Manage Your Time, Don't Let Time Manage You
By Adam Terebeckij
As small business owners, most people who own or operate home businesses will find that they face many challenges along the road to home business success. One of the biggest challenges we face is the need to manage our time in the most efficient manner possible. While we work at home with no boss checking the clock and making sure of our productivity it can be quite easy to get distracted by other things and not keeping to the task at hand. In fact, there are many things that come along to steal our time as the days go by.
Recognizing those time stealers is the first step in understanding what needs to be done in order to overcome them. Each person will have different distractions that prevent him or her from keeping on target for the workday. While you may find that Solitaire provides the most distraction possible, someone else might find being at home (which has its own laundry list of things that need to be done—including the laundry) will provide distraction enough to keep him or her from focusing every effort into his or her business.
You must remember that you are now the boss. You are the only one that determines if you work and how much you work. The downside of that is you only have yourself to blame when those low paychecks don't quite meet your expectations. Here are a few things you can do in order to help you manage your 'office hours' more effectively.
···1) Set 'office hours'. Make a big sign and show it to your family, tell your friends what your office hours are and be in your office during those hours. Wear your business hat from the time those hours begin until quitting time.
···2) Make a list each day of what must be done. While you want to offer yourself a challenge and keep your day busy, you also want to be realistic in your expectations. Don't put too much on your list that you will feel no sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
···3) Mark the things off your list that have been completed. This helps you celebrate the completion of one task before moving onto the next.
···4) Don't procrastinate. We all have certain tasks that we enjoy less than others, don't talk yourself in a game of solitaire in order to avoid doing those very tasks. If you are in a position to do so, consider outsourcing some of the tasks that you hate the most. When you think about it in the terms of 'time is money' this is one case where spending the money for someone else to perform the task would be well worth the time it saves you in the form of lost work on other projects while you were procrastinating.
···5) Remove all temptations and distractions. I know some of you have small children and you can't lock yourselves away from them for hours at a time, nor can you really remove them as distractions, but you can take the solitaire game off your computer. You can make sure you aren't in the same room as the television or at least arrange the room so that you can't see the television.
···6) Don't take personal calls during business hours. Family and friends often have a hard time understanding that you are working from home. It's still a foreign concept to many. They will call in the middle of your workday just to chat. Don't allow them to do that. This will rob you of precious time that could be devoted to finishing a task or worse, have you talked into watching someone else's children all afternoon instead of working. If you don't take the calls during your 'office hours' then you won't find yourself in a position where you must choose between your business and your family or friends.
Once you learn to rule your time rather than allowing yourself to be ruled by time, you will find your workdays are much more productive. Having a productive workday means you don't have to work well into the night, you actually get to achieve your goal of having more time to spend with your family, and you have a strong sense of accomplishment over what you've achieved for the day. Not to mention, your income will grow as your productivity increases. Start practicing the positive things you can do in order to manage your time most effectively and soon they will become good business habits.
About the Author
Adam Terebeckij makes it easy to find work from home job opportunites. For a complete job list and to sign up for your FREE home business tips newsletter, visit this site now:
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