The day was so perfectly planned. I was starting an all new women’s small business club. I had run them a few years ago and I had been asked incessantly to start them up again.
I wanted it to be something different. Not just one of those networking groups where all that happens is that everyone is simply waiting for their turn to speak and hand out their business cards with no real interest in anyone but themselves. I wanted this to be a fabulous group that would grow together and support each other so that everyone came away with something positive each time.
I had obviously sold this idea as the group was oversubscribed within a few days of me opening up bookings.
And one lady, an existing member of my Small Business Kit, was prepared to drive for 3 hours in able to be able to attend!
As she was coming such a long way and didn’t know the area, I suggested she come to my house for 9:30 am and I would then drive her to the venue.
I had visions of her arriving at my home and seeing what a super sophisticated woman I was in all my perfect make-up and beautiful clothes and she would admire my domestic goddess status with my wonderful home being so perfect and welcoming.
What happened was ……
I woke up on the morning and started to load the car with a flip chart. display board, refreshments etc. It was only at this moment in time I realised I was going to have to create a Houdini type of act to be able to fit this all in the back of my car! After much faffing, grunting, groaning, pushing and shoving, it finally all went in.
However, I was left looking like I had been dragged through a hedge backward!!!! It was not a pretty sight!
I dash back into the house and check the time. It’s ok. I have time to shower, wash hair and then come down and vacuum the carpet of blonde dog hair from my Labrador who has started shedding her coat in the last 24 hours (only someone who owns a Golden Lab will understand the absolute blizzard of hair they can create just from one 5 second body shake when shedding their coats!).
Off upstairs I go and start the water running. I am just putting my foot into the shower when the phone starts to ring. Should I ignore it? Yes? No? Of course, I can’t ignore it. It might be the lovely lady on her long drive who is lost. I dash to grab the phone and no, it’s not my lady. It’s a family member who is ill at the moment.
Wrenching with my conscience of needing to be there for her but also conscious of time, I let her know I am busy and need to dash. But she really needs someone to talk to and I can’t not listen. Over 45 minutes later, I manage to get in the shower.
Oh, s***! I’m seriously running out of time.
I get out of the shower, check the time and realise I only have half an hour before my lady is due to turn up. Time to start getting slightly hot under the collar.
And then it happens. THE DOORBELL RINGS!
No!! It can’t be. It must be the postman.
I dash downstairs in old (but incredibly comfy) dressing gown, old faithful, but seen better days’ slippers and a towel wrapped around my head. Yes, it’s worse case scenario!
My lady has arrived early!!!!!!
I let her in and was in the middle of explaining my predicament when blonde bombshell Molly (my Labrador) comes bounding out to say hello. She instantly jumps up and sheds a few pounds of hair all over the beautiful poncho that my guest is wearing.
Cutting the story very short or we would be here all day, there was only one thing for it. I hustled my poor frazzled guest into the kitchen. I told her under no circumstances to take her shoes off or she would end up with feet resembling those of a yeti from the carpet of hair on the floor. I then thought sod it, showed her where everything was and told her to make us both some tea whilst I went and got ready.
Eventually, I made it back downstairs, although needing another shower due to antics of the morning so far getting me somewhat hot and bothered.
We sat down together in the kitchen and started to greet each other properly and sip out tea.
Then all hell broke loose. I saw the cat trying to catch a fish out of the pond in the garden. I stood up but the dog got there first. The ensuing chaos could really make a comedy sketch. The cat has a fish, the dog is now chasing the cat, I am now chasing the dog and my poor guest is sat looking on in astonishment.
I’m a fake!
Hell. My cover really is blown! I’m faking this super sophisticated domestic goddess status. My life is generally chaos!
Eventually, we got to the business club and I simply had to relay the story to the other ladies.
And do you know what? I think they loved me all the more for it. One lady said how she followed me and listened to me because I was so real. She loved the fact that when I did my live videos my dog would suddenly bounce into view and on more than occasion knock the camera over.
They loved that I wasn’t sat in perfection with the humungous vase of roses, the bone china, the stilettos, hair done by (hang on, who is a top hairdresser these days?) and picture-perfect makeup. They could relate to me. And that made me so happy.
I simply don’t have to be perfect. I just have to be me. Chaos and all.
And do you know the best thing? My lovely guest is coming back again next month. Yippee!!!!
Have you had a perfectly planned day that went pear shaped? Share your experience below and let me know I’m not alone!
Do you struggle to keep your housework under control when working from home and running your home business? Yes? It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? You are at home all day but the housework just doesn’t seem to get done!
When I was in my corporate job, there was a clear distinction between work and home and I would designate the weekends to get the housework done. But when you run a home business, the lines are blurred into one. You can either get distracted whilst leaving your work to go get a cup of tea and end up doing the laundry or the alternative which happens to me, you mean to get the housework done but just can’t tear yourself away from doing that one niggling work task that is outstanding.
Get your home under control and save your sanity
So here’s my trick to help get the housework under control. Each morning and each evening, do a 30-minute dash. Set yourself some specific tasks for each day and see how much you get done using this method. I honestly swear by it. Each morning I get up and do my 30-minute dash on something like cleaning the bathroom and shower room, dusting the bedrooms, vacuuming the floor, putting the laundry through etc. And then I repeat this each evening with another task.
As a bit of a list freak, I created myself a planner with different tasks for each day to help me keep the housework under control. I also added a column for my key daily work task and then another for personal life such as taking time out to read, doing exercise and making time for friends and family.
I call it my weekly sanity planner and it takes no more than an hour each day to keep my housework under control, although a little longer on a Saturday and time out for yourself on a Sunday.
