1. Jackie – boy, I’l be ashamed to admit how many of the above transgressions I’m guilty of. Time for some definite changes. It’s not that I’m not productive – I get a LOT accomplished. It’ just that my health is also circling the commode, and my time could much be better invested. Thanks for the nudge!

    • So sorry to hear about your health, Joan. Hope you get better quickly. Re changes: Got to focus on what’s most important first. And that’s taking care of yourself! Thanks for your comments.

  2. Okay, I run my business and career this way, so that’s all good.
    BUT, and this is a big but, did you ever get my attention about working too much! I consistently work 12-hour days, and though I’m tired–a LOT–I’d never even thought of the health ramifications. Yikes! Heart disease, stroke, and even dementia! If that’s not enough to get me to change my ways, I’m not sure what is.
    Thank you, Jackie–truly. You’ve just changed my life.

    • Really? Changed your life? Wow! That gives me goose bumps, Susan. I think the most frightening statistic I have read is that too much stress (that comes from working too long) can alter your DNA. Let me repeat that: Alter. Your. DNA. The consequence is much more serious than dementia — it can shorten your life span. Give yourself a sold “day end” deadline, girlfriend. And stick to it! Thanks for your comments.

  3. These are all really good pieces of advice, Jackie. I am very careful to work no more than 8 hours a day and to take weekends off. It’s wonderful that we are more productive when we do that. Counter-intuitive, perhaps but it’s empowering to learn that for ourselves. Life is so much more enjoyable when we have lots of free time to enjoy.

    • We A personality types have to learn the hard way, Beth. 🙂 We are not only more productive when we limit our working hours, but we also boost our creativity levels. What I have found out is that the brain continues to kick over, even when I’m not slaving over a hot keyboard. And when I’m relaxing and focusing on other things, often the solution I’ve been seeking pops into my brain. So I tell myself that I really am working when I relax.

    • I always work to practice what I preach and provide a great example. Thank you for noticing Beth! If you are interested, happy to have you as well!

    • It is an honor to work with someone who has your experience and knowledge to help us ‘little people’. Thank you!

  4. This is so hard for me, especially just starting my health coaching business. There are times when I don’t have much work because I’m waiting for other people to do their thing (like today), and then when it’s finally my turn, I work till I drop. I need some balance.

    • Carol, as a health coach, you definitely need to practice what you preach. Balance doesn’t come naturally to new business owners…they have to work at it (haha!). Use your down time productively: What can you do to advance your business? The key is to spend your time in a way that brings you the highest return on investment. Keep in mind, however, that the ROI could very well be your health and sanity. You can’t help others if you don’t take care of yourself first. Thanks for your comments!

  5. This is great advice. A few weeks back I was blogging away in my PJs as I kept putting off getting dressed until I did just ‘one more thing’ and a friend I hadn’t seen in years dropped in, followed by a delivery I had to sign for. I was so flustered and embarrassed I couldn’t focus when I went back to the blog. I should have dressed for work at the start of the day. I love your tips on creating an office space too.I handed over our home office to Hubby when he started working from home. I have another space now but it’s temporary so I’m in the process of making a vision board for work that I can put up in front of me to help keep me focused.

    • Tamuria, thanks so much for a great, real-life example. A vision board is a great way to keep yourself focused, but I hope you carve out your own office space, too. Appreciate your comments!

  6. I can’t imagine not getting up out of bed, then getting dressed and ready for the day. I do know a lot of people who do love to work in their PJ’s and from their bed some of the time. I work when inspired to work. Although I agree with most of your points, Jackie, I know that each of us has their own rhythm and are most productive at different times of the day. Although I am a morning person, that isn’t necessarily my most productive time. I know someone who actually takes the entire morning for herself and her morning practices, before even starting her “work” day. Having had health issues, I fully understand this. We are all unique and the real key is to find the rhythm that works for us and then to follow it. Yes, sleep is so key and yet I see a lot of people who just aren’t getting enough…although they fool themselves into believing that all they need is 5 or 6 hours. All the studies show that 7 or 8 is a must for all of us, regardless of what we think. Because my health is my top priority always, I am more conscious of striving for balance between my work time and my personal time. Appreciate you sharing you experience and expertise with us all!

