Working as a homepreneur, or a mompreneur is for some the only way they can envision their professional life. You gain in many aspects, but there are many challenges too. With the years, I’ve listed the most challenging issues that might arise for homepreneurs. The ones that are critical and often become the reasons why homepreneurs decide to take an office outside their home. I believe time management is on the top of the list. Being myself a homepreneur and loving it, I struggle some days with this. But I learned to manage my fluctuating motivation and maximize my efficiency so the work could be done whatever happens, wherever I have to work. Here are my favourite tips to boost your efficiency at home: setting goals, batch working and organization are the keys to an efficient day of work.
1- Set your goals for the week
First things first, if you don’t set your goals for a short-term period, there is no way the good work can be done. You don’t sit behind the wheel of your car and start driving to your grandma’s house if you have no idea where she lives, or how to get there, and expect to eventually arrive in time for her Sunday lunch.
Setting your goals is a crucial element for your business. You have to take some time regularly to decide where you want to sail this beautiful ship you’ve built. Planning should take about 10% of your time. Planning is not just about setting intentions and goals. It also includes a very detailed plan to get these goals crossed off your list. So every Friday night, if you have no intention to work on weekends or even on Monday mornings if you are a slow starter, set your goals for the coming week.
End with a planning session
I tested and approved it. The worse way to start the week is by planning it, by doing so you loose a fair amount of time. That’s why I use the term slow starter.
Instead, use the momentum when you have this glorious feeling of achievement. On a Friday night or whenever your work week is over, plan for the next week; that way you will challenge yourself more, and therefore you will achieve more.
2- Set your intentions and plan the day before
Same goes for your daily schedule. If you plan your following week at the end of the previous one, you should also do this daily. Only create your working schedule one day at a time.
First of all, depending on the time of the year, I sometimes start my day at 4:30 am. And the last thing I want to do at this hour is planning. I have to make sure to know what my to-dos are if I want to successfully get out of my bed while everyone else is sleeping. If you want to know why and how I wake up at 4:30 am please comment below or contact me, I’ll be pleased to write a post about that too!
Remaining efficient during my “breaks.”
Second of all, I like to second-start my day slowly, but efficiently. When everyone leaves for school/office, I go for a walk, go on a quick grocery run, have a coffee and exercise. I’ve noticed that if I use this coffee time to plan my day, my planning session is extending far too much into my day. I don’t want that. I like to have a soft second start, mainly because the first early one is already many hours behind. But I can’t afford to lose time either. I plaid guilty for having a one-hour coffee “break” (which is not so much of a break as I fit in some light tasks at the same time). So I’m choosing whatever work is going to take me one hour and allow me to enjoy my coffee at the same time (i.e. e-course writing or video shooting).
3- Be realistic you can’t work 10 hours a day non-stop
When you work from home, you can either be distracted by non-business related or the opposite (be focused on big projects and work for long hours non stop). Because you’ve mastered the art of being focused and uninterrupted on your own, it doesn’t mean you can’t stop working to take short breaks. If the second option seems to be efficient, it’s not sustainable. I love efficiency to be sustainable!
It’s crucial to plan some real breaks in your day to be able to remain efficient throughout the weeks, months, eventually years. You are building a business, and you are growing it every day for years. For example, I have two significant breaks in my day.
First I go to the gym. After my 4:30 am working time, and my light working time over a coffee, I go to the gym. When I’m due for more work, I’m completely energized! However, I only work for two hours maximum; then I take a short lunch break. I take the time to have a proper lunch with my husband when he is working from home. Or I take the time to have a decent meal on my own. I like to listen to an audiobook when I’m alone, so I don’t get lost in my business thoughts as I want to enjoy a real break.
Whenever you are starting your non-stop working time, remember to take breaks ever two hours at least.
4- Batch working
To maximize my efficiency when I’m working, I’m trying to include batch working. When I say I’m trying, it’s because batch working is efficient all right, but, I get bored very quickly if I overdo it. How do I implement batch working in my daily working routine without overdoing it? Simple, batch working for a short amount of time, and for a limited amount of tasks.
As you noticed in my previous paragraph, I have several working intervals along the day. I use one of them to batch work on one particular task. I have to use social media to share about my business. But if I don’t batch work my social media time, I get the urgent call to go back to my phone along the day. You know that we all tend to lose too much time on these apps. Batch working on this allows me to make sure the work is done, everything else I’m doing on social media is not work-related, it will have to wait! Using social media for business is essential to consider, but scrolling mindlessly and liking some random photos is not work, it’s procrastination. What to batch work, some examples
I usually am working on my social media during my morning coffee break. I set a timer for each one of my social media accounts, depending on what I have to do there. With this habit, I don’t scroll uselessly anymore (almost). I sometimes have a relaxing session on social media that I use to connect with the people I know. But I rarely scroll mindlessly anymore during my working hours. Notice that my relaxing time on social media is relaxing because I use it to connect with my friends, not scroll mindlessly.
I usually write two posts on the same day. It takes me one to two hours to write a blog post, depending on the researches I have to do for it. I never plan a day with the intention of writing a single post. Writing for my blog asks of me to be in a particular state of mind. So I’m losing some time if I do that only for one post. It takes much less time to write two posts in a day than writing two posts on two different days. Once I’ve set my mind on writing mode, I’m batching my writing on this day.
Then I’m also batching my SEO and other adjustments on my posts. I never do these tasks when I’m writing my posts. It allows me to take a break and come back to my posts a second time. It’s perfect to make some changes eventually. I also find these SEO, photos and links additions, very time-consuming. Once more, batching is gaining!
5- Use automation tools when possible
I’m not going to lie; I found it impossible to not use automation tools for some of my tasks. Especially regarding my posts on social media. I tried, and I was sure I could make it. But it merely took me off my working groove too much. I hate having to pay here and there small amounts of money each month for recurring services. You end up spending a considerable amount of money without even noticing it. But in that case, it’s like having someone on your team to help you while you spend time on more productive tasks.
Automation tools help you batch work on your very short daily tasks, and that’s priceless. I especially use some services for designing and social media managing. Let’s be realistic: you can’t possibly connect 15 times a day on Pinterest, 25 times a day on Twitter, adding to that reading some magazines for outreach, and believe even one second that you are going to remain efficient.
You have to do the work, and small tasks may be crucial to grow your business, but they can’t take you from actually creating for it! Using tools efficiently allow you to block time once in a while during your week and do all these little tiny tasks at once. Consider this as a real game changer!
The last word
You have it, my 5 tips to be an efficient homepreneur. I love to cross off from my to-do list. But there is no way crossing off a ridiculous amount of useless task is going to lead you anywhere productive. Being a homepreneur is first and foremost having a good organization. You have plenty of time if you learn to use it wisely. Make the best of these precious hours you win. You don’t commute or don’t take 5 coffee breaks with your colleagues.
You also don’t always have to dress up. I never work in my pyjamas, but I love yoga pants. Not only are they comfy, but even quicker to pass on than the two-piece suit. And you only have to put them with the rest of your laundry instead of bringing them back and forth to the cleaner! You work from home and can do a lot, even better you do it when and where you wish. One word for that: organization!