Category Archives: Working From Home

Coins and Time

1st month of 2017 is in the books…how are your goals?

Long after some people have bailed on their 2017 New Year’s Resolutions, the rest of us are still plodding along in our attempts to reach our 2017 goals. Many of us, myself included, spent long hours in early January figuring them all out. We sat through webinars and read books to help us get it all figured out.

I listened to several webinars and finished reading The 12 Week Year, which I had started in late December. That book helped me to really nail down a shorter time frame, as well as keeping some long-term goals in mind.

So here are my goals for January and how I did with them. I’d love to hear about yours!

  • Goal: Buy a new fitness tracker (my old one got lost) – Actual: Not yet, but I’m ordering it today!
  • Goal: Walk or hike 10 miles per week in January for a total of at least 40 miles. – Actual: I came in at 25 miles for the month. I knew the weather could interfere and it did! No treadmill, so I’m at the mercy of the temperature and ice/snow/rain. Let’s just say it was a cold wet month! But I don’t think I’ve ever walked 25 miles in a month before! I’m pleased. 🙂
  • Goal: Do a Beachbody workout at least 4 times per week. Result: I slacked in this area a little, I’m ashamed to say. I probably averaged 2.
  • Goal: Drink Shakeology daily. Actual: Every. Single. Day! And sometimes twice a day. 🙂
  • Goal: To eat cleaner (I had specific measurements that are too numerous to list here). Actual: Pretty close to spot on!
  • Goal: Launch my new Plus Size Health and Happiness website. Actual: Its launched! Its not finished being built, but it exists and has an opt in on the home page. 🙂
  • Goal: To be an emerald level coach with BeachBody. Actual: Didn’t happen (yet).
  • Goal: Buy a new hosting account and move my websites to it, and my old hosting accounts. Actual: Done, done and done! Moved from GoDaddy and 1&1 to SiteGround. Yay!
  • Goal: Blog 1x per week. Actual: I think I blogged twice after getting my hosting and sites moved/set up.
  • Goal: Plan and implement daily recruiting habits. Actual: Took me till the end of the month to get over my fear, but this has been set in motion.
  • Goal: Plan and begin process of launching my May virtual summit. Actual: Its in my head and somewhat on paper. This is non-negotiable for the next week, though!
  • Goal and Actual: I’ll keep the actual numbers to myself, but I had an income goal for the next 12 weeks, and I have 52% of that already paid or contracted through that time frame.
  • Goal: To book 8 virtual summits (in addition to mine) in 2016. I had no time frame on this, and it was impossible to break down into a 12 week goal, so I left it at a year goal…realistically the first half of the year to have them booked (but not necessarily completed) by. Actual: I have booked 5 summits so far for 2017, not including the February one I was already working on last year, and am in talks with someone for another. Plus I have my 2 summits scheduled for May and August.
  • Goal: To actually pay all the bills (utilities, etc) in the given month on time. Actual: Came closer than usual! Have a few that are late though.
  • Goal: Pay down (extra) on some specific debts. Actual: Not yet.
  • Goal: Emergency fund. Actual: Sigh…not yet.

So I guess I did pretty good overall. I certainly feel like I achieved alot. I think goals should be set a little higher than is comfortable/assured anyway. So not reaching them 100% is ok by me, as long as I put steps in place and got at least a little bit of the way there.

Finally I have a major accomplishment that wasn’t even a goal of mine early on. Or if it was, it didn’t have an actual FORM yet, but was just caught up in a notion to get better organized. Step 1 that led to it was the goal planning and working towards those goals. During the last week of January, I suddenly had an epiphany. Now mind you, it wasn’t something that I just magically though up on my own. It was instead all sorts of advice I had heard or read over the last few years that suddenly solidified and fell into place in my head while I was on a long walk one day. It was truly a light bulb moment, or rather the moment that light bulb switch that’s always been there in the dark room is actually flipped! 🙂

I realized that I needed to schedule every minute of my day, not just create a to-do list and my early morning activities and then still be bumped from one thing to the next based on emails, texts and Skype messages. I came home from that walk and sat down and planned it all out over the next few hours. I immediately started to implement it the next day. Its only been a few days, as of this writing, and while there are kinks and I’ve had to move some times around (and can still see more that need moved), its certainly been helpful to me to feel more in control.

The funny thing was that the next day I was listening to the Marketing in Your Car podcast by Russell Brunson and he said the exact same thing! It was one of the early podcasts, probably in the first 5 of them. But I was surprised at the timing of when I heard it.

