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Working From Home - Time Management, Productivity and Motivation Tips

Side HustleKrishna SolankiComment

For a lot of solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, or side hustlers running your business is usually done working from home - whether that's a nice little office set up in a corner of your home, or on the sofa every evening with your laptop on a cushion in front of you.  Staying productive, motivated and managing your time is something that all business owners need to stay on top of so as tempting as it sounds to be able to stay in your PJ's, have a lazy start to the day and spend hours on social media websites - networking of course! - you still need to integrate some structure and routine into your daily working from home routine.

Working Fom Home - Time Management, Productivity and Motivation Tips

I've managed to improve my schedule and manage my time in the past year and today I wanted to share my top tips on sticking to the rules, staying productive and being motivated to keep on top of it all.

5 time management tips:

1 | Create a Plan for the Day

For me, this is a must! Knowing what I am working on really helps me stay focused on the project in hand. Plus knowing I can "tick it off the list" is a great sense of accomplishment as well!

2 | Set your Deadlines

Allocating and estimating how long each task will take, and setting deadlines puts it into perspective for me. It gives me a "countdown", and knowing I need to complete "X" by a set time means there's no time for sitting on Facebook right now!

3 | Focus

The above 2 points usually mean I have to focus to stay on track. If all fails I think about the repercussion of not getting what I planned done for the day. That usually kicks me up the bum as I don't like things hanging over my head.

4 | Prioritise

Setting an order of play for the tasks you want to complete allows me to see what I need to do, I can then prioritise these depending on how long I think they will take. I usually try to get the small, niggly, tasks out of the way first so I can concentrate on the bigger task at hand. It also means I get to tick those little jobs off the list faster!

5 | Stop or switch it up

If I find I am struggling with the task, no matter how big or small, I tend to switch it up.  I would rather work on something I know I am progressing on then spend endless hours trying to work on it knowing it's not going anywhere. Saying that, if switching it up doesn't work, it could be that your creative juices are running low and you just need to stop and take a break.

4 Tips to stay productive:

1 | Get dressed and ready

This is really important.  Understandably staying in your PJ's is by far the comfiest outfit, but getting dressed and ready for the day provides a sense of acknowledgement that you mean business. I guess its depends on your frame of mind, but setting up my day starts with sorting myself out and making sure I am dressed and ready to face whatever the day ahead has to throw at me.

2 | Allocate time away from your desk to eat

I used to find myself slouched over the keyboard, food in front of me, staring at the screen, potentially sitting on social media, occasionally working through lunch. But I found this out the hard way and realised it is really unproductive.  It's important to stretch your legs, give your eyes a break from the screen, and more importantly not have food all over your keyboard! yuk!!

3 | Focus

To help me focus and stay productive I limit myself on social media. I tend to check everything, network and schedule my social media at the start of the day. This then means I don't fall into the trap of sitting on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Pinterest is so addictive as well!

4 | Take breaks

Taking a break, going for a walk, reading a book, soaking up the sun... anything that gets me away from my screen for a short period of time really helps me stay productive. A fresh pair of eyes often helps and looking at the same task after a break is almost the same thing. 5 | Set your working hours

5 Tips to keep your motivation level up:

1 | Set a bigger plan

Achieving e a bigger goal helps me to stay motivated. Knowing I want to be free to do what I want at hours that suit me means I need to put in the hard work now and I am all game for that.

2 | Take each day as it comes

Obviously, I know it takes time to achieve the big goal, so it's important to keep in mind that every day will have its challenges and to take each day as it comes. Not every day will be the same and that is one of the best things about working from home.

3 | Reward yourself

This is really important.  Working hard means I get to play hard. Whether that is buying myself a nice new handbag or taking time to enjoy going to dinner with my other half.  Being able to physically see your hard work, and enjoy the benefits of it only makes me want to work harder.

4 | Beleive in yourself

Being a side hustler and working from home can be tough.  There will be days of gloom and days of glory so it's important to always believe in yourself and your end goal.  That leads me to...