It really is amazing what you can achieve when you set a timer and challenge yourself to achieve something within a set time and by using such an incredibly simple planner, I feel so much more in control which reduces my stress and makes me feel like a domesticated goddess! (Well, some days at least).
If you would like to save your sanity when working from home and want a copy of my personal planner and a blank one for your own use, let me know in the comments below.
It happens to the best of us. We are striving away running our home based business but one day we get up but find that our motivation has decided to take a day off. We know what we should be doing but the body and mind simply aren’t willing.
Half a dozen cups of coffee later and even the caffeine isn’t helping. All we want to do is crawl back into bed and hide. No amount of staring at the laptop screen is producing any sort of work of an acceptable standard and the clock is slowly ticking away whilst you feel like you are swimming in a vat of treacle.
You scroll through your emails half a dozen times and can’t muster the energy to reply to any of them. They will have to wait until later, or perhaps tomorrow. The phone calls you need to make get left for another day as the effort required to speak to another person in even a slightly engaging manner is simply too much.
When you get a day like this, follow these ten tips to get your motivation back on track and get moving forward once again.
Have a welcoming workspace
Having a clear, decluttered workspace that makes you feel good when you sit down can help you get motivated to get on and do some work. Only have things that you need on your desk along with a couple of personal items that you love looking at such as a vase of flowers or favourite picture.
Find an accountability partner
Get someone who will chase you up and make you accountable for getting those pesky tasks finished. Knowing that someone is going to be checking up on you to see what you have done can help spur you into action.
Review your goals
Take a closer look at your original goals and make sure you have not gone off track which is leaving you feeling somewhat demotivated. Re-define your goals if you need to and also take time to realise how far you have come since you started. This can help make you feel good and give you the oomph to get moving forward again.
Define your why
Why did you start your business? What was that burning passion that you wanted to fulfil? Go create yourself a vision board of what you want to achieve and realise that if you don’t get off your butt and do some work these things are going to slip you by.
Working from home can be lonely and it is easy to sink into a lull. Get out and mix with other like minded people who understand what you are going through and can help lift you up again. Find a local group that you connect with and make it a habit to meet once a month to help lift your spirits and get inspired.
Find a hero
Who do you admire? Who would you love to be like? Go print off a picture of them and pin by your desk. When you are feeling out of sorts and de-motivated, take a look at their picture and ask yourself what they would do. Put yourself in their shoes and model yourself on their behaviour. They wouldn’t have got to where they did by not putting in the effort so think about the action they would take in your position and go do it.
Get off social media
One of the biggest de-motivators in this day and age can be social media. You constantly see a raft of your competitors who are all professing to be raking in the money whilst sipping cocktails on the beach whilst you are still slogging away trying to make ends meet. Well, stop looking at them! Have a social media detox for a couple of days and start to see how much better you feel.
When you are feeling low and de-motivated, one of the last things you feel like doing is exercise. But just going for a simple walk in the fresh air can help clear your head and make you feel so much better. Doing energetic physical activity releases endorphins – the happy bugs – which give you energy and make you feel full of life again ready to tackle the world.
Dress the part
Slouching around in your pj’s all day is not going to help get you in the right frame of mind for doing your best work. So get up, get dressed, slap on the lippy and act as though you are going to a high level board meeting or to meet your idol in point 6 above. Dress up and show up! It is incredible how by just dressing the part can help change your mood and your attitude.
Take a day off
Sometimes the simple fact is that you just need to take a day out to chill, read a book, watch a movie or hide under the duvet with a box of chocolate. Everyone needs a down day sometimes. The world won’t end if you take a day out. Just go easy on yourself, take a break and promise yourself you will get back on it again tomorrow.
P.S. If you really are struggling and would like some one to one support to get you back on track, become a member of The Small Business Kit and let me help you out.
I really cannot stress enough the importance of having the correct working environment and getting into the right frame of mind when you are working from home in order that you work at your best. By having a well laid out and organised workspace that feels comfortable and welcoming will help you be more focused, organised and productive. By thinking about what you wear and how you look can get you in the right mindset for creating your best work.
Even if space is of a premium in your home, really make the effort to create a harmonious working environment rather than grabbing a spare inch at the end of the dining table or working from your sofa without putting any thought into your surroundings.
Wherever you have your workspace, you need to keep it organised. Make sure you tidy your desk at the end of each day and block out an hour or two once each month to do a declutter. It is incredible how quickly unnecessary items find a way of taking up residence long term if allowed to. Don’t leave piles of paperwork in the corner of the room if you don’t have a designated working area. Get a storage box and put everything neatly back into it at the end of each day.
Ensure that your work area is a pleasure to look at and work at.
- Get a vase and keep it filled with freshly cut flowers.
- Light a softly scented candle whilst you work.
- Have your favourite motivational quote printed off and put in a small picture frame to sit where you can see it.
- Buy yourself a special mug or glass for your drink.
- Treat yourself to a beautiful desk lamp.
- Get a gorgeous cushion for your chair.
Even if you do have to work from your dining table you can still spend a few minutes each morning setting these things out to get you in the right frame of mind.
Don’t forget yourself and how you dress. It is all too easy to pop on those comfy tracksuit bottoms when working from home but dressing in the right manner can help get us in the right mindset for working effectively. Treat yourself to some clothes that are both comfortable but that look smart and you wouldn’t be embarrassed a client seeing you in. For the ultimate luxury get a pair of cashmere lounge pants. Pricey but worth it. Don’t scrimp on the make-up either. Look your best and you will feel your best and work at your best. Give yourself a spritz of your favourite perfume in the morning, don’t just save it for when you are leaving the house.
All of these are small things but can make a big difference in how you feel when you are working.
Try them out and see how you feel and then let me know in the comments box at the bottom of the page.
Tips for organising your home office
A few alternative home office ideas