Working from home is as productive as you make it, and it all starts with your morning habits. Here are 9 things I've nailed down in my 19 months of self-employment. They've helped me work smarter instead of harder and produce bigger results in a shorter amount of time. I'm now able to work only 4-6 hours per day on my businesses!
Ready to start your morning right? Add these to your to-do list for tomorrow.
1. WAKE UP BEFORE EVERYONE ELSE DOES
Even if you're not a mama like me, you may have roommates, parents, or a significant other vying for your attention as soon as you get up. Set your alarm for a half hour earlier than normal so that you can get started on your day before anyone else. You'll feel much more relaxed and prepared when requests start pouring in for your time.
Related article: 5 Ways I Stay Awake
2. CHANGE YOUR CLOTHES + PUT ON SOME MAKEUP
I'll be the first to confess that I prefer leggings and an oversized tee over my ol' corporate suit any day. So, I'm not saying you have to dress up, but at least change out of your pajamas, wash your face and put on some mascara. Plus, with Periscope all the rage you wanna look profesh. No one is going to trust you to take care of them as a client if you can't take care of yourself.
Related article: 10 Actionable Steps to Self-Love
3. MOVE YOUR WORK OUT OF YOUR BEDROOM
I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- you need to have a designated space for business. Even if it's a corner of your kitchen, make sure you have a table and a chair. Your bed is for sleeping and will make you sleepy, or at least, that's what it does for me. :) Head to a coffee shop or a library if you still have trouble concentrating. Your surroundings determine your mood.
Related article: My Favorite Blogger Office Essentials
4. READ AND/OR LISTEN TO SOMETHING INSPIRING
Starting your day with something to encourage and motivate you is absolutely crucial for your self-confidence. When I skip my morning devotional or recording, I'm not as excited to begin my day and I don't get as much done before lunchtime. Getting pumped up will energize you before you grab your first coffee, even if it's simply putting on some tunes and having a solo dance party (no judgment here).
Related article: 11 Songs to Make You Feel Like a Superstar
5. HAVE BREAKFAST + YOUR FAVE BEVERAGE
Y'all know how much I adore my caffeine, but I get #hangry if I don't have enough to eat, too. Make sure you eat a healthy breakfast with a combination of protein and fiber to sustain your energy. Brew your beverage of choice and sip slowly. Ahh, that sounds nice, doesn't it?
Related article: 6 Steps to Healthier Eating Habits
6. SCHEDULE SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
Even as an online business owner, you don't need to spend more than an hour a day on social media (unless you're at a Twitter party, but more about that in a sec). One half hour should be for making conversation and chatting with your community; the other should be for scheduling future statuses.
What should you be scheduling? Archived articles, paid offerings, new blog posts, newsletter opt-ins, and helpful links from other blogs in your niche. Here's what my Hootsuite calendar looks like for next week (so far). Now I don't have to worry about keeping up with my networks and instead, can concentrate on creating future content for you -- which is the most important task of all.
Related article: 8 Free Ways to Promote Your Blog
7. GO OVER YOUR TO-DO LIST + CHECK STUFF OFF
I'm all about lists. Lists and coffee, those are my passions. Be sure to make a to-do list every night for the next day and go over it when you wake up. Write it down in order of importance. Add any last-minute responsibilities and check things off as you go. (Tip: I always color-code mine with highlighters based on what area of my life the task falls under -- kid stuff, blog stuff, etc.) You'll love the satisfaction.
Related article: #30daysoftodos, a New Instagram Challenge for Women Wantrepreneurs
8. ORGANIZE YOUR SPACE
Just as it's important to keep your duties organized in a list, it's also important to keep your workspace tidy. I'm no clean freak, but the one place I always need neat is my office. If your desk is piled up and it's impossible to find things, your workday will last much longer (and you'll be less productive). Make sure you're not wasting time by putting everything in its proper place before you get down to business.
Related article: 10 Day Mini Organizing Challenge
9. PLAN YOUR BREAKS
Relaxation is the spice of life, or something like that. I'm a workaholic and I don't like stopping, so I schedule in my breaks for the day and plan what I'm going to do during them (shower, eat, watch a movie, take a walk). Make sure you're giving yourself room to breathe.
Related article: 8 Little Things to Relax You Daily
PS, we're having our bimonthly Twitter chat tonight at 4pm PST under #liveloudly. It's a great place to meet like-minded biz babes and learn something new. So, set an alarm and pop over in a few hours! Can't wait to party with ya and talk launch strategy!