(c) Stephen Wright
The good news; at last, you have achieved
your dream. You've escaped the traditional, away from home work force and are now self-employed whether it be
part-time or full-time. Now, the bad news. You are now self-employed. It is both good news and bad news. That
is, if you are not prepared to deal with the information overload. There you sit, in your spiffy new
office - whether it's in the corner of the sitting room or in a converted bedroom surrounded by your equally
spiffy new toys...your computer, desk and some strategically placed shelves. Your new multi-function center will
print stuff, fax stuff and copy stuff. (It won't hang out the washing, but hey, you can't have
You've even got work coming-in and the
immediate worry about making a living has vanished. Hooray! You really *can* work from home! At first, working
at home is pure bliss. Then you get a week when everybody and their dog seems to want your services. After
putting in a few late nights, you meet all the deadlines and think; phew...I'm glad that's over! You decide to
relax and give yourself a day off. After all, you worked all through the weekend and earned it,
Unfortunately, the following week you find
yourself off to a bad start trying to make-up for your day off. Before you know it, you find that you are
dropping further and further behind. You reflect gloomily that when you were working for someone else, at least
at the end of the day you were finished...what didn't get done didn't get done!
Well, it's time to take heart and set a
few simple strategies in place that will keep you in control of your time...and your sanity.
=== 1. Do NOT Accept Any New Work This
Take a good look at what you have on your
plate now, and carefully plan the week ahead. Your aim is to regain control. Tell new clients that you are fully
booked, but you can put them on a priority list to be phoned next week. (This will not only allow you to catch
up, but make your services appear highly in demand.)
=== 2. Build In Time For Leisure and Rest.
Not only for this week, but EVERY week. A
half hour walk; a twenty-minute break in the sun with a cup of coffee; a quick swim or a movie outing with
friends - all these activities can recharge your batteries. You will find that you can achieve far more when you
are rested and alert. (How many times have you sat at the computer staring at the screen, achieving very little,
because you're over-tired?)
=== 3. Tackle Urgent Tasks First.
If you're behind, your first step must be
to contact all clients and arrange firm new deadlines. Make sure you base these new deadlines on what you CAN
achieve, not what you HOPE you can achieve. If any existing client needs your services or products urgently,
bump them up the queue.
=== 4. Prioritize Remaining Tasks.
Scrap anything that is not essential, and
delegate what you can. Consider involving family, business associates or friends to handle some tasks. (Warning:
do not hand over tasks that must be carried out only by you as the principal of the business. Your reputation is
=== 5. Set Achievable Daily Goals.
If you finish a task ahead of schedule,
begin the next... but adhere to a definite cut-off time each day. What you are doing this week is establishing a
system that will continue to work for you.
Getting out of trouble when your business
is in overload is just like getting out of debt. Your business rating is similar to your credit rating - nothing
can be gained by denying that a problem exists. Nothing can be gained by slipping deeper into the mire. Call a
halt; contact the main players; set workable strategies in place and you can quickly regroup.
Before you know it, your home business
dream will be on track once more.
Stephen Wright is President
& CEO of InternetMarketingUSA.com
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