Creating a self-employed work schedule requires a balance of free time and work time. Many entrepreneurs struggle to establish a sustainable schedule structure – one that allows them to accomplish their goals without feeling overworked. We work with many self-employed business owners at our adult counseling offices in St. Louis, MO. The ones that thrive with the least amount of stress usually have a consistent work schedule to follow. Here are some tips to help you create a work schedule for self-employment.
Be Realistic about What You Can Accomplish
To set an achievable work schedule, you need to know what you can accomplish. This will vary based on your industry and personal abilities. Let’s say you own a loan mowing company. On average, it takes 45 minutes to mow a lawn and 15 minutes to get to the next destination. That means you mow an average of one lawn per hour. You wouldn’t want to schedule a day with 15 lawns to mow, right?
If you’ve never timed yourself at work, use this as motivation to do so. There are plenty of online time trackers you can use to clock in and clock out, or you can simply check the time before and after you finish a set of work. Understanding your abilities will help you plan your weekly schedule.
Specify a Timeframe for Work
Just because you can work whenever you want doesn’t mean you should. This is a trap that many self-employed adults fall into. Structure provides motivation, and it creates a clear line between your work life and personal life. Specify a timeframe for work each day, even if it is broken into sections. Once the time is up, put your work away and make the mot of your time off.
Work When You Feel Most Productive
You know when you’re most productive. Do you work best early in the morning when your mind is fresh? Or do you prefer working late at night when no one is around? Schedule your work time around your personal productivity. This will give you the best chance at success from the start.
Schedule Your Days off
Don’t forget to schedule some days off – full, complete days off. We know how it works. You procrastinate one day and think “I’ll just finish that tomorrow morning.” By the end of the week, you have a full day of extra work to do. You need time off for your mental health. This gives your brain and body a chance to rest so you can be more productive at work. You can schedule days off back to back, or schedule one every three to four days. As long as you put your mental health first, you will feel much more satisfied with your self-employed work schedule.
When You Set a Schedule, Stick to It
We cannot emphasize this enough. Once you have a schedule, you need to follow it. If you worked for someone else, you’d have required hours to work in the office. The only difference here is that you are the one holding yourself accountable, not your boss. You can adjust your schedule as needed, but do not use that as an excuse to procrastinate. Keep your goals in mind at all times, and you can truly enjoy the benefits of self-employment.
To schedule an appointment with an adult counselor to help with depression, anxiety, stress management, and other challenges of self-employment, contact Urban Balance at (888) 726-7170. We have therapists in St. Loius, MO, Hinsdale, IL and the Greater Chicago Area. We look forward to working with you!