Working from home as an entrepreneur, you face an ever increasing number of distractions that can slowly, but surely, kill your home based business.
You wake up in the morning ready to go, but before you know it the day is done and you have accomplished very little. Sound familiar? How does it happen?
I’ve compiled seven of the most sure fire ways that I have discovered can kill your home based business.
Sorry, We’re Closed
Make sure that you have clearly defined your business hours. Notify those close to you of your business hours and then tenaciously guard those hours.
One of the fastest ways to kill your home based business is neighbors, friends, or family that will call or visit thinking they are not interrupting you. Or worse, that you do not think they are.
Do you think they would do this if you worked in an office for an employer? If you do not treat your home office as if it were really a business place why should they?
Oprah Said What?
While there are some people that are great at multitasking with their favorite tunes or television show playing in the background, most of us are not – especially in a home setting. It is too easy to become wrapped up in a program and lose fifteen or thirty minutes because Oprah said something interesting.
Do not locate your home office near a television, or any other distraction. It will inevitably lead to a loss of productivity that all too easily becomes habitual.
Be careful about lunch breaks in front of the television too. That quick bite to eat while sitting on your comfy sofa will all too often zap you of your energy.
“Honey Dos” – Don’t!
Let’s face it. If you are a homeowner, there is something that needs to be fixed or done around the house all the time. It is very tempting to finally get around to fixing that squeaky door when you are frustrated with your business or there are mundane tasks that need to be done.
Household chores and “Honey Do” lists provide a false sense of accomplishment that fosters procrastination to do those tasks that are critical to your success.
Now before I get in trouble with my own wife, let me suggest that if part of the reason you wanted to work from home was to be able to do these types of things then simply schedule them and keep to the schedule.
I Think We Can Squeeze You In
Speaking of scheduling, it is imperative that you schedule your time. You have already defined your hours of operation, but now you need to define what you will be doing during those hours. This is where a default schedule comes in handy.
Failure to create a default schedule results in your time and effort being spent on those activities that, while pressing, may not be those which will grow your business.
A default schedule is simply a snapshot of your typical work week as you would like to see it with time blocked out to do your major tasks. At the beginning of each week, you take that week’s tasks and schedule them inside the blocks of your default schedule.
There’s Never an Egg Timer When You Need One
There is a lot of research that goes into starting your own home based business. That doesn’t stop after your business is off the ground and running.
A good entrepreneur is always learning and adapting. Luckily, the internet makes this a very economical and easy task. But to paraphrase Bilbo Baggins,
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going onto the internet. You step into the World Wide Web, and if you don’t keep your mouse, there is no knowing where you may be swept off to.”
I have found an old-fashioned egg timer to work great when doing research on the internet. Set it, place it next to your keyboard, and stop when it goes off.
Clothes Make the Man
I’ve never had George Costanza’s fondness to be draped in velvet, but I love a good pair of sweats. It is so nice to be able to roll out of bed, grab a cup of coffee, and start working.
Now that’s the freedom for which I started my home based business. Well, maybe not. Your appearance makes a statement about you in the professional world even if people do not see you.
Your clothing can provide you with a sense of confidence that will shine through in your work. Conversely, a great pair of baggy sweats may cause you to feel less productive or come across as too informal in your work.
Take it from me, you will be surprised how many times a great opportunity arises to meet someone on short notice that can really grow your business, but you are in your sweat pants.
Reach Out, Reach Out, and Touch Someone
Another reason to dress well is that you need to get out of the house! It is quite easy to become a hermit when you own a home based business – especially if you do not have to meet your clients face to face.
While isolation may be very productive in doses, too much of it will not be good for you or your business. People who isolate themselves tend to become depressed and anti-social – both are business killers.
You must stay motivated, positive, and be sociable to be successful as an entrepreneur. You will have set backs in your journey and you will need others to keep you encouraged and to whom you can be an encouragement.
Now For a Pop Quiz
Which of these apply to you? Or maybe, how many apply to you? Individually, these time wasters don’t look very harmful, but when they join forces look out Batman!
- Clearly define and post your hours of operation.
- Set up your home office away from the television and other distractions.
- Schedule any home chores or projects you must do.
- Set up a default schedule.
- Use a timer when you need to log onto the internet.
- Dress professionally at all times.
- Get out of the house regularly and meet people.