So you’ve left the rat race and set up a business of your own, you have sensibly decided to work from home; after all you can move into those big offices when you have the money rolling in. When you are working from home, it can be difficult to move from the ‘isn’t it nice to be at home mode’, to ‘work mode’. If you are’nt careful you will find that you are enjoying your garden or doing household chores when you should in be writing that marketing material, preparing that proposal or chasing that invoice.
When you run a business from home, excellent time management skills are essential and many people will tell you what you should be doing!! As ‘The Time Doctor’ I would recommend that as a starter, you follow the tips below to get started on the right track.
Prioritize: have a clear sense of what jobs are most important and what can wait. You may love your home and may love working around the house, but you need to keep in mind that you cannot sacrifice business work and duties at the cost of looking after your home. Here is where you need to fix your priorities. Allocate time to look after the house, and time to your business, especially in the early days when you may feel that there is more to do around the house than in your business. Do the same for any other activities you may be involved in such as, club volunteering, Parent Teacher Associations etc.
Delegate: now that you are managing a business from home, you will need help from other members of the family, what can they do to help? There will be jobs that you have always done, that others will now need to do in order to give you time to focus on your business or perhaps you just have to cut down on the frequency with which they get done. Decide which jobs you will continue to do and those that you will delegate to other members of the family.
Set goals: set your aims carefully. Preferably write them down neatly in the form of a check list that you can always revisit later to find out what you would like to add, and also to check whether you are working towards accomplishing those goals or not. Divide these goals into short term and long term goals. This will give you a clear idea of how much time you have in hand for each of those.
Be realistic: while setting goals don’t be afraid to be ambitious, but also remain realistic. It is always good to push your limits and make the best of your potential, but it is also important not to go overboard with it. Also be flexible enough so as to accommodate any change of plans or course o action into your set plan.
Organization: this is the most important thing that you need to go. Get organized! There are several things that come under this heading. For starters, If you can keep your home and office clutter free you will free up many hours a week, as you won’t be spending time searching for things. Put things in the right place so that you can find them easily later Keep a calendar with important dates and events marked so that you don’t forget appointments. Maintain neat files so as to make documentation easier. The same goes for your computer, get it organized.
Till Next Time
Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor
Ps – If you have found these tips useful you may like to consider joining my Facebook Group, The Time Management Academy. The group has over four hundred members who along with myself, are dedicated to sharing skills, techniques and resources in order to significantly benefit you in your journey to have more control of their time and a more balanced life.
Click here to join The Time Management Academy