Often we go into business seeking the freedom to be our own boss, set our hours and control how much money we make. Sadly, rather than freedom we find overwhelm in the tasks that need to be done each day.
The transition to self-employment can be exciting and difficult at the same time. You no longer have outside forces holding you accountable and need to learn to be accountable to yourself. This means learning to recognize your weaknesses and distractions in your day and to figure out what works for you!
True freedom is impossible without a mind made free by discipline. ~ Mortimer J. Adler
Recognize your weakness and blind spots
The secret to creating good habits is to be aware of your weaknesses and blind spots. This is where your time audit comes in handy. This blog post tells you how to do your own time audit.
Using the time audit worksheet helps you find your weaknesses and blind spots so you can work on bettering your time management skills. Time management is a crucial part of owning your own business. When you work from home, there can easily be many different distractions that can pull you away from your task at hand, like that load of laundry or the dishes. Stay focused and use that time audit to learn your weaknesses.
Figure out what works for you
When I started my own business, it took me a good year to figure out the routine that worked for me. Over time, I realized that my morning routine of watching the news while getting the girls ready for school was a really bad habit for me. It was a distraction in the morning as we were trying to get out the door or it would suck me in once they left.
What worked for me was going straight to my office once the girls left for school. No stop to do laundry and no TV allowed! For some it may mean that if you are working from home, creating a designated work area or set office’ hours. It’s important to find what works for you as it’s different for everybody!
Realize that change is going to shake things up
There are going to be times when things change and shift for you and your business. This is going to shake things up and may feel difficult. Use this as a time to hit reset. Take time to journal what’s happening and use your time audit to help you recognize the changes and adapt to them. Change doesn’t always have to be scary, change can be a great thing and you have to be prepared to go with it! Change can open many new amazing doors.
Change is the essence of life; be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become. ~ Reinhold Niebuhr
When we think of freedom, we generally don’t think of discipline, but you can’t have one without the other! Discipline is a muscle we need to exercise regularly. If we take the easy way out, we will become weak and lose focus.
For me, discipline means not watching TV in the morning or during the day. It means setting boundaries around my personal and family time. It also means knowing my limitations. For you, discipline could mean getting that morning workout in, to get you motivated for the day or a morning meditation. Figure out what discipline means to you and go from there.
How are you spending your time?
How we think we spend our time and how we are truly spending our time, can be two very different things.
When we have a good understanding of where we spend our time and how much time is used for each task, we can begin the work to use our time more effectively.