Keep your home office or small business goals in the big picture
If you haven’t checked in with your goals today — or this year for that matter — then this article is for you.
Let’s face it: working a home office or small business, you’re an island unto yourself. You alone control time, projects, distractions, and ultimately your success.
It can be a lonely place.
If used daily, and with conviction, goals become a key to success for home office or small businesses. Goals help you determine where you’re going and what you should do and be, day-to-day.
Here are a few essential goal setting tips for home office or small businesses:
- Check in frequently – Goals are a living breathing part of your home office or small office business. Keep them alive by revisiting, reviewing and editing them on a daily basis in order to ensure you’re on a realistic path to success. I schedule a daily morning business review meeting during my first coffee break. It’s a 10 minute break where I read over my established goals and note my progress. I’ve found this to be a great time to edit, revise, make course corrections, and dump goals that aren’t realistic.
- Track your milestones – Staying accountable to deadlines, quotas and other responsibilities is one of the biggest pain points for home office or small office professionals. Ultimately, it’s your bottom line that you are responsible for. How can a home office worker add some accountability to his/her goals? A monthly calendar allows you to see a week’s or month’s worth of goal-related tasks and progress in clear view. For example, if you’re looking to grow your client list, you can note the target for each week.
- There is no better sense of accomplishment or motivation than to look back on a monthly calendar filled with milestones you’ve crossed. I think these WallMates® dry erase monthly calendars are the perfect solution because they sticky anywhere and allow you space to fill in details.
- Be realistic – Goals are the road map for all your weekly activities. But home office or small office businesses require additional focus on having your goals be specific and attainable. That’s because you have very little support — and usually no backup plan if your work strays off course. Having realistic goals will ensure that you are in proper alignment at all times. Do this paying close attention to time spent in your daily activities.
- Keeping a work journal like this portable daily planner is a great tool because you can track your time and efforts in a measurable context. Add-up the hours spent each day — have you been neglecting one goal? Perhaps it’s not achievable. Are you spinning your wheels on one project? Perhaps you haven’t been specific enough about the weekly outcome.
- Increase your vision: A trick used by many successful home business professionals is to create visual reminders of their goals around their workspace. A great tool for this is a vision board, a collection of words, pictures, and phrases that provide motivation to keep goals in focus. Keep it in a visible location, like a bulletin board or dry erase board on a wall near your desk.
- It could also be as simple as putting a sticky note on your computer monitor, vanity mirror, refrigerator, or car dashboard. It’s all about creating visual cues to keep you on track. My goals include increasing my efficiency, managing my administrative duties more frequently, and boosting my networking presence, so I keep a series of sticky note prompts around me that remind me what’s important each day.
When you’re facing a full workweek, business goals can easily get lost in the shuffle of your busy-work. I hope I’ve shown you ways to keep your home office or small office business goals in the big picture.
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[Christian Haugen image]