The Life Editing for Beginners tribe is a lively group of ladies, and we talk about all sorts of topics in our private Facebook group—everything from boosting confidence to the weird things their kids and dogs do.
One topic that comes up again and again is business hours. This one idea has been more transformative than anything else we’ve discussed.
If you’re like most folks (including me), you’ll make a list of what you want to get done on a particular day, week, month, or year. Side note: Here’s a spiffy new planner to help you organize it all.
But at the end of that appointed time, you’ll look back at your list and realize you didn’t get everything checked off. Or if you did, you probably did so by skipping lunch, ignoring your bladder, and staying up late into the night.
This is where business hours come into play.
What Are Business Hours?
Business hours are when you look at your daily schedule and block off time exclusively for doing your work.
“Work” is not confined to a corporate job or your own business. It can refer to your hobby, your latest project, or whatever task is taking up the biggest chunk of your precious time.
The idea is to place boundaries around your time so that your work doesn’t bleed into other areas of your life like when you’re supposed to be eating dinner with your family or going to the gym.
Maybe your business hours will be 9-to-5 like a typical work day.
Maybe your business hours will be the time your kids are in school.
Maybe your business hours will be from 6:00 am to 12:00 noon because that’s when you’re most productive.
That’s the best thing about business hours—you make them work for you!
Ready to give business hours a try?
Here are 3 compelling reasons why you should set your own business hours.
You’ll Honor Your Work
When I meet with someone who works until 3 in the morning and still can’t get everything done, it’s usually NOT because she’s got too much to do. It’s because she’s not being strategic with her time.
Sure, she may say she’s working 12-hour days, but when we examine her time log, we’ll find that she’s wasting time during her commute, getting lost down the social media rabbit hole, or procrastinating by working on administrative tasks instead of her most important priorities.
Make a promise to yourself that you will never, ever do your work outside of your business hours, and you’ll give your work the elite status it deserves.
Isn’t your work worthy of those hours when you’re most awake and engaged…instead of when you’re dead tired and eating takeout in front of the TV?
You’ll Honor Your Loved Ones
Newsflash!—your loved ones want to spend time with you! Business hours help you honor your partner, kids, pets, family, and friends.
Just think how terrible your kids feel when they’re trying to tell you the funniest knock-knock joke they’ve ever heard but you’ve got your eyes glued to your laptop.
Or how unimportant your friends feel when you’re constantly checking your phone during girls’ night out.
Business hours help you achieve that work-life balance so that your loved ones know that you care about them. Your emails can wait.
You’ll Become a Productivity Powerhouse
Here’s reason you’ve been waiting for. Blocking off specific business hours will take your productivity through the roof!
What would your life be like if you could get through everything on your to-do list today? What would that do for all your 2015 goals?
Your Homework: Pull out your calendar (digital or old school) and block off your business hours. Consider setting notifications to go off when you’ve got 15 minutes left every day so you can wrap up whatever you’re working on.
Do you set your business hours?
In the comments below, share your best tips for being strategic with your work time.
This post focuses on Step 4 of the Life Editing Process, Rearrange Everything Into a Perfect Flow. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.