One of the biggest obstacles for home-based businesses is Time Management, ESPECIALLY if you have a family. Your children see that you are now available to chauffeur them and your spouse wants you to run errands. For those without family around friends and relatives can become distractions with every phone call becoming an adventure.
If you don't lay down some ground rules for yourself as well as your friends and family, you will soon find yourself back at that J.O.B.. you fled from! Here are some tips and strategies to help you manage your time more effectively:
1. Have an area designated as your office. Keep the tools you need right there, even small things like paper clips. The better situated and equipped your office is the better your success will be. Yes, many successful businesses were started at the kitchen table but before they made the leap into the “big time” most did actually buy a desk.
2. Schedule your days. Set up a Daily Method of Operation that is your daily To-Do List. This will include what times of day you will check your email, return phone messages, schedule new appointments, etc. If it's absolutely necessary, schedule in things like soccer practice, but also make sure you set "Start" and "End" Times for your work day.
3. Stay focused. Keep a running "To-Do" list that you can jot down ideas on and come back to later. If you're reading email and get a great idea for a new ad, jot it down, and come back to it later at the appropriate time in your daily schedule.
4. Don't be afraid to say "NO". If you are too busy to handle additional requests, save everyone time and frustration by saying no at the beginning. People respect you more for being honest about what you are capable of handling.
5. Use Voicemail. It is not necessary to take all of your calls
immediately just because the phone rings. Let the caller leave a message and return the call later.
6. Delegate tasks. Figure out what you make an hour. If you can make $200 per hour selling your product or services, then why WOULDN'T you pay someone $25 an hour to clean your house, do your taxes, etc.?
7. Know your Priorities. Small, one- or two-person operations cannot do everything in a single day. Plan your day according to what MUST get accomplished. Break larger jobs down into small tasks, and complete these tasks to achieve an end result.
8. Set Your Goals. This is replacing that "Deadline" your old boss gave you. It will also help you to determine if your current activities are on track to helping you achieve those goals.