    • Beverley, you make an excellent point. Many people ask me what time management system is the best, and I always tell them: The one that works for you. I agree; everyone’s rhythms are different. We need to recognize and honor those in order to be our best (and most productive) selves. Seven or eight hours of sleep a night…gosh, what’s that like? 😉 I simply cannot stay in bed that long; my hips start to hurt and I’ve got to get up. But I do get a solid 6 hours. That works for me. Thanks for your comments.

  7. I personally make it a habit to get ready in the morning. I even go out and drop off the kids at school and return to the “office” aka my house. It helps me get in the business frame of mind.

    • Super, Sabrina! Mindset really does matter, and if you kick off your day with business in mind, it makes it much easier to maintain that focus. Great work!

  8. OOh, time management really speaks to me, Jackie. I find that a schedule works well for me. I’m a morning person and my best work is done first thing. I find when I plan my day, I knock out a lot. I’ve also learned to schedule in some fun time too. When I’m refreshed, I can come back even better! As for minimizing distractions, well, still working on that one. Great guest blog!

    • A schedule is vital. I do a prioritized task list every day (emphasis on “prioritized”). This helps me deal with distractions and interruptions, because I know exactly where I left off. The problem with that: Research tells us that it takes up to 20 minutes to recover from each interruption/distraction. So glad you’re scheduling fun, Meghan. For most of us, if we don’t do that, it doesn’t happen. Thanks for stopping by and your kind words.

  9. I totally agree with you. Staying in one place and doing the same thing for too long definitely puts a strain on our cognitive abilities; your brain simply can’t do too much for too long. Managing your time wisely will help you remain both productive and efficient. Great post! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks, Morgan! I’ve read everything from 20 to 50 minutes as the maximum amount of time you should go without a break. Some say as much as 90 minutes. I’d have to be on a roll (or get a better office chair!) to last 90 minutes without a break! Thanks for your comments; much appreciated.

  10. I think finding balance is a moving target. And once you realize things will never be completely 50/50, but rather average out over time to be 50/50 you’re going ok. The key here is in knowing, rather quickly when the scales are tipping.

    • Agreed, Lisa. Some days you’re going to work like a dog…other days you need to back off. In some instances, home (or health) has to take priority. Recognizing when you start to get out of whack is definitely the key. Thanks for your comments.

  11. Having a clear office space is so important. In my first job away from the 9-5 grind, I did use my dining room table! OK, I had to eat in front of the TV but I did have that dedicated space.
    my biggest hurdle was not having dedicated times to work. I tended to work at nite and on the weekends.
    Thankfully over the years I have learned that lesson.
    Now I do not allow my work time to spill over into my family/recreation.
    thanks for some great tips

    • Alene, you gotta do what you gotta do, right? And while we’re kicking up our business, we do need tend to spend way more time than we’d like on it. That’s the price of success — as long as we don’t let work dominate our lives. We work to live, not live to work. Glad to hear that you’re getting that balance! Thanks for your comments.

  12. Sometimes I think I don’t really have a routine, but that is not the case. I sleep 6 hours usually & like Jackie, my body propels me to get up. Most times I get up raring to go. I always get dressed & I like to do my social media in the morning. My office window lets in light & sunshine & I’m a happy camper. I may break up my day with appointments, but I don’t experience what I do as work, so even if I put in a lot of hours, it is not stressful. I always have favorite evening tv shows, read a thriller a week & create jewelry on weekends when family isn’t around. So, I’d say I have a balanced life.

    • Sounds like you’ve got a great routine going one, Roz. Excellent! One question I have: Is social media the right activity for your most productive time of the day? Just asking! And yes, I’d say you’ve got a balance life, particularly since you love what you do and it doesn’t stress you out. Good stuff.

  13. Love it – and yes, even though I work from home I keep going clothing shopping. I know. I coach by video conferencing or by phone, but I like to look professional. I think it helps me be a better coach, mom, and wife too. No jammie pants at the computer for me! 🙂

    • Good deal, Brenda! Of course, you could be wearing jammie pants and no one would every know. 😉 I think by looking professional, you not only feel more professional, but act more professional and that’s a vibe that others can pick up.

