When I decided to start working from home, I had two fears:
#1 That I’d be lazy and not get anything accomplished.
#2 That I’d feel secluded from the rest of the world.
Thankfully, neither of them became a reality for me. I learned quickly that I had to take working from home just as seriously as I would if I worked a job. I just get to take facebook breaks as often as I want to now .
What helps me is having some sort of flexible schedule and working on things in small steps when I have the time.
I fit in my “treasure hunting” between piano lessons and while I’m running errands. Sometimes on weekends, we take road trips to thrift stores in towns around us to explore different stores. When we take vacation, you can bet you’ll find us treasure hunting.
I’ve been eBaying since before my daughter was born. She’s grown up with it and is used to it by now. She’s a great treasure hunter and helps me ship items sometimes.
When she was little, I had to fit it all in whenever I could.
Treasure hunting wasn’t hard because I could put her in the cart and she’d sleep, or play with a toy. Sometimes I’d buy her chicken nuggets before we went to the store, and she’d sit in the cart to eat them. I was a little nervous about that at first until one of the employees saw her with her nuggets and said “that is a great idea!”
I listed during her nap times or after I put her to bed at night. When she was very little, I’d hold her on my lap when I listed.
Now days, she keeps herself busy while mommy’s “working”. She loves working puzzles, playing in the back yard, riding her bike, or watching a movie while I work on my listings. Sometimes, she even helps with the process of taking pictures. My philosophy is to get her involved in as much of the process as I can so we can have fun together and so eBay doesn’t take time away from our lives.
My week pretty much looks like this:
Monday: (One of my favorite days)
On Monday, I have 2 piano lessons in the evening. After I get her ready for pre-school, I go back to bed for an hour (another benefit of working from home ) When I get up and head to “work” (the living room) I light all the candles in the house, turn on some music and the computer and get to work shipping out anything that was paid for since Sunday.
Then I get started with my listings. I try to take pictures on Friday or Saturday and have them ready to go for Monday) I pretty much list from 9:30AM-11:00AM. I stop for a quick lunch at 11:00 and then I go back to eBay until about 12:30PM. My eBay morning primarily consists of listing, but I also ship out items that get paid for while I’m listing, accept offers answer questions, etc.
I teach piano lessons and music classes from 9:30-5:00 on Tuesdays, but I have an hour lunch (yet another benefit to being self employed) and an hour break in the afternoon. These breaks are perfect opportunities for me to get some treasure hunting and errands done.
Tuesday evenings, after my little one’s asleep, I usually take pictures of my items and load them to photobucket so they’re ready to go the next time I’m listing.
On Wednesday mornings, I try to get in a few listings and get some shipping done. I teach piano from 12:00-5:15 on Wednesday, so whatever I get done on Wednesday morning is what I get done on Wednesday.
Thursday is my jam-packed day. I teach from 8am-6pm, so there’s not much room for eBaying. After putting my little one to bed on Thursday, I work on shipping and try to get in a few listings.
I only have 4 piano lessons and we don’t have pre-school on Friday. We have a relaxing morning, run some errands, and I work on eBay listings for a couple of hours in the afternoon.
Sometimes, we have a road trip on Saturday to go treasure hunting Other times, we head out to have some fun on Saturday morning and then I work on eBay listings for a couple of hours in the afternoon. I also try to get any items shipped out that have been paid for since Friday so that I don’t have so many items to ship out on Monday morning.
I try not to eBay on Sunday……I need one day where I don’t feed the addiction . I check it on Sunday and ship out anything that’s been paid for since I shipped on Saturday to save time on Monday morning.
*I’ve learned that it’s OK if I don’t feel like listing for a day or a few days. It’s my store and I can manage it the way I want to. I try to get even a few things listed each day so that I feel like I’m accomplishing something, but once in awhile, I don’t feel like listing anything. When that happens I allow myself to take the time off. I know that come Monday morning, I’ll be ready to list again.
*I’ve learned that if it’s not listed, it can’t sell.
*I’ve learned not to be a “hoarder.” In the beginning, I would buy all kinds of treasures and only list about half of them before buying more, and I would repeat the process over and over. Finally, I had bins of stuff sitting around that had to be listed.
I decided this was a waste of money and space for items to sit around unlisted. I stopped buying items for an entire summer and just listed until I got caught up. Now I try to list items the same week I buy them. Sometimes if I’m lucky, they get listed within 24 hours of buying them.
What helps you stay focused on your online business?