How To Be More Productive, Effective and Successful

One of the good things about being self-employed and having a home based business is the flexibility to do what you want, when you want, and how you want.

One of the worst things about being self-employed and having a home based business is taking advantage of being able to do what you want, when you want, and how you want.

How could that be?

Without extreme discipline to force yourself to work certain hours and meet self imposed productivity goals, there's a good chance you'll find yourself not getting as much accomplished as you'd like. This will result in you getting discouraged and eventually it could result in business failure.

The solution: develop good work habits.

It's hard when it's a pretty day outside and you just want to take the family to the lake for a picnic.—but you've got to have the discipline to stick with your plan if you want to achieve your goals.

If it's Wednesday at noon and the wife says—hey, let's go shopping—you've got to learn to say no; I can't go, I need to work.

Plan haircuts, oil changes, trips to grandmas, grocery shopping, office supplies, etc., around your work schedule—not in the middle of it. Maybe plan one weekday to be your off day to take care of all those things when there is no crowd. Then plan to work on Saturday in your business.

Keep a list of things that need to be done each week. Tackle the things you like to do the least FIRST. Once they are out of the way, the rest of the week will be easy. If you do the easy things first, the things you don't like will probably get pushed into next week or the week after that. And the result is that you'll have a feeling that you just aren't getting anything done.

It's too easy to get in the habit not working or get distracted when the family wants to go play. The result is no deals and no money. Don't get sidetracked! The only exception should be if a seller calls and it sounds like a good deal. Then you should put everything else on hold—even family—to go talk to the seller belly to belly, even if it is outside your work schedule.

If you need an afternoon once a week to spend with family, then schedule that day. Make it the same day each week so it becomes a routine.

Plan your work, and then work your plan to achieve your goals. What will you do on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.? Which day will be your out of the office day? What do you plan to do each of those days? What's the first thing you will check on or do each morning when you start your work day? What's the second thing and the third?

It's also important to have at least one day a week that you schedule to be "working" out of the office. Use this time to drive neighborhoods, stop to talk to people in the neighborhoods, talk with local banks RED departments, talk to Realtors, visit with CPAs. Network, network, network! But only use this day to look for deals and contacts that can bring you deals. Don't fudge and rise it for a family outing. It's business only time. Leave the family at home. Distractions will side track your success.

Unfortunately, when you have a home-based business it's too easy to let other things get in the way of your success. What other things? Family!

Is your family making so much noise you can't think straight? Then you need to set up a quiet place to work where you have a strict DO NOT DISTURB policy. It's impossible to get anything done when you have constant interruptions.

Have a family meeting to explain your new commitment to stick with a schedule for work and request that they do whatever is necessary to help you stick with it. Explain that the more time you spend working on your business now, the more time you will have and the more money you will have to do fun things with the family later. If you can't get any work done now, then there might not be any family outings or vacations later.

If the TV is on full time, or the kids are running around the house making noise, then that makes it hard for you to concentrate on work.

Enlist the help of all family members to help you stick to a schedule and get their help to create a calm, quiet work environment. If you don't—you won't reach your financial goals and you may never obtain the success you are looking for.


Reprinted by Permission. The author is the founder of and co-founder of Visit or call (972) 496-4500.

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MREIA (Metro Real Estate Investors Association) is New Jersey's oldest real estate investors group founded in 1982. Our mission is to aid, train, motivate and share information relating to real estate investing. We are dedicated to helping both beginning AND experienced investors. We serve the New Jersey-New York metropolitan area.

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