You work from home most days, but you don't want to be chained to your computer, right? Sometimes it just takes a little bit of organization and and self-love to achieve a more balanced lifestyle. In this blog post, I'm going to share my best tips for running a location-independent business successfully—everything from setting boundaries on your time and space to making sure you get some exercise every day!
The first step to running a successful location-independent business is setting boundaries. It’s important to know when you’re working and when you’re not, and when your business hours are. This gives you more control over your time and ensures that you have time for everything else in life.
For example, you could start your day around 10 AM and end around 2 PM, so that you can take a nap or center yourself in something that fuels me. During this break, you can decide to be completely unplugged - having your calendar blocked off for no intrusions. If you want to pick up for a few hours at 5 for intentional networking, nurturing your community of Facebook Live, or tasking some capacity building course - you can. Have boundaries on this time as well, as an investment in yourself (and your community) is an investment in your business.
Reduce mental clutter.
One of the most important factors that can determine your success is how clear-headed you are. This means getting enough sleep and exercise and cutting down on the caffeine, but there's more to it than that.
One way I've found to keep my mind clear is by taking time out each week for meditation / stretching / intentional stillness. It helps me to really be intentionally about slowing my mind down - no matter how stubborn it tends to be at time. :) I always come back to my projects with greater clarity and precision when I completely pull away for intentional periods of time.
If you like being outdoors, try going for a long walk or run —either one will help remove some mental clutter and ground you in the present.
Get some exercise.
Take my word for it - you don't want to be that location-independent entrepreneur who does not exercise. The food tasting and lounging around can really catch up to you!
Exercising is important for a number of reasons: it helps you maintain your health, it relieves stress, it keeps your mind active, and it helps to keep your body in shape. When you're travelling or working from home, it's easy to find excuses not to exercise—you're tired from all the travelling; there's too much work on your plate; maybe next week will work better... But these are just excuses that are keeping you from living a healthier life! You need to start exercising today!
There are two ways I recommend getting started: join an athletic club near where you live (or wherever) and pay monthly subscription fees or sign up with a personal trainer who comes over once per week at whatever time works best for you (this option costs more but allows more flexibility). I've done both, and it really does help - even when I find myself hiding away at times. :)
You don't need to be a superhuman to run your business remotely. I get it... when you're getting started, it can feel like you're working all the time. After all, if you were able to work from home and live wherever you want, chances are that you would've quit your old job already. But what most people don't realize is that we can offer brilliant solutions to the world by operating in our zones of genius and leaning on systems to take us out of the minutiae more and more with time. Balance and breaks are so important for productivity and health.
Try taking breaks every two hours or so. If it helps motivate you and keep track of time, set an alarm on your phone or computer for ten minutes after each hour (if this doesn't happen naturally). Use these breaks as opportunities to stretch your legs or get some fresh air by going on a walk — even just stepping outside will do wonders for clearing up any mental fog left over from being inside too long! Use this time by going on a run down by the river at sunset...whatever floats your boat!
Prioritize win time.
Win Time is important because it's a time to celebrate your wins. You have to focus on creating a business that works for you and doesn't take away from the things you love doing in life, and Win Time is about celebrating what you've accomplished along the way.
I give myself time to sit in my wins every single week - many times, I even reflect about them on my Instagram page with my community. No matter how busy I am or how much work still needs to get done, I am present with the incredible progress being made and I rebel in it. When I say "win," it doesn't have to be big—it could be something as simple as finishing a project on time or meeting your personal record for sales for a given month.
Make it a priority to honor Win Time for yourself.
Back up your files.
Backing up your files is one of the most important things you can do. If you’re working remotely, it’s especially vital because you can be in danger of losing all your work if anything happens to your computer or storage device.
Here are some tips for backing up:
Backups should be happening automatically in your business. Use OneDrive (for PCs) or iCloud (for Mac) to save everything to the cloud. This way, even if hardware fails you - you are never without your most valuable business assets.
Be intentional about backing things up to Google Drive weekly and monthly as after major projects/changes/updates or when important legal documents come across your desk. This make collaboration and training very easy in the long run.
Your backup files should be stored securely and encrypted (if possible). This will ensure that no one else has access to or copies of these files without permission from you first!
Being location-independent doesn't mean letting your business run your life. You're still the one in charge of setting priorities and goals for yourself, so make sure you have a life outside of work as well. If you don't, it's easy to let your mind drift toward work during every waking hour and forget to take time out for yourself—which can have a negative impact on productivity and stress levels. Make sure that you set aside some time each week when you do something completely unrelated to your business; even if it's only an hour, that should be enough to reenergize and refocus before diving back into the biz.