5 | Focus on the positive instead of the negative

Every now and again we all need a little motivation. A little positivity injected into our thoughts, and for those moments it's always a good thing to be able to take a step back and look at where you are and what you have achieved, look at the positive things that have come from your hard work.  I recently had a gloomy day and decided to design my own art print so I could stick it up on my office wall.  If you want the "Hard Work Always Pays Off" art print - (it's FREE) you can download it here.

Working from home certainly has its pro's and con's, the main thing is finding your balance and figuring out what works best for you as an individual.  I've found I work best when I have a list or plan that I know I need to complete for the day, it helps me keep focused.

So what works for you? Do you have a routine? Are you an early bird or a late night owl?

FREE art prints

In other news, have you downloaded your FREE art prints? These are perfect for your home, office, studio, or workshop!
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Side hustling and staying productive

My Business, Startup, Side HustleKrishna Solanki2 Comments

So first and foremost... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!.. yay so 2016 is upon us! 

Did you set goals towards the end of last year? Did you make a note of your year-end report? - I have to be brutally honest right now... I didn't.

Not sure that is was a wise move but I have valid reasons.  In case you guys didn't know, this freelance business I own and run is, in fact, my side hustle!

As well as it being something I fit around my part-time employment  (which is still 4 days a week, 7 hours a day), I also have a little toddler as well.

Given this, I genuinely find myself very busy living life and balancing my work and home life routine. I didn't want to add the extra pressure of setting goals as I know I am a perfectionist and it will indirectly stress me out knowing I haven't had time to meet them, or try to meet them.

That doesn't mean I don't have any goals. I do. I just haven't set them in stone.
They are in my head, floating around, and I'm happy to keep them that way, until...until further notice!

Side Hustling and Staying Productive

You are probably wondering why I even bothered to write this post, but it became apparent that I can't be the only mom, working "part-time" and running my own side hustle creative freelance business.  There must be more of us out there. There MUST BE!

Then I began to wonder.. how do they juggle the daily tasks of being an entrepreneurial supermom? (thats not what I call myself, but it kinda does sum it up really!haha)

So given this is my side hustle, and this is my creative freelance business, I wanted to share the way I run things and stay productive at the same time, without setting any goals or indirectly (and accidentally) adding that extra pressure.

Here's how I stay productive with my side hustle:

1 | Staying Organised - Lists!

I write lists to help keep on top of all the different areas of work - part-time and freelance - and the different projects I have running simultaneously.  Writing it all down and seeing it in a list, whether that's online or on paper, I am able to visualise what i need to get through and that helps me stay organised.

2 | Apps 

I use a bunch of useful apps and tools to keep things streamlined and up-to-date no matter where I am.  Some apps I find useful on my mobile, others I prefer using the desktop version only.  It all depends on where I am, what I am doing, and how much time I have!
(PS...Watch this space for a blog post on this soon!)

3 | Work random hours

This goes against the grain for most freelance businesses, but when its your side-hustle and you love it and want to work on it, you will work the random hours. I find myself getting back to clients in the evening after dinner, or first thing in the morning before I start any other work.  I even find time to do client work in those odd random hours. Obviously, it helps having a supportive husband to tend to the toddler, but it all works out for me!

4 | Think think think

I am a serial overthinker. I overthink everything. When I find I have a bit of time to myself but I can't physically get on my laptop, or tablet, or phone (so usually when I am driving to and from my part-time employment) - I end up thinking. Generally, I have "trained" my brain to think about what the next thing I want to do for my business is. I say this very broadly as this could be "what am I doing tomorrow?" to "what do I want my business to be like in X months?" - It's vast. but I think about progressing and "that next step" all the time.

5 | Family time

When its family time its strictly that. No matter what the email says from my biggest current client, or what there "quick question" is.  Family time is important, I won't check emails or reply or be running to get my laptop to make that small amend. I will, however, be enjoying the time with my toddler and husband and making memories.  As much as I love running my business and working I make sure I keep time to have fun with my nearest and dearest. This also keeps my mind and eyes fresh for when I do get back to work!

So, as you can tell no goals means I may "plod" along in my own merry time, but it keeps me sain and helps me stay productive.

Do you have a side hustle? What is it? - How so you stay productive and fresh eyed?