Time management is a constant bone of contention for those parents who work from home, especially if you have young children and run your own business. You want your business to be successful, but at the same time you are very conscious of your responsibilities to your children, who in many cases are the reason you work from home in the first place.
I’m sure that you are already doing the obvious things like taking advantage of the times that your young children sleep during the day, below I have listed some additional time management tips that may make life a little easier for you while working from home and still feeling that you are being good parents to your young children.
Time Management Tips for your Home Based Business
Why are you going on-line?
Do you ever find yourself going on-line and getting distracted by emails or surfing the internet? When you sit down at your computer, you must have a definite purpose in mind. Keep a notebook handy with your to-do list in it. Decide what you are going to accomplish, do it, and move on to your next task.
If your budget allows, consider outsourcing administrative tasks to a virtual assistant, or perhaps you have older children that you could pay to do tasks which are appropriate to there age. Check with your accountant as you may find these payments could be a tax deductible expense.
Consider a child minder to help your business
As parents there are going to be times when one of you has to go to a client meeting, and the other one has to get some work done urgently, consider getting a child minder to come to you and looking after your children for a few hours in your own house. You will be amazed at what you can achieve in this time, with the peace of mind that goes with knowing your children are safe but if needed in emergencies you can be with them in minutes if not seconds.
Batch similar tasks together
In other words, don’t check and answer your emails constantly throughout the day, check two or 3 times a day (at most) and answer your emails at the same time. If you have to update your website, make a list of all the changes you want to make and do them all at once. Let your phone calls go to answer phone and return them at specific times of the day. It is just as easy to read to all your children as it is to just one of them, the same goes for running errands, do them all at the same time.
Use Technology Wisely
Aim to get the best laptop you can afford along with wireless internet access. This will drastically improve your ability to work on-line around your children. Imagine being able to sit on your patio bench and catch up on your emails whilst the children play happily in the garden. Maybe you could even drop them off at nursery and head for the nearest coffee shop and get on-line, this saves travel time and once again you have the peace of mind of knowing you are handy if needed.
Automate your business as much as possible; this can be easily done with email autoresponders that can send out regular emails, newsletters, and even e-courses to your mailing lists. Do you regularly answer the same questions over and over again, if so consider adding a frequently asked questions page to your website or create a downloadable pdf report that addresses those topics?
In our next blog post we shall consider some Time Management tips that can be used to keep our general house hold time management on track so that it supports our home based business.
Till next Time
Mike Gardner – The Time Doctor