Home Business Got You Down? 5 Steps to Help You Achieve Project Completion

Guest Post By Ellene Breedlove Davis

Having a home businesses can be very challenging!

Are you completing your projects or are you feeling increasingly frustrated and discouraged, as each project is laid aside unfinished?

Setting up and running my own business was a dream of mine for many years before I retired. In my dreams, I envisioned myself in the studio, blissfully creating my watercolor and oil paintings. I just knew that there would be all the time in the world to attend art events, exhibit, and participate in art festivals. In reality, not so! So I took a step backwards to learn some lessons from my pre-retirement days. Then I was able to take stronger steps forward!

Learning a Lesson from “My University Days”

Over the years, when I worked for the University of Georgia, I created a plan for each day. My schedules included time at home, on the way to work, at work, and when I returned home. But when I seemingly had lots of extra time, I had no plan, no schedule, and no organization. Soon, I realized that to be an artist who accomplished what I dreamed of, I had to complete some projects! I had to restore discipline to my life. And now I deeply wish to teach others how to establish the boundaries they need to make working from home successful for them, too.

Now, making a new plan and schedule has become second nature when I enter my studio each day.

These 5 steps to success can be applied to any home based business to achieve project completion:

#1: Reduce Interruptions.

Brainstorm ways to help your family realize that there is a time to work and a time to play. Involve each family member in the brainstorming process so that each of them will have their needs and expectations met.
Set aside certain periods of the day to return non-emergency phone calls, texts or emails.
Make appointments and run errands only on specific days each week.

#2: Make a Plan.

Projects are steps, usually steps that follow an orderly sequence and are usually completed by a certain number of steps, sometimes more than once.

Determine the estimated time needed to complete the project.  If anyone besides yourself is needed to complete the project, leave some extra buffer time. These are sometimes referred to as dependencies.

#3: Create a Visual Template

On this template, organize each step according to your pre-determined sequence. Under each step, list the details of each procedure.

#4: Organize and Pull Project Materials Together.

List all materials needed. Break this list into categories. In each category assign a list of materials needed. Determine the sequence of how materials are to be used and assemble those first

#5: Follow Your Steps to Project Completion.

Place your visual template on the wall near your workspace. This makes each step easy to follow, as your thought process has already been established.  Allow for unforeseen delays, and have a Plan B ready to activate.

There is a saying that is popular now on the Internet…

“If Plan A is not working, no need to be discouraged… there are 25 more letters in the alphabet!”

In other words, be prepared when everything doesn’t go exactly as planned.

Believe me, these steps will make every day so much more enjoyable and productive! So to overcome your business blues, give yourself a friendly pep talk, take control of your schedule, set boundaries and watch projects leave your hands on time, without overwhelm and with a wonderful sense of accomplishment!

Ellene teaches watercolor workshops, exhibits in galleries and shows at art festivals. She brings over 30 years of experience to planning and working the plan to get her watercolor paintings out of the studio, into the “Art-mobile”, to the venue and viewed by the public.  You can experience Ellene’s beautiful watercolor paintings at: http://www.ElleneBreedloveDavis.com

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  1. Yvonne A Jones says:

    It’s so easy to get distracted when you work from home and the 5 points you outlined are great to keep oneself organized and on tract. I especially liked the points about getting the family involved, and this is true whether you have small children or are empty-nesters. Our family will better understand that there is a specific reason why we are locked away in our office for specified periods.

    Also like the visualization tool. Now that I’m beginning to understand it, I’m liking mindmaps. All with the goal of finishing what we start.

    Thank you, Elizabeth, for bringing on Ellene as your Guest Blogger, and to you, Ellene for a great post.

    • Hey Yvonne,

      Yes, mindmaps are a huge help with finding ideas and finishing the tasks at hand. Thanks so much for your feedback Yvonne :-)

  2. Hey Rodney, glad they helped. They actually helped me as well :-)

  3. Ryan Wuest says:

    You got great pieces of advice there, Ellene. Thanks for sharing. Your post will help those who have business, especially those who are just starting. For sure, those tips will lead our business to the right direction.

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