ve always been a hard worker and if I say I’m working from home, I’m not playing and I’ll have to chit chat a bit later. They are also very respectful in their own right and aren’t the type of people who would try to divert my attention, so I’m blessed in that regard.
However, I found with some of my clients I had to set the most clear boundaries and you may have to do the same. It’s odd because most of my clients are business owners and work virtually as well (most from their domicile), therefore you would think they would understand that you can’t stay on the phone with them all day or call them every five minutes and run your business (in fact I’ve tailored my business to let clients know we don’t work that way). However, there are a few who may not get it. If a client is messing with your time a bit and it is creating an issue for you, you’ll have to implement time management techniques that help you get them squared away such that it’s a “Win-Win” for everyone and no one feels neglected, including your team and business. If you’re shy about this or lacking ideas, feel free to consult with me and I can help you implement these strategies with a 60min Business Consultation. I also recommend the following to help you get through the hustle and bustle of being a busy freelancer/business owner or VA:
- Devote 30min to just waking up. Start your day with a calming activity and a warm drink, preferably non-caffeinated organic tea and don’t check email or anything, just do a bit of stretching and washing to waken up the largest organ you have: your skin. You might think that pampering yourself a bit in the morning is being indulgent and doesn’t really require time management, but it does. Don’t spend more than 30min on this and make sure you’re ready to face the world mentally before you turn on that computer.
- Spend 30 min on nothing but email, don’t get side tracked by instant messages, Skype or anything popping on YouTube, just go over email and play your favorite song while doing so, as it will help ease the visual barrage of data that our in-box can sometimes become. It will also help you get through it.
- After this you’ll want to accomplish one or two assignments that need to be done for the day. Make sure you have a To-do-list and tick those off as they’re completed. This may need a couple of hours allotted and that’s just fine. This gives you a sense of accomplishment right off the bat.
- Get up and going for another 30min! Walk a bit around the house, open a window, work on the deck, in the garden or walk outside for about 30min to an hour and then email me to tell me how refreshing this physical break was. 🙂 I was really thrilled when world-renown health expert: Denny Waxman pointed out to our audience during my Podcast Interview with him that sitting can be life shortening, so we want to be careful of that.
- Lastly set a time frame in which you’ll respond to clients, so that your team doesn’t feel like they have to check email every 5 min and can enjoy working virtually as well. I also advise that you have an patch of time daily where you do nothing that has to do with your business and/or nothing at all. Most freelancers are very creative and we have to give our minds a break, especially if you’re a freelance writer (I ghost write for several clients), it can be mentally draining to come up with new ideas, so make sure your time management includes a break where you do absolutely nothing 🙂 ENJOY!
This is Shilonda Downing signing off for Virtual Work Team LLC!