Owning and operating a business from the comfort of home is the dream for desk jockeys. They are tired of the rigors and restrictions of corporate life.
However, you’ll quickly discover that it’s all too easy to let your work slide, when there’s no boss looking over your shoulder. What can you do to properly manage your time? Here are a few tips to keep you on track.
1. Create a Work Schedule
One of the best things about working from home is setting a flexible schedule. However, you do need to set a schedule if you want to manage your time wisely.
This means getting up at the same time every day for work and setting relatively regular work hours. Generally, you need to stick to the schedule. Can you shake it up? Yes, you absolutely can.
Your schedule can shift from day to day, or even throughout a given day. This can be done to adjust to your workload or make time for unscheduled meetings. Additionally, it allows you to hit up a class at the gym or enjoy an impromptu lunch date.
The idea is to consistently put in a whole work day. Work at least a minimum number of hours each week. The best way to do it is with a routine.
You can stray a little from the set schedule. Yet, pretending you’re “going to the office” for set hours each day will help you. You’ll be able to meet your deadlines/goals. You will avoid feeling like you’re always at work.
2. Take Breaks
This might sound adverse. Imagine if you did 100 bench presses without breaking it up into smaller sets of reps. You’d probably drop the weighted bar on your chest as your muscles got more fatigued.
Your brain is not a muscle, despite the popular saying. Yet, it can get fatigued if you don’t give it a break once in a while. If you don’t do it, your work is going to suffer as a result.
Here is a good rule of thumb. Let’s say you tend to sit at your computer until your eyes get bleary. Set a timer and get up every hour. Take a few minutes to eat a banana, stretch or do a few jumping jacks.
During this time you can check your social media feeds. However, be sure to limit yourself to just a few minutes.
Make sure you stand up and walk away from your workspace. This allows your brain to reset. Thus, you can come back refreshed and prepared to continue working.
3. Pinpoint Peak Productivity Hours
Some people wake up bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and raring to go. Others get their best work done when they’re burning the midnight oil. Some like to putter in the morning, take a cat nap at noon, and rally for a productive afternoon.
Managing your time is best accomplished with a schedule. Though, nobody said it has to be the traditional 9-to-5.
Perhaps, you’re having trouble jamming on your work first thing in the morning. Try something else. Learn to use your peak productivity hours to your best advantage.
4. Delineate Work Space
It is very, very important that you set aside space for your business. You don’t want to blur the lines between professional and personal spheres too much.
It will make you feel like you’re always at work. Additionally, you might relax too much because you’re in the comfort of home.
This is especially important when you have a family. When you’re “at home”, loved ones naturally expect to have access to you. Set aside an office space
You can create a set of ground rules. This can include isolation when you’re in your office. Otherwise, you’ll struggle to separate your work and home life. It may be difficult to stay on track when working.
5. Eliminate Distractions
Many people discover that working at home removes the most onerous distractions typical to an office environment. This includes chatty coworkers and micromanaging supervisors.
It also negates constant fire drills because the marketing team missed another deadline. However, there is bound to be a whole new set of distractions to contend with.
You have no boss looking over your shoulder. Therefore, you’re free to surf the web, check your social media feeds, or flip on the TV whenever you want.
You may feel torn about locking yourself in your office to work when a spouse or children are home. That’s the case, even if it’s during your set work hours.
You could also get distracted by phone calls, emails, invitations, or even the noise of your neighborhood. You need to eliminate distractions as much as possible. Thusly, you can focus on your work.
Now you’ve settled into a routine with set hours and regular breaks. You can silence your phone and only check it periodically.
You can also signal family members to let you work by closing your office door. Additionally, it might not be a bad idea to get yourself a pair of noise canceling headphones. This is what I often do. It allows me to get in a “zone.” They are less expensive and bothersome than soundproofing your office space.
Maybe you’re juggling several tasks, especially over an extended period of time. It’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole. You might spend too much time on one thing at the expense of others.
To combat this tendency and shift focus as needed. Consider reflecting on progress and reshuffling your priorities hourly. Do it when you come back from a break, for example.
7. Use the Right Tools
You’re in luck. There are plenty of apps dedicated to time and project management. Plus, you’ll find a wealth of programs that can help you to streamline your business operations.
This will also help reduce time waste. You’ll maintain an efficient business operation from your home base. It all depends on the type of business you run.
You might want to consider programs that offer things like project management tools. Additionally you’ll find programs, including time logs, easy accounting, talk-to-text, and secure file sharing
You can even find personal assistant apps to help you manage your time. Additionally, they can assist with your accounts and your workload in general.
The key is to be smart about setting and sticking to a schedule. You delineate office space and eliminate distractions. You have the right tools at your disposal. Thus, you have the best opportunity to manage your time wisely with your successful home business.
If you have any comments about this topic or suggestions about future topics leave them in the comment box below.
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