My Home Business Goal for 2014: Work Less

My Home Business Goal for 2014: Work Less

My home business goal for the coming year is to work less. Do you have a home business goal?

Over the years, I’ve whittled my resolution list down. In the past, I’d have a whole list of resolutions for the New Year. Of course, such a list rarely turns out well. Instead, I’ve started thinking about one or two things in various areas of my life to focus on for the entire year. I also try not to let a slip up be the end of me.

Part of the reason it’s possible to overcome goal setbacks is due to the fact that I’ve largely stopped setting process goals and I now focus more on results-oriented goals. And this year my home business goal for 2014 is to work less.

Setting goals

What is a Process Goal?

Basically, a process goal is one in which you rely almost entirely on the process as your measure of success. So, you might say, “I’m going to exercise for 30 minutes every day,” or “I’m going to practice the guitar for 20 minutes each day,” or “I’m going to spend an hour each day working on ——– for my home business.”

Setting goals this way is specific, but it puts a lot of focus on the process involved. Since it’s more about the process, it’s easy to fail at your goal. If you skip going to the gym one day in February, your entire resolution is shot because you didn’t exercise every day.

Results-oriented goals require a process, of course, but the focus is on the end result. A results-oriented goal might be to gain 10 pounds of lean muscle for the year. That’s your goal. Then, you create a process to help you achieve that goal. But your focus is on reaching that milestone, rather than the daily process. That means that if you skip your workout one day, you can go a little longer for each of the next two days.

Additionally, results-oriented goals also allow you to mark progress in a way that is a little less discouraging. If you want to improve at the guitar, you can set a schedule that works for you as part of the process, and then see where you stand in three months, and six months, and so on. Looking back, you can see that you have improved — and the fact that maybe you haven’t been practicing each day isn’t as important.

With a process goal, it’s more about checking it off each day. With a results-oriented goal, you’re actually looking for overall improvement — and the focus is on becoming a better something (businessperson, musician, human being, whatever).

home business goal 2014

Home Business Goal: Work Less

I’ve got a few goals set for other areas of my life. The self-improvement area has the largest number of goals, but that’s not unusual for me. My financial goal this year has to do with investing, and my home business goal is to work less.

When you think of home business goals, work less isn’t often the first thing that comes to mind. It’s usually about growth and income and marketing. But I’ve been bogged down. And the last thing I need is more work. Instead, I want to work less.

The result of this goal is pretty easy to measure: If, by the end of the year I’m spending less time on work and more time on other things, I’ll have succeeded. However, I’m not measuring success in terms of whether or not I work half an hour less every day (that would be a process goal). Instead, I’m measuring it in terms of overall hours on the year. I’ve been slowly switching my work around to take advantage of my peak productivity, and this should be the key to less work overall.

I know roughly how many hours I spend working each month, and I can extrapolate that out to the entire year of 2013. The idea for 2014 is to work less overall, and I think I can accomplish that.

In addition to focusing on working during peak productivity hours, I plan to engage in a few other activities designed to help me reach my home business goal of working less:

  • Higher pay: Apparently, I’m still undercharging for my work. I’ll probably start the process of charging a little more, negotiating higher fees for new work. If I’m making more money for each gig, I can cut back a little bit, doing fewer gigs.
  • Saying no: I’ve become better at saying no in the past three or four years, but I’m still not as good at it as I would like to be. One of the reasons I feel burnout is because I keep saying yes to projects. I’m going to think through the reasons I’d take on a freelance job and then say no if it doesn’t inspire me.
  • Remind myself it’s about more than money: Luckily, I’m to the point in my home business that I don’t have to take every job in order to survive. If I can remind myself of that, I can get beyond the idea that I have to do something — and I’ll be able to work less.

I’m excited for the New Year, which is great, because I haven’t been excited about a whole lot lately. So, here’s to a brand new start.

What’s your home business goal for 2014? How will you accomplish it?

Written by Miranda Marquit

Miranda Marquit is a freelance writer and professional blogger, specializing in personal finance, small business, and investing topics. She writes for a number of financial web sites and blogs, and has been featured in numerous media. Read about life as a freelancer at MirandaMarquit.com and in her book Confessions of a Professional Blogger.

3 Responses to My Home Business Goal for 2014: Work Less

  1. I’m with you on working less. Working longer hours rarely means you’re getting more done. It just means that you waste more time.

    My goal is to make more money from coaching and to save up as much of this as possible.

    • I find that if I can concentrate steadily for three hours or so early in the day, I get so much more done than if I try to force myself to work longer in the afternoon. A good deal of focus does a lot more than long hours, I find.

      Good luck with your endeavors in coaching! Hopefully I’ll see you at FinCon this year. I’d love to hear more of your recent adventures 🙂

  2. I love to work early in the day, and can blitz thru a lot of things. But family life with a 3 year old changes the game, so I often work better in the afternoon now. But if I get up at 4 (which does happen sometimes…). I can get a lot done! Thanks for the post! Looks like we share similar goals!

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