Living our lives to the fullest—that’s one reason why we’ve decided to have a home based business, right? Whether you’re freelancing and contracting with clients, representing a product in a direct sales company, or managing your own website selling goods or services, you appreciate the flexibility to do what needs to be done on your own schedule.
I consider it a blessing to be able to be home when my kids are home from school in the afternoons. I love having the flexibility of being able to rearrange my day to attend a mid-day honors program or help set up and decorate for my daughter’s band awards night.
I guess there’s always a flip side, though, right?
If your month of May is anything like mine, you’re struggling right now. You’re tired. You’ve been at something every night this week and have lost count of how many brownies or napkins need to be at this or that event tomorrow, Friday, and next Tuesday.
One of my friends last week posted that her school year had devolved into signing permission slips with a crayon.
I so get it.
It’s weeks like this that seem like doing business actually gets in the way of doing life. What do you do during those busy times of year (beginning/end of school, holidays, vacations) or when the unexpected occurs? How do you keep running your business and do everything else that needs to be done?
Here are a few tips to help you through the tough times. With a little pre-planning, your business shouldn’t miss a beat, even when life is busy, hard, or unpredictable.
Take a Deep Breath
Start by taking a deep breath and giving yourself a little space to relax. Yes, it’s important to keep the wheels turning—but it’s also important to give yourself a little space. Don’t beat yourself up over having to give your life priority.
Put some Stress Away or Peace & Calming essential oil blends in the diffuser and spend a few moments in prayer. Just a few moments of “centering” will help put things into perspective.
Eliminate All But the Essential
Look through your task list for the upcoming days and weeks. What can you cut out? What projects aren’t essential?
Trim your workload to just the bare bones. Put on hold any business expanding efforts. Do just enough to maintain your client base and keep your business running—no more.
Outsource as Much as Possible
Outsource as many tasks as you can to someone you trust.
Business owners, especially home based business owners, are often hesitant to outsource. If you have to pay someone $25 an hour to keep things running in your absence, that can seriously cut into your profits.
In normal circumstances, that’s certainly true. In an emergency situation, however, paying someone a respectable hourly rate to keep your business going is a wise investment.
Find someone who understands your business model and all the tools your business needs to keep running, and ask them to run your company for you for the days or weeks you need to take off.
For virtual assistance help, I highly recommend my friend and colleague, Heather Santo at The VA Geek. She offers a wide variety of social media and client care services, but if your needs are not a fit for her, she can help you find someone who can help you.
Work When You Can Fit It In
Don’t just drop your business entirely. Instead, do as much work as you can when you can fit it in.
I carry a pen and notebook everywhere I go. Take your laptop with you if you know you’ll be waiting for awhile. I’ll often have good intentions to work while I’m waiting for my kids at dance or ball practice. But I know that if I actually go into the dance studio or sit down on the bleachers, I’ll end up socializing with other parents. I will often sit in my car in the parking lot, just to make sure I’m not too distracted to squeeze work into those spare moments.
Work in Time Chunks and Schedule
One of the most helpful habits I’ve been introduced to this year is “batch working”—doing several similar tasks during one designated block of time. If you only have two hours to work, choose one type of task and just work on that. Write several blog posts, emails, or social media updates back to back.
A close cousin to “batch working” is scheduling posts and social media updates. Use a tool such as Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule social media updates. You can do the same with your blog posts. Work ahead as much as possible so that that aspect of your business can run interrupted “in the background” while your attention is focused elsewhere.
These tips will help you put your home based business on a bare-bones life support system. Your business certainly won’t grow, but it also won’t shrink. Dealing with hiccups in the routine are toughest when you don’t have a contingency plan. Once you know who you can turn to and how to respond when life gets crazy, these situations become a lot less stressful.
Maybe you don’t yet have a home based business but would like to start one. If that’s you, you’ll want to download my free ebook, 5 Easy Steps to Discover the Home-based Business That’s Perfect for You.
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Disclosure: I am not a medical doctor. Any statements made on this blog about essential oil use are not meant to treat, diagnose, or cure any condition. My statements about essential oils are my opinion and are based upon my own experiences and research.
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