  14. Jackie, I really identify with the client you described who is surrounded by 20 laptops. That’s me. I do get out of bed and get dressed every day, but I feel like my house has become mission control. I’m a blogger and social influencer, and I’m married to a software engineer. We converted our formal living room into our home office, and I swear, there’s a stack of laptops everywhere you look. But seriously, this is solid advice. I need to reshuffle somethings I do to make them more in line with your suggestions. And thank you Kristen for inviting Jackie to share her wisdom!

    • So glad you found some useful ideas, Jennifer. I’m inferring your husband also works from home — talk about double the challenge! Let me know how your changes work out for you.

  15. Time management gets tricky for me most of the time. I get more done when my son is not home. When he is home, I have to time myself 1H30 at a time to get anything done.
    I am guilty of the PJ’s thing but I can’t work from bed. I have to be in my dedicated work space to do anything.

  16. Today is a good day to create habits that are productive. Not just being busy. Money making activities.

  17. This was a very educational article. As A SAHM with no limited space I make my office in the closet of my bedroom and my office hours are when the kids are asleep. LOL. But I do need to prioritize my day and stop checking my email every five minutes (really bad habit).

    • Every 5 minutes! OMG, Shantell, how do you get anything done? Check your email 3 times a day — mid-morning, right after lunch and just before close of business. Knowing that you shape your work hours to your kids’ sleeping schedules, you’ll have to amend that schedule to fit the hours you’re working. Let me know how it goes. Your day’s priority should be what brings you the best return on investment of your time.

  18. Hi Kristen and Jackie 🙂

    This is definately a very important post as it helps us realize, as business owners how beneficial it is to be productive so we can make time for all of the things that we need to do 😉

    Thanks Jackie for sharing your awesome tips to managing time more productively !

    • So glad you liked it, Joan! One of the most important things about good time management is to make time for all the things we WANT to do, too. It’s not about just being productive, but about how time management contributes to the quality of our life…outside of work.

  19. This is the perfect time for this post for me! I’ve been working on managing my time better – and have gotten much better at it – this year. The one thing I decided recently was that I would get showered and dressed before starting my day. It’s hard to feel professional sitting in my pj’s!

    • That’s fantastic, Mindy! And I agree about feeling professional wearing PJs or (in my case) workout duds. I may even go so far as to put on earrings or — gasp! — blush, if I’m feeling really spunky. 😉

  20. Sometimes I get up real early when the house is quiet. I get my best work then and go back to sleep for an hour or two. But, as you say the key is having a schedule of blocks of time to make sure you get the important things done. Making more of an effort to block out fun time. I come back to work in a much better frame of mind and accomplish more. Thanks for all the good advice, Jackie.

    • Completely my pleasure, Joyce! One of the great things about scheduling (and taking) time for fun is that it really does loosen up the creativity. I can step away from a problem that’s been bugging me and when I truly release it in fun or even just another task, inevitably the solution will come to me. So I tell my Type A personality I’m really working when I’m having fun… because I am.

  21. Great suggestions here that we all should take action on Kristen!

    Oftentimes when small biz owners work from home, they do not have dedicated offices. They work in their kitchen, living room, bedroom, a guestroom shared with exercise equipment, and so on. No wonder they have a difficult time focusing when surrounded by numerous distractions like TV, gym equipment, a sink full of dirty dishes, or an empty bed inviting us for a nap. I, too, always advise them to create a room or alcove dedicated to business. When that is not an option, position their chair to avoid looking at anything that could divert attention from their task.

  22. I often feel as if I don’t get enough done yet do my best to do the most important things first. I get so much more done when I make a list because it excites me to check them off. At the end of the day I feel productive and proud. I have also learned that the hardest things need to be done first because it is easy to find distractions or excuses for putting off. And it generates more success and forward movement as the growth and results is in doing them. Thanks for all the good info.

    • Teresa, there will ALWAYS be more stuff to do…all the time. You are heading down the right path for the right reasons. So when you get to the end of the day, you can look back and say, “I got done the most important things I needed to do. Good job, me!” And yes, it’s so empowering to check things off your list. Great work!


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