We all know that one schedule doesn’t work for everyone. One of the reasons many choose self employment is to design a work life to fit their lifestyle.
Finding a schedule and routine that works for you is not a one-shot deal. It may take time to work out the right one. A schedule on paper or in Google calendar may look good, but it may not work with your actual work day.
A Routine Test
The best way to learn if a schedule will work for you is to try it out. Think of it like trying on clothes, or taking a trial version of a software program for a spin. Taking the schedule and routine you outlined and applying it to real life is the only way to know for sure if it’s a good fit.
Nobody said you had to get it right the first time. As a newly self employed home-based entrepreneur, you have to learn what works best for your new life.
- Do you work best and at your peak early in the morning?
- Do you like to sleep in and really get going around 10?
- Do you putter around in the morning and work more efficiently in the afternoon?
- Do you sleep all day and work at night?
Everyone is different. You have to discover your own best schedule and your peak performing times. Trying out different routines will help you pinpoint your best schedules.
Oh, and Remember Things Change…
Chances are that once you find your ideal routine, life will throw you a curve. I’ve had lots of ideal routines over the years, and have had to learn to adapt. As a home-based entrepreneur, your work life and home life overlap. So as things in your household change your routine may need to change. When:
- You get married or move in with your significant other
- You have kids
- Your spouse or partner gets a new job or decides to also go the self employment route
- The kids are home for summer vacation, and then go back to school
- New projects or ventures come along
Each time you need to adopt a new routine and schedule, be sure to test it out. Knowing what’s worked in the past is a great starting point. But as things change, your flexibility comes into play. Working for yourself is one of the greatest ways to make a living — and a life.
Just remember that how you do that day-to-day, may take a few iterations to perfect.
I, for one, am very glad to have a routine. Nothing bothered me more about being a student in college than not having a regular schedule. Day or night, it didn’t matter; no day was the same. It’s no wonder my parents never knew whether to expect me home for dinner or not.
Routines are important of course and it takes some persistence to establish them if you are working from home. This has been a hard lesson for me but it’s steadily getting easier. It takes discipline.
The difficulty is keeping all those distractions at arm’s length – like people who think they can just call on you whenever they please. In contrast with that difficulty is the wonderful feeling of just being able to drop everything and do something impulsive – or attend to a family crisis or whatever genuine need comes along.
Jesse – I agree. It’s so much easier when you find the right routine.
Trevor – Great point. Managing distractions is an important part of establishing a routine, but so is flexibility.
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