Work From Home & Make Each Day Matter
When I started working from home in that late 80’s I thought I had won the lottery! I had done well enough in direct sales to replace my income and fire my job! No more 9-5 grind, finding sitters or the daily frustration of traffic. But I soon I experienced challenges I never expected!
How to work from home or be self-employed, create a life you love & Make each day count even in the midst of chaos and challenges.
Challenge #1 – Although working from home frees us to control our time we never seem to have quite enough of it.
In the corporate world, I knew what I was there to do. At home, my job was not so clearly defined. I often felt a pull in a dozen different directions!
I longed for my quiet time with God. Visions of leisurely workouts and spa treatments danced in my head.
The reality, however, was very different. The kids constantly wanted my attention and I felt guilty if I didn’t give it to them. The laundry and dishes piled up mercilessly. I had groceries to buy, meals to prepare, pets to feed and a home to manage. This was in addition to my business..
By the time I dragged into my office at home I was frazzled and exhausted! I would sit down in front of my new desk and stare at the to-do list wondering where to even start.
Challenge #2 – Technology creates a sense of overwhelm.
Back then the mail, answering machine and faxes that needed to be answered seemed like a lot. Compared with today, however, these tasks seem like a walk in the park!
Today, we must respond to text messages, emails, and instant messages from a variety of social media platforms including LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Alignable, etc.. In addition, as entrepreneurs we are told we must maintain a social media presence and engage our followers. So we strive to produce videos and manage online groups to improve engagement. We also strive to be good writers and create online content and courses to drive traffic to our website. Whew!
The truth is the technology that was supposed to make our life easier is now consuming it.
In his powerful book Margin and the companion, A Minute of Margin, Richard Swenson shares an eye-opening perspective
“For every hour progress saves us by organizing and techologizing our time it consumes two more hours through the consequences; direct or indirect of this activity”
And even if we manage to keep up with all this activity there is still the lingering question that gnaws at our soul: Does any of it even matter?
Challenge #3 Life seems to get busier and yet feels less fulfilling and meaningful.
The good news is that eventually, I learned how to balance my time working from home. One way I do this is to use one of Stephen Covey’s 7 habits, “Start with the end in mind”.
And, I no longer use a to-do list! Here is what I do instead:
3 Strategies to Make Each Day Matter
One of the best ways to make each day matter is to start the day with prayer and meditation. This is one of the most important keys for having a successful and meaningful day. Regular prayer and meditation will open your spirit to Divine Direction and will give you greater clarity, purpose, and passion.
Reflection: What prompting, direction or message have you been feeling in your spirit? Often these promptings are the key to your next breakthrough, product or invention.
Traditional to-do lists have many drawbacks. First,
[tweetshare tweet=”We invariably assume that we can accomplish far more in a day than we really can. This leads to the never-ending feeling that we have not done enough, and even worse that we are not enough. – Brenda Byers” username=”@prosperinall”]
The second challenge using a to-do list is that we give everything on the list equal importance and fail to distinguish between the important and the urgent.
Therefore, we tend to spend most of our day putting out fires. We often put off or neglect the things of lasting importance. So our days lack purpose and balance. For example, we dash out the door to attend a meeting and forget to feed our body with the fuel of healthy foods. We skip the much-needed exercise in order to save time.
Tool: The Prosper Daily Plan (click to download) is a simple way to prioritize and schedule your activities based on your mission and goals. By using 20-minute chunks of uninterrupted time you will get more done in less time.
You can complete the Prosper Plan in just a few minutes each morning. It even has a place to incorporate your morning spiritual practice, declarations, gratitude, wins, your words for the year and inspirational verse or quote!
Do you remember the old adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? I’d like to add another one like it,
“An ounce of preparation saves a pound of wasted time and effort!”
If you preview your schedule each night and spend a few minutes preparing the next day will flow with greater ease! E.g. Pack your gym bag or put out your workout clothes the night before. In the morning you will be more likely to exercise. And you will eliminate the stress of starting your day with decisions about what to wear.
If you have a work function try laying out everything you will need the night before. This will reduce the last minute searching for files, business cards, glasses, keys, etc.
Avoid running out the door or eating fast food. With just a little advance meal planning and preparation you can enjoy nutritious and delicious food at a fraction of the cost you would pay eating out..
A Final Word About Making Each Day Count
If I was going to add one more word that starts with “P” to the list it would be “presence”.
In this age of distraction, it is easy to go through our life without being mindful.
We devour a meal while watching TV or talking on the phone and never truly savor the food. We have “conversations” while staring at our texts, playing games or thinking about the next thing we are going to say
Presence means being fully present and engaged wherever you are and whatever you are doing.
Even more importantly, it means training ourselves to be aware of the Presence that makes us “lie down in green pastures and leads us to still waters“. – Psalms 23
I will conclude with a beautiful prayer by Moses found in Psalms 90:12
So teach us to number our days,
That we may cultivate and bring to You a heart of wisdom.