6 Effective Time Management Hacks for Your Home Business
If you are anything like us, you struggle with getting everything done in the day. Do the laundry, clean the dishes, make the lunches, draw the baths, make dinner…..the list is endless. And, I haven’t even mentioned the tasks you need to complete for your business yet! It’s safe to say you could probably use a lesson in time management.
Before you throw in the towel and give up, take a minute and look at how you approach the day’s tasks. Do you feel like you need to “stay busy” to feel productive? James Clear defines this mistake as the difference between being in motion and taking action. It sounds like the same thing but, really, they are not. When you are in motion, yes, you are busy but are you working on a task that will produce any success in your business? When you perform an action, however, you will achieve an end result.
Here are some examples; based on my own experience:
- If I spend 2 hours reading and responding to emails I am in motion, but if I send 2 emails to interested leads that result in a sale, this is action.
- If I research training programs in blogging, email marketing or social media, this is motion. But if I write an email series, this is action.
- If I research 10 articles on a topic I’d like to write about, this is motion. If I write an article on my topic, this is action.
These motions are in fact important, but if you let them get away from you, they will never produce an actual result. These are where the actions come in.
So where do you start? How can you list and prioritize the right actions?
The answer is to work smarter. Instead of working on as many tasks as you can in one day, you will simplify your list and work on only the most important, money generating tasks.
Here are 6 ways you can effectively manage your work in your home business:
- Prepare in advance and set daily goals. I like to go to my planner each evening before bed and create a list of things I need to do. My appointments will be in my planner, so I will plan tasks around them, based on how long they will take to do. When you plan the night before, subconsciously your mind will get to work while you sleep. I wake up so many mornings remembering a dream I had about my business! I also wake up with more ideas in the morning, when I have set them into place on my planner. Read these 10 tips on how to get more out of your planner. And don’t worry if some days there is no room for work. At least one a day a week for me is a total wash. I just plan and make up for it the next day or another day.
- Identify the most important tasks and list them first. This goes back to being in motion vs. taking action. Of course the easiest tasks will be done quicker. And of course it feels good to feel like you are accomplishing something. But are you avoiding the elephant in the room? Do you really have a big project waiting for you that needs to be done in order to generate revenue? Make a list of 2-3 important tasks that are the most important to complete in order to create business. Once you have checked those off the list, you can say that you have had a successful day and be done. If you’re in the mood to keep going, have at it. Surf Facebook, email, etc. and don’t feel guilty. Or, take the rest of the day to play!
- Stop Multitasking. People praise the art of multitasking! In some cases, it’s a necessary evil. As a mom, you find yourself doing many things at once just to keep up with life. But in business, it is a myth. You can’t switch your attention from one thing to another and do it well. You are better off working from your list of 2-3 important items and work them from start to finish.
- Find your primetime. This is where your priorities are tested. If you have your kids at school for a few hours a day, are you using that time for your business or are you wasting it? For example, I have used my alone time to head to the gym and work out. However, I have found that I don’t accomplish my work for the day if I don’t plan accordingly. In the morning, I have found it’s my prime time to work. The kids are gone and it’s quiet and I’m alert. I choose to schedule my gym time for around lunchtime and make sure my day’s tasks are complete. If you have a child at home that naps, this would be a good example of prime time. Or, if the morning is when they are cozy and happy watching their shows, that can be a great prime time. Be stingy with your alone time if you run a business. It can be the key to success or failure.
- Devote your entire focus to your task at hand. To piggy-back the primetime conversation, you will also want to complete focus on the task you are working on within your prime time. Put your phone away, close your browsers. (I am SO guilty of not doing this, but I’m working on it!!) I do like to put on ambient or classical music and resist the temptation to have the news on in the background. It has helped SO much. I save my TV time for my breaks!
- Follow Through. Perhaps the best for last, don’t skip out on your own plan to accomplish something. Be committed to that 1 or 2 hours that you have to work on your business. You are a professional business owner. Be committed and will yourself to complete what you set out to do for the day.
Other great skills to have in your productivity toolbox are;
- Get good sleep at night – Most people will need 7-8 hours of sleep a night in order to function properly. Don’t forget about the value of a good night’s sleep!
- Start early – Many of the world’s most successful people have one thing in common: they get up early and are most productive in the early hours of the morning.
- Be healthy – A healthy body is a healthy mind. Get your exercise and eat healthy!
- Learn to say no to the unnecessary – Are you constantly bogged down with people asking you do things for them? Volunteering for church, school, your parents, spouse….while these things are important, keep in mind what you can take on per week in order to allow time for your business and family.
- Slow down and do less – Focus on only the things that matter. Remember, staying busy does not equal staying productive.
- Enjoy! Owning and running a business is HARD WORK. You may not see the fruits of your labor for months, or even YEARS. It’s easy to think you should give up. But, if you are following your passion and are doing what you love, it won’t feel like work. It’s possible…and great things can happen to you!
I hope you enjoyed this post about increasing your productivity and enjoying your work. If you have any tips to share please comment below!
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