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        Another AHBBO Article
        Personal Discipline and the Home-Based Business Owner

        © 2014 Elena Fawkner

        Allow me to let you in on a little secret you're probably
        already wise to anyway.  As often as not, the inspiration for
        article topics comes from struggles with my own personal
        demons.  Writing about them is my way of giving myself a
        good talking to (a.k.a. kick in the rear end).  And so it
        is with this one - the personal discipline demon.

        It wasn't always like this.  There was a time when I
        could and would happily sit at my computer for hours at a
        stretch.  Doing this, doing that.  Reading email, reading e-
        books, doing research for articles, writing the next issue of
        AHBBO.  It used to be fun, something to do in my off-time. 
        A break from the grind, if you will.  But now that it's my
        official job two or three days a week it's not so much fun
        as it is work.

        So, what's changed?  Quite simply, my online business
        has gone from something I always *wanted* to do to
        something I *have* to do.  And that, alas, is my demon. 
        As soon as I *have* to do something, I start playing the
        same mind-games that I played back in school when I
        wouldn't start an assignment until the absolute last
        minute.  I told myself it was because I worked well on
        deadlines.  What it really was, of course, was procrastination. 
        With a capital P.

        Does any of this sound familiar?  If not, perhaps you're just
        one very focused, very self-disciplined individual.  Good for
        you.  Now go away. 

        Or maybe you just haven't been doing this for long enough
        yet.  You can stay.  Think it won't happen to you?  Maybe
        not.  But if you're reading this at work when you really
        should be doing something else, like what they pay you for,
        you may just want to entertain the teensiest possibility that
        it might.

        So, for those of us mere mortals with actual lives and who
        start businesses out of our homes for quality of life reasons,
        you'd better get a handle on this demon and quick about
        it too.  Because if you don't, it will slowly but surely bring
        about the end of life as you know it and you'll be back to
        the 9 to 5 grind at your J.O.B. before you can even *think*
        about turning on The Young and the Restless.  (Just for
        background noise, of course.)

        OK, so, enough about what can happen and why and on to
        what you can do to make sure you get to keep the best of
        all possible worlds.  Here are six tips for getting the job
        done:

        1.  SET A SCHEDULE

        If you approach your business with the attitude that you
        can do whatever you want, whenever you want, guess what
        happens?  You do whatever you want, whenever you want.
        And the stuff that needs to be done but which you don't
        particularly feel like doing doesn't get done.  Ever.

        Lesson #1 - there's no such thing as being able to do what
        you want whenever you want all the time.  It's a fact
        of life that sometimes we have to do that which we would
        prefer not to do.  The best you can hope for with your own
        business is to choose the time for doing.

        So, instead of seeing your days as a big, blank canvas,
        ready for you to paint as and when you feel like it, decide
        which hours of the day you are going to allocate to working
        in your business.  And stick to it.  Of course, the huge
        advantage you have in running your own business over
        working at your J.O.B. is that you get to choose what those
        hours shall be.  Want to start at 6 am and finish at 2 pm? 
        No problem.  Want to start at noon and finish at 8?  Go for
        it.  But do it.

        And when it comes to scheduling, don't fall into the trap
        of thinking that just because you live where you work you
        have to work seven days a week.  Be sure to schedule some
        entirely work-free days.  That's MY big lesson from the past
        few months.  I was making the mistake of working at my
        J.O.B. for three days and then working the four days I was
        home in my business.  Got to the point where I was sick
        to death of it.  All of it.  So I started taking weekends off. 
        Much, much better.  I'm actually starting to enjoy working
        again.

        2.  DO WHAT HAS TO BE DONE, NOT WHAT YOU'D RATHER
        BE DOING

        It's all very well to set a work schedule and stick to it, it's
        quite another to spend that time doing what has to be done
        rather than what you'd rather be doing.  Sure, we'd ALL
        prefer to read and respond to email than write the next
        chapter of our e-book.  Reading and responding to email is
        easy.  Writing is hard!  But reading and responding to email
        won't grow your business.  Creating new product lines will.

        3.  ALLOCATE ACTIVITIES ACCORDING TO CONCENTRATION
        LEVEL REQUIRED

        Following on from the previous point, if you're spending the
        first three hours of your peak concentration time reading and
        responding to email rather than writing the next chapter of
        your book, you're doing the right things at the wrong time.
        Yes, you do need to read and respond to your email but it's
        not an intellectually demanding task.  Do it when your brain
        is winding down, not when it's at its sharpest.  Do the hard
        work when your brain is at its best.

        4.  KEEP DISTRACTIONS TO A MINIMUM

        Doing the right things at the right time is all for nought if
        you're going to be interrupted every ten minutes.  Turn OFF
        the email program that chimes every time you get new mail.
        Most likely it's NOT a new order and, even if it is, it will still
        be there at the time of your next allocated email check.

        Similarly, let the answering machine answer your private
        phone.  Get a second line installed to be used exclusively
        for your business.  And let the machine get THAT when you're
        not working.  Maintaining separate worlds as much as possible
        is the best way to avoid burnout.

        5.  BE FLEXIBLE BUT ACCOUNTABLE

        The best-laid plans of mice and men and all that mean that
        you need to be flexible in response to an unanticipated
        change in your schedule.  If something comes up that needs
        your attention when you had intended to be working, by all
        means attend to it.  Just make up the time later on.  It's
        swings and roundabouts.  It all comes out in the wash.

        6.  CARROTS WORK BETTER THAN STICKS

        Finally, my favorite tactic.  Reward yourself for getting the
        job done.  Nothing motivates me more to finish a set project
        that the knowledge that when I do, I have full permission to
        curl up on the couch with a good book for a couple of hours. 

        Give yourself an incentive to get whatever it is done.  Then
        you can truly enjoy the best of both worlds.  You can relax
        and enjoy whatever your reward is, free of the guilt that
        comes with knowing very well you should be doing something
        else, and with the certain knowledge that you've taken care
        of business first.

        _________________________

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        ** Reprinting of this article is welcome! **
        This article may be freely reproduced provided that: (1) you
        include the following resource box; and (2) you only mail to a
        100% opt-in list.

        Here's the resource box to use if reprinting this article:

        Elena Fawkner is editor of Home-Based Business Online. Best business ideas and opportunities for your home-based or online business.

        Copyright 1998-2017, AHBBO.com. All rights are reserved. Tuesday, 26-Jan-2021 03:07:02 CST

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