So now I have a daily schedule (and alarms set on my phone to remind me of when to switch activities) that goes something like this:

  • 4:30 am (YES…that’s right! 4:30 in the morning!): Wake up and read personal/professional development.
  • 5:00 am: Work on social media marketing and recruiting.
  • 6:00 am: Plus Size Health and Happiness biz stuff (at this time that is mostly blogging or working on the website).
  • 6:30 am (school days): Take out the dogs and start the task of waking up my 10 year old and prodding him to get ready for school, and getting him to the bus stop on time. I check/mass delete emails from my phone during any down time I have during this time frame. On non-school days I will still take out the dogs when they need to be taken out, but I’ll spend more time on my PSHH biz or other misc things that need taken care of.
  • 7:20 (or whenever I get back from the bus): Workout. This is usually a short walk with the dog followed by another workout OR a long walk with the dog. I also listen to a podcast or audiobook at this time.
  • After my workout: Fix a Shakeology for myself and hubby, check and delete or respond to emails, shower, etc.
  • 8:30: Work on Client A’s projects (This spot is owned by the next client’s summit that’s launching.)
  • 9:30: Work on Client B’s project
  • 10:00: Snack and check emails
  • 10:15: Work on Client C’s project
  • 10:45: Work on Client D’s project (this spot belongs to a project that is requiring more time per day than some of the others)
  • 11:45: Work on Client E’s project
  • 12:15: Lunch and check emails
  • 12:30: Work on Client F’s projects (this one varies in length and need by the week, and if needed it bleeds into the next time frame)
  • 1:00: Work on Misc projects
  • 2:00: Work on my upcoming summit
  • 3:25: Retrieve my son from school, followed by a snack, rest, spending time with him, checking emails, etc.
  • 4:00: Start on supper
  • 4:15 (or whenever I am done with the initial supper prep): Work more on my summit and continue this in between checking on supper, followed by eating supper.
  • 6:30 (or after supper and son’s homework): Work on Misc if needed.
  • 8:00: Start getting ready for bedtime.

So I am proud to say that I have stuck well to the schedule every day up until about the 10 am point. That’s when things tend to slip and I get off track. But that’s also because I’m still playing catch up on projects from when I was NOT so organized. I think things will fall into place over the coming week or so. I’ve already completed things this week that I would have normally been scrambling to complete.

Now, it needs some tweaking at times, but I’m certainly keeping it flexible. Some days I have to run errands or spend more time on one project or another. But once I really have this worked out and flowing well, I should have far less stress and zero missed deadlines. It will be a win-win for both me and my clients and will result in praises and increased income.

I’d love to hear if this as inspired you or what your goals and daily schedule looks like. Leave a comment below or even send me a message.

 

The value of a daily routine

A vitally important part of getting your business and your life organized is to start your day off right with a plan and to establish a daily routine!

I’m a bit of a morning person, and I get up before the sun, so my morning routine may not be ideal or normal…but it works for me. I thought I would let you know how my day goes. Just in case you ever wondered. 🙂

First thing I do is drink some water! I read a while back that water wakes up your organs and your body much better than caffeine ever would. So I start by finishing off the bottle of water that I have beside my bed or I fill a glass and drink it down. It works too! I am almost always wide awake within a couple of minutes.

Most people suggest you exercise and do all of these various things early in the morning, but I actually find my day goes best when I get right to work. Otherwise I get overwhelmingly stressed out with thoughts of all I need to be doing. I love to just jump right in early in the morning before the family wakes up. I enjoy the silence that rarely exists in my house at other times.

So I open up my laptop after I get settled in my favorite chair, with my feet on a footstool. (And my dog usually curled up on my feet. 🙂

First thing I do is visit my email inbox. I quickly scan for any urgent overnight messages. Barring that, I go down one by one and delete all the stuff I don’t want to be bothered with opening. That cleans up my inbox A LOT! There is no reason to let your day get bogged down with all the emails you are always signing up for. Some are important, and those will stand out. (So don’t delete them.)

Then I look for (and read, meditate on, etc) my daily scripture emails and the Proverbs 31 Ministries email devotional that are usually waiting for me at that time.

I check out any emails that have subject lines written well enough to actually grab my attention and were not banished immediately to the trash. (See, it IS important to write your headlines well!)

Then I begin to open client emails, responding where necessary, forwarding to my business manager as necessary, etc. In the process of this I am mentally organizing my day.

Some mornings I have a few quick tasks to do for my clients, so I get those out of the way right away.

If I have time, I start thinking about my blog post for the day and begin to draft that.

Or I will start working one of my day’s projects.

Around 7 am it is time for my son to get up and the daily argument about “yes, you DO have to go to school” begins. Sigh. This is also the exact time that my dog decides he needs to go outside. So work gets set aside, my son begins to wake up, I take my doggy out, admire the sunrise, pray, relax, and just generally enjoy the fresh air. (In the winter anyway…it’s much earlier in the summer that we go outside.)

Sunrise in my backyard

Sunrise in my backyard. 🙂

We are usually walking out the door to take my boy to school around 7:40 or so. We drop him off and then many days my husband and I go out for breakfast together. We relax, talk, laugh, and have a “morning date” almost every day. It’s nice. 🙂

Then it’s time to get back to work. By this time, my inbox has filled back up, so I sort it out again, respond to what needs responded to, etc. I wipe out any small tasks, then start on my big project for the day. Today, for example, I am working on some LeadPages sales pages and autoresponders for one client and a telesummit site for another.

