As I’m creating this new direction in my career, I realize more and more that I have to make it a “real job”–that is, even though I’m a “home-based business” I need to behave like a professional “at work.” Therefore, I’ve created a new 8-hours-a-day, 40-hours-a-week schedule.
I start “work” at 9 am daily, in my home office. Up at 5:30 a.m., I have had my personal meditation/journaling time, exercised or gone for a walk, showered and dressed, eaten breakfast and put supper in the crockpot or prepared a casserole for the oven, and tidied the house as needed. And now it’s “off to work.”
My work day starts with 3/4 hours of writing time. Then it’s on to my daily schedule–which can include tutoring, followed up by reports and prep for the next lesson; business items (bookkeeping, recording keeping); blogging, e-newsletter prep, freelance writing, and other projects. I take 45 minutes off for lunch mid-day, followed by 1/2 hour of relaxation: a nap, a walk with some photography, reading good literature, or a similar activity. Then the “work day” continues to 6:45 p.m.
In the past, I have often met clients at their home, or a coffee shop, or for a walk while we chat. But I’ve realized that these kinds of meetings easily take far longer than expected, and can easily descend into chit-chat and way too much coffee and snacks; therefore, I will now have client meetings in my office, or, in they prefer lunch meetings, I must be back to the office at the set time. It may not be as much “fun,” but it’s business, right?
After supper (which is already made, as I put on the crock-pot in the morning, or placed the pre-made casserole in the oven an hour before suppertime), I have the evening free for time with my husband, reading, gardening or other hobbies, or whatever doesn’t take too much “brainpower.” It’s a time to relax and slow down before bed, so I will sleep well. Bedtime 9:15 pm!
Oh! And one other very important change: I will do no more than 1/2 hour of personal e-mail and Facebook, once per day, and no more than 30-45 minutes of business e-mail and Facebook once per day. E-mail comes first, and then Facebook if time is left over–I really need to cut back on my time-wasting with Facebook … and with the temptation to flop in front of the TV in the evening. Oh yes, and I’m eating my meals at the table again, instead of in front of the TV or with my nose in a book or magazine (which always results in losing track of time).
And hopefully, this all means that I actually have real weekends!
Do you think I can stick to my schedule? Let’s see!