If you are a home-based business opportunity, franchise or other small business owner, then you know how hard it can be to stay motivated day in and day out, especially if you’re a one-person shop with no one else around to keep you on track. You know how easy it is to get distracted or feel rudderless such that nothing you need to get done actually does.
It’s happened to the best of us.
Fortunately, there is a secret to staying the course and moving forward, even when you don’t feel like it, and that’s routine.
What? Wait a minute, routine is not a motivator. It’s boring. It’s monotonous, and monotony is what gets us into trouble, right?
Not so, according to most time-management experts. Having an overall routine, they say, is actually one of the most important and powerful things you can do for yourself as a work-at-home small business owner. In fact, it can be the secret to your success.
And it all starts with your recognizing the importance of adhering to a routine in the first place.
Routine is a course of action that you follow regularly, enabling you to stay with the plan and keep your eyes on the prize. It’s a habit you want to establish and keep, much like exercise. Sticking to it may not always be fun, but you know it’s just plain good for you. So you rise to the occasion and do it anyway.
Moreover, if and when you do get off track and lose your way, getting back into your routine can actually be a lifesaver, not to mention a business-saver.
Okay, so once you’ve established the critical role that routine plays in your work and overall life, then what? Well, then it’s time to create one that works for you and your lifestyle. And the key to success in that process can be summed up in two words: balance and flexibility.
Let’s start with the concept of balance.
You’ve heard the old proverb, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” right? A dull boy who eventually burns out and fails—or at the very least gives up—is more like it.
Being a small business owner, especially when you’re a one-person shop, is exhausting. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. To go the distance, you’ve got to build a routine that recognizes the importance of balance. It’s all about establishing an overall construct for your life that allows for a reasonable amount of time to get your job done as well as to take care of your personal needs, including your mental and physical health and your personal relationships.
And then there’s flexibility.
What home-based or other small business owner can predict what any given day will bring in the way of unanticipated problems and challenges? Not many. That’s why your routine also has to leave room for error. You need to carve out a block of time each day or at the very least every week when your only goal is to catch up. And hey, if you are on task and feeling like you can take a breath when that time rolls around, then give yourself permission to spend it where you need to the most.
By creating a well-balanced yet flexible routine, one that you can follow each day and come back to when things go awry, you’re capitalizing on one of the greatest opportunities to foster your own success as a home-based or other small business owner. And that, in and of itself, is perhaps the greatest motivation of all.