Working at home can be changing in terms of productivity due to distractions that exist however working at home has one challenge that is worse for many. You are not supervised. If you require supervision to get work done, you won't be successful working at home because you have to be a self-starter. If you don't regularly add content (sales and informative) to your website, blog, or print on demand (POD) site(s), you won't make any money and will have to get a job where you will have a set schedule and someone looking over your shoulder.
One way to deal with this problem is of course to set regular days and hours for work so you get into a routine. I wrote about this in earlier articles. Today, I want to emphasize the importance of setting (and writing down) your daily and/or weekly goals for your online business.
The importance of setting goals
Since you don't have a boss while working at your home or online business, you need more than just the need to eat to keep yourself working and keep your online business growing. Your list of goals (or as I like to call it my to-do list) replaces the boss. Instead of going to the boss to find out what to do today or this week, you check your list. You know that you have to do whatever is on the list or do what it takes to reach a certain statistic.
You could set a goal of writing 7 quality blog posts or articles each week. You could also say that you want to have the goal of an average of 10 more readers per day in your blog statistics (compared to the previous week or previous month. It is easy to compare by installing an Analytics like Google Analytics and then just comparing the statistics from one week or month to the next such as the number of visitors or repeat visitors.
Another good statistic to compare would be RSS or Newsletter subscribers. Perhaps set a goal of 5 new subscribers for the week.
What do you have to do to earn the new subscribers? You will of course be judged by the quality of your content. If they see value they'll eventually start to comment and subscribe.
By setting goals and checking your list, you'll never have the excuse of having nothing to do nor will you be playing video games during work hours until you have reached your goal.
Why you should write down your goals
It is important to write down your goals for working in your home office because we often forget what is important especially in the long term. Seeing that sale for a book you wrote about at Amazon might make you forget your plan.
Don't just write sales content! People are not going to come back to a website that just has advertisements. People want to learn and be entertained. You have to add value to the products and services that you promote (even if they are your own products).
What kind of goals you should set
Any goals you set for your online business should be productivity related. Your focus should be on creating new content, new products, new services, improving existing products, improving existing services and promoting all of those.
Checking your blog statistics is not a goal and as a task, it is only beneficial at most once a day. E-mail is not productive either. Checking e-mail is only important for replying to clients. Otherwise twice a day is more than adequate. Don't put statistics or e-mail on your to-do or goal list.
A goal of 5 new subscribers, 10 new articles, 20 new enriching blog comments, improved ranking for your most important keywords, 2 new finished artworks, etc are all great. Your goals should be to move you forward!
Weekly or daily goals
If you have trouble getting going, daily goals are probably the best. At or near the end of one day, make a short list of 3-5 things to do to meet your objectives and put it in your work area where you will see it right away.
Weekly goals are more objectives than tasks although they go together. If you don't add new content and you don't promote your website or blog, or POD profile, how do you expect growth? Weekly goals are best for self-starters who just need a push to do what is productive instead of what is unproductive.
After a few months of this routine, you might discover that you automatically start on productive tasks and checking your goals for continual improvement! Once you start seeing success the success will also start to motivate you to work smarter.