Helping Yourself When You Work Alone and From Home

When you work from home, starting out with your own business, then you take on a lot of roles. You are the financier, the budgeter, the accountant, the marketer, the admin team, and the CEO; it can be a lot. Of course, this is how a lot of small businesses start out, and getting to grips with a variety of different aspects of the business can be important. However, in order to grow the business, you need to make sure that you are able to do the real big things that are going to grow it, rather than getting caught up in all of the emails, calls, appointments, bookings, and other admin. So here are some things to think about, in order to make your small business grow, and so that you don’t overwhelm yourself with all that you need to do.

Hire a Virtual Assistant

Hiring a virtual assistant is just as it sounds; someone to assist you, but done online, rather than in person. Which is why this can work great for many solo-business owners. There are a number of virtual services sites online that you can hire from, as well as using freelancers. It can be a good idea to have documents like an NDA ready for them, so that you can’t give away any information about your business. They can take control of a lot of things that need to be done, but that don’t need to be done by you. Then you have time to focus on the growth aspects of the business.

Set a schedule

When there is so much to do, it can be very tempting to just do things as and when they come in. But the truth of the matter is that you don’t need to be sat at your desk all afternoon going through emails. New ones will come in all of the time, so you can’t possibly do that, as you’ll deal with one and then another will come through. So instead, you should set yourself a working schedule, so that you know exactly what you should be doing and when. It can be a good idea to set yourself a timer too, so that you don’t go over schedule. When you do this, you will be able to get much more done throughout the day, and you’ll be able to prioritize what needs to be done first.

Be strict with working hours

There is no getting away from the fact that when you work for yourself, and when you work from home, there is always something to do. But you need to remember that although this is the case, you need to avoid burnout and give yourself time to relax, as well as proper weekends or days off. As a result, you should set days and times that you will work, and when you won’t. Of course, there can be some projects of events that will differ and need more of your time, but on the whole, setting yourself working hours and sticking to them, can really help.

Photo Credit: image

This is a contributed post.

Why It’s Important to Spend Time NOT Working

Last Friday morning here in Quebec, we had a province-wide power outage that affected over 900,000 people due to a major wind storm of 100 km/h (62 mph). The power outage lasted in our case almost 48 hours.

I took this time to do some reading, clean up my office, read some more and after sunset hubby and I enjoyed eating some snacks, playing crib and a dice game called Bupkis by candlelight. We tried to make the best out of the situation and enjoy the quiet time with no distractions. Other than it being cold, we actually had a nice 2-day break.

This got me thinking, how I had no choice but to take time off and despite the conditions, I completely enjoyed it. I got a few things done, spent quality time with my husband and pets and did some reading. Not bad for 2 days with no electricity.

So let me ask you…

When was the last time you took time off from your work?

When was the last time you spent your evenings actually spending quality time doing something you love or with your family and not in front of your computer or phone, finishing up all the work you need to get completed before the morning? You tell yourself it’s just a few emails. It’s just a small project. Maybe a phone call or two. You’re tired and you’d rather be doing something else, but this has to get done!

Why You Need to Take Time Off From Work

While it might feel like you have a ton of work to do and your business will crumble if you take some time off, it’s vital that you take deliberate time off from work. According to recent studies, stroke could be an even bigger risk than a heart attack for people who are overworked! The study found that individuals who worked more than 55 hours per week had a 13% greater risk of a heart attack and 33% more likely to suffer a stroke than people who worked 35-40 hours per week.

This is just one of the many health problems that occur in overworked people. There are many other health risks that the stress and exhaustion from overworking pose on your mind and body. According to a summary report in The Economist, “…the greater the number of hours worked per year, the greater the likelihood of premature death and poor quality of life.”

How to Get More Time Off

“Take more time off work,” is much easier said than done. Your business needs you; you might be bursting with ideas, or laden with responsibility. Taking time off isn’t something that happens naturally or easily!

That being said, it’s important to make time off a priority! Here are three ways you can get more time off more frequently:

1. Take Short Breaks Throughout the Day

Just like you schedule in meetings, calls, events, and projects, you need to schedule in a few short breaks throughout your day. These don’t have to be extended periods of time, but letting yourself rest, meditate, eat, or just relax for 10 to 15 minutes every few hours throughout your day will help.

Switching your attention to something calming or enjoyable throughout the day helps your brain work differently and solve other types of problems. It helps you relax more and be more prepared to better handle your workload.

2. Take More Vacations

Generally, employees are offered a set amount of vacation days per year. Unfortunately, it’s rarely a sufficient amount of time off to be considered healthy! Less than two weeks off work for an entire year is hardly anything, and many employees don’t even use up all their vacation days! Not to mention, when you own your own business, vacation days are so much harder to take!

When was the last time you went on a vacation, be it a long weekend trip or a few weeks long? How often do you let yourself have a significant time off where you don’t bring any work with you? Increase that time as much as you can. Get into different environments. Replenish your passion and energy!

3. Take a Whole Day Off Work Every Week

It’s so tempting to pull out your phone and answer emails throughout a lazy Sunday. It’s easy to get on your computer and work through a project over the weekend. “Days off” aren’t actually days off when you’re working!

Challenge yourself to put your work away for an entire day at least once a week. Don’t get on your phone to respond to messages or use your computer to finish projects. Relax for an entire day, you can always get back to work the next day.

Remember to choose you, rest is important for both your mind and body.

Have an easy day and remember to take breaks 🙂


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