I usually work through till 1 or 1:30, with a short break or two in there sometime whenever my bladder or my dog dictate it. 🙂

Then its lunch time, take the dog for a walk time, etc. That usually ends the bulk of my work day until later in the afternoon. Sometimes my hubby and I will go out for lunch, but usually we eat a sandwich or something at home. We may go wander through a thrift store, or work on some projects around the house.

Keeping this sort of routine keeps my day grounded and keeps me focused. There is always room for flexibility of course. Some days I am just so tired, so I sleep in till almost 7. Other days I have a non-profit meeting at noon. Or there is an appointment of some sort. But you know what, that’s part of the reason I love being self-employed at home…and yes, that’s a whole other blog post!

So what is your daily routine? Share it in the comments below! Or better yet, write your own blog post about your routine and leave the link in a comment for others to read and learn from. 🙂

Modern office interior

Organize your office space to suit you and your business, and dream a little too!

Office styles vary as much as business types do. But the one thing that they should all have in common is that they fit the owner’s needs and business. Since we are talking about getting your business organized this month, your office is something that you may need to organize as well.

Let’s start with the question “What does your ideal office space look and feel like?

Mine would include a wall of windows looking over a beautiful landscape of some sort. (Trees, hills, mountains, beach…I’m open! Lol) It would also include a large desk with plenty of storage positioned so I am seeing the beauty outside the window. A wood-burning fireplace for days when the windows just aren’t working to keep out the winter chill. Windows that open to a nearly screened-in-porch feeling when the weather is perfect. Not only ergonomic seating at the desk, but comfy living room style furniture because I rarely like to sit at a desk. (My preferred work seating is a comfy rocking chair with a foot stool. Perfect for laptop use.) A surround sound stereo system is a necessary part of my dream office as well. And, while my son is still young enough, a small table for legos and other activities.

Ahh…ok.

Modern office interior

So now that you have thought of your dream office, the next question is…

What is your REAL office situation?

Mine…is that it’s pretty much non-existent. Terrible. Inexcusable. But the way it is. Been living in this too-small house that is in a constant state of upgrade for too long and there is just no space I can call my own. One of these days I may take back the space that was intended for my office when we moved in. But for now my office is officially in my head and in my favorite chair.

How about yours? Do you have a real office but its piled high with unfiled papers or craft project “to-do”? Are your work materials just strewn around the room or organized nicely where they are easily retrievable? Is it an area where you can free your mind or an area that brings you constant stress?

Now we need to ask ourselves what can we do about our situations to get organized?

If you need an office space, like I do, take an honest inventory of your house. Is there a guest bedroom but never any guests? Is there a playroom that is only collecting dust bunnies? Is there a sunny glassed in porch? What space can you turn into your office?

If your office is a shambles, not just disorganized but missing major elements like a desk and shelving, then take measurements and do an honest inventory of what you NEED and also what you would like to have. If you have the money, head on out to the nearest store that carries these items and have fun shopping. Recruit your spouse, friend, grown child, neighbor or some stranger off the street to help you get it all put together in your space. (Just kidding about the stranger.) If you can’t find anyone to help you, try calling your local homeless shelter or food pantry. They often know people who are willing to do “spot jobs” of a few hours or a few days for a few bucks an hour.

Messy deskIf you just need to get organized, try the 15 minutes a day approach. No matter you have planned for the day, you can spare 15 minutes. Spend those 15 minutes sorting through one small space. A drawer, a shelf, 2 sq foot corner of the floor. Whatever space you pick doesn’t matter, so just pick one.

  • Have a box for stuff to give away or sell, a trash can, and a box for things that belong somewhere else.
  • Take everything out of the space you are organizing (dump the drawer, empty the shelf, etc).
  • As you pick up each item that came out of it, decide which spot it belongs. Do you need it or truly want to keep it? Then put it back in the drawer neatly. If its trash, toss it. If someone else could use it, then give it away or sell it. If it’s the missing blender beater from the kitchen, then put it in the box to put elsewhere.
  • Don’t stop until you have touched and sorted every item. As you put things away in the space, be sure they are neatly organized. If you think some kind of organizational tool will make it better, then put that on your shopping list and make it be a 15 minute project for another day.
  • Take the trash out.
  • List the for sale items on Craigslist, store them with your upcoming garage sale items, and stash the giveaway items in your car so you can drop them off next time you go out.
  • Take the box with items that belong elsewhere and put them away.

If you move quickly, with some upbeat music playing, you should be able to do all of that in 15 to 20 minutes or less. Just do not allow yourself to get distracted! Found a novel you half finished? DON’T finish it right now! J

Now its time for me to take my own advice. Ha!

What needs organized in your home office space?