You spend all your spare time trying to get caught up on work, but your baby starts crying, the dog starts going crazy at the mailman, your email won't stop pinging on your phone, and the next thing you know, 3 hours have passed and you've got absolutely nothing accomplished that you set out to do.
One of the main downfalls of working at home is losing the structure of a regular job. Time management is a huge skill to have!
Be realistic. When there are small kids at home and a household to run, schedules won’t flow as smoothly as they might if you were miles away in an office building. Certain allowances need to be made to achieve the balance you need and business success you seek. This might mean shortening the blocks of time in which you work and lengthening the time spent on other tasks. If it results in more getting done, then it’s all good.
The key is to make sure you run your business, not let it run you. You are interested in freedom, not being more tied down.
Here are 4 tips to help.
1. Start with a plan. Spend the last 10 minutes of each day planning for the next one. If you plan to work six hours a day at your business, decide on the most important tasks that need to be completed and concentrate on those. Understand that there will be interruptions (especially if there are small kids) so plan around them accordingly. When there is a goal in mind, you are better able to track progress and be productive.
2. Schedule time wasters. What are we talking about here? Some activities can start out well but turn into huge time suckers: checking emails, updating social media pages and handling administrative tasks. Assign time throughout the day for each. Any emails that come in after that will have to wait for the next allotted time slot.
3. Keep set hours. This doesn’t mean that business is open from 9 to 5. If the goal is six hours of work a day, once that is reached, knock off until tomorrow. This isn’t straight time all the time. It might be 20 minutes or an hour early in the morning while everyone is asleep or the odd hour or so around bedtime when the kids are down for the night.
4. Keep yourself organized. Find a system that works for you, and stick to it. Whether it’s a folder system, Google Drive, or some other method, the key is that it works for you. Time you spend looking for something because you’re not organized is time you could have spent on money-making activities.