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Blog: Minimizing Financial Clutter

As we approach Labor Day 2009, I'm thinking about all of us who are home-based business owners. We never do truly get to take a "labor day" holiday.  Whether we love or hate our work, it's always right here, beckoning us to attend to it 24-7. 
Your Homework for This Week:
Examine your home-based-business work situation.  Is your work taking over your life, in terms of time? 
Although work is an important part of your life, it should only be a part of your life.  Take some time this Labor Day to reflect on the number of hours you typically spend on your home-based business.  Is it too much?  Too little?  Either way, you need to give your life some balance. 
Try this exercise:    List your 5 to 7 "life roles".  In addition to Business Owner, your life roles might include "Parent" "Volunteer" "Spouse" "Home Manager" and "Friend".  (Don't forget "Self Care" as one of your roles; you can't effectively perform in your other roles if you haven't taken care of your physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being.)  Next, decide how many hours per week you would ideally like to spend on each of your life roles.  (Remember that, if you want to get 8 hours of sleep per night, you will only have 112 waking hours available for all of your roles.)
Draw a grid with 8 blocks across and 4 blocks down.  Label the columns with the days of the week.  Label the rows "Morning"  "Afternoon" and "Evening".  Now sketch out your weekly plan on your grid.  Fill in your grid with your roles and the times during which you plan to spend working in those roles.  Here's an example of a weekly plan; of course, your plan will look different:
                  Monday   Tuesday   Wednesday  Thursday  Friday   Saturday   Sunday
Morning    Business   Business   Business       Business    Volunteer   Home     Volunteer
Afternoon Business   Business   Business       Business    Volunteer   Home     Family
Evening    Self           Self            Self               Self             Spouse     Friends    Business
         A schedule like this is flexible.  If an old friend can only come to visit you on a Friday, for example, you could swap your "Friend" time block with a time block from a different day.
         It gives you permission to say "no", or at least "not right now" to other activities that compete for your time. 
         It carves out the right amounts of time for you to do the things that are most important to you. 
         You are less likely to feel the need to be doing something other than what you've planned, because you are assured that you have blocked out time to do all of those tasks that seem to constantly be calling your name.
This week, begin working at adhering to your flexible schedule.  With practice, you'll be able to literally and figuratively open and close the doors of your home-based business according to YOUR schedule.  After all, isn't having control of your time the benefit of having a home-based business?

posted on: 9/6/2009 11:30:00 AM by Katherine Trezise
category: Finances

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Minimizing Financial Clutter

by Katherine Trezise

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About Katherine:

Katherine Trezise is president of Absolutely Organized, based in Baltimore, MD. She is president-elect of the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization. Katherine holds a masters degree in business administration, is a Certified Professional Organizer® and a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®. Absolutely Organized specializes in helping people organize their homes, paperwork and financial records to make room in their lives for the things, people and activities that are most important to them.

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