Having A Schedule Is Crucial If You Work For Yourself – Here’s Why

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Working for yourself is the best!

I could practically end this post with that opening sentence…except for the fact that that isn’t the actual topic of the post, so perhaps I should carry on!?

Seriously though, hands down and no questions asked, working from home ROCKS. At least it does from my point of view. In fact the list of benefits of working from home (or, just working remotely in general) is so long that I feel I would bore the ever loving —- out of you if I went into it very deeply – but just for the sake of maybe providing a small amount of inspiration (as well as to make myself feel kinda good!) here are just a few reasons that I personally like it so much.

  • I literally don’t have to work with, or for, anyone I don’t want to (assuming there is currently money coming in!)
  • I can work WHEN I want to
  • I can wear whatever I choose to wear
  • I can listen to inspirational music. LOUDLY. (Don’t take this lightly)
  • I am completely mobile about 60% of the time

I’m certainly not alone in this point of view either – check out this article in Forbes if the spirit moves you…

I am going to stop there because the reasons WHY I enjoy being a work-from-home dad are literally endless AND, more importantly, the reasons that I love to work from home are also NOT the topic of this article! Yes, eventually I will get to the point!

Working for yourself is GREAT but you MUST have a schedule

Finally we get to the meat and potatoes!

If you want to make a successful go of working for yourself, then you’re going to have to get used to having a schedule. Unless you’re some kind of mutant demi-god that is, (and trust me, I thought I was one!) working for yourself necessitates a schedule – and that goes DOUBLE if you also work BY yourself.

But, but…

What’s this you say? You say that not having to conform to a schedule was part of the appeal to going out on your own in the first place?

I hear ya, and…

I do have good news

Before you get bummed out about this whole keeping a schedule thing, I am going to point out that there IS good news, but first you must bear a few things in mind.

First, even though you’re working for yourself, I would assume that you would STILL like to have a feeling of accomplishment? A slight sense of pride, yes?

Well, I can tell you from way too much experience, that attempting to run your day without a sense of structure & schedule is the QUICKEST way to have the day “get away from you” as they say and this can and will quickly erode that sense of accomplishment!

And trust me, without a schedule your day WILL get away from you. That’s the bare bones truth about being self employed.

So what’s the good news? The good news is that, unlike with a traditional job, it is now YOU that gets to make the schedule! It’s you that gets to decide what gets done when and for how long. Not to mention that it does NOT have to be the same freakin’ schedule day in and day out, week in and week out – which is REALLY they type of schedule that you are wanting to avoid anyway, am I right? You can finally be creative, even when it comes to allotting your time.

Two ‘working for yourself’ schedule ideas that have helped me

The ‘One Week Ahead’ Method

This is the one that I find works the best for me. The reason, I believe, is because when I do my schedule this way, I almost always plan more than just my work tasks. I usually plan things with my family and my ‘around the house’ chores as well.

But that isn’t all, not only do I like to plan out my other non-work weekly activities when I plan this way, but another thing that I do which could be considered cheesy (ask me if I care!) is that once my schedule is done I will take a screenshot of the document with my tasks on it so that it becomes an image. The I will grab a free inspirational photo from say pexels and in photoshop – or your image editor of choice, I create a nice BIG collage and use it as the wallpaper on my laptop. This way I am FORCED to see it almost all the time AND it gives me a great sense of satisfaction as my tasks become complete.

The ‘One Day Ahead’ Method

This one is a little more straight forward. It’s more or less like making a traditional ‘to-do’ list. The only thing I generally do that might be a little different is to first make sure I begin my plan when everyone else is in bed, and second I do a “brain dump” on a piece of paper first before I create the actual to-do list. In other words, I first just write down every single thing I can think of that needs to get done (work-wise) in the next 24 to 48 hours no matter how huge or how tiny I think it may be. Once my ‘brain dump’ is complete, then I am ready to prioritize for the following day.

This method isn’t quite as good, in my opinion, as doing a full week ahead, but it is still faaaar better than “winging it” once the day already has a bit of momentum going!

In Closing…

We have discussed, at least from my point of view, why it is so crucial to have a schedule if you are self employed. I’ve given you two ideas to try out – one incredibly easy and one that, although it requires a bit of planning, is really quite fun.

Interested in one of the things that I do personally that allows me the opportunity to stay home and spend time with my daughter? Check it out here.

What are YOUR thoughts on creating your own daily or weekly schedules? I would love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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Marc is a Dad, a Web Designer, a Creator of Branding and an occasional blogger . (and probably in that order!) with some affiliate marketing thrown in for good measure.

He owns Thirsty Fish Graphic Design, A one-man web design biz., based in Corning, NY which is in the heart of the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate NY.

He enjoys physical fitness and healthy eating to an annoying degree, playing guitar, playing piano, sketching and most of all hanging with his daughter doing just about anything!

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