Extend Your Working Day with these Time Management Tips

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Guest post by Vishal P. Rao

These days, one of the most popular ideas for people looking to make extra money is to begin some kind of home-based business – either selling some kind of product or else utilizing their skills to offer services such as writing or admin work – there are many, many possibilities. Most of us have something to offer that we can do in addition to our full time job, but there’s one problem that always crops up, again and again – just where on earth do we find the extra time to do all that?

Truth is, even those who work at home on a full time basis will tell you that there are never enough hours in the day. But for those who work 9 to 5, and have hobbies or social commitments in addition to that, finding any spare time to do extra work can seem almost impossible.

Mission Impossible: Finding more time in the day

Just like the movie, it might seem like a “Mission Impossible”, but it’s also true that where there is a will, there is a way, if only you are prepared to sacrifice a little something.

Your schedule is already jam-packed of course – that’s why you’re reading this now, but have you really looked closely at your schedule? Doing so, it might just be that you can find some time, or make some time, even though you don’t know it’s there. Your schedule is full, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fit other things into it.

An example is your daily commute – do you take the bus or the train to work each day? If so, then this is a golden opportunity to squeeze some more time into your day. Obviously, while you are seated in the bus in rush hour, you won’t be able to do every task that requires your attention, but there are certainly some things you can do, like admin work. Every type of freelancer has to perform admin work – emailing people, filling out and sending off invoices etc, so why not do these relatively simple tasks while you’re sat on the bus. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology (smartphones, tablets) it’s possible to stay connected wherever you go – so use these things to your advantage and make the most of your daily commute.

This idea extends to other situations as well. For example, time spent waiting for a meeting to start, or else your lunch break. While you’re sat there munching away on your sandwiches, you can also pull out your iPad and get busy with some tasks that can conveniently be done then. Of course, this will involves some sacrifice – you’ll have to stop looking at Facebook, and you won’t be able to gossip with your friends during lunch, but that’s the price you have to pay for finding extra time.

Bigger sacrifices

Okay so the above tips might help you to find a little more time in the day. What else can we do?

Well, if you’re prepared to make even bigger sacrifices there’s a lot you can do. To start with, there are the obvious things like giving up your free time to do more work. You might be a member of some social club, or perhaps you go to the gym three times a week. These activities can always be stopped, or else you can definitely cut down on them. You can also try going to sleep later, or waking up earlier – although doing this, you will eventually reach the point when you have to decide what is more important, working or sleep? (don’t be too greedy, it’s not healthy!)

Get rid of the time sucks in your life too. By this, I mean those things that achieve absolutely nothing, like watching your favorite shows on TV, or playing on Facebook. These things are basically a waste of time, if you think about it.

You can also do something even more drastic, like outsourcing certain jobs. Admittedly, this will cost you, but sometimes you have to spend money to make money. This could mean paying the kids extra pocket money to do the dishes, or else hiring a maid to take care of things so you don’t have to. Such a step would instantly free up several hours a week in your schedule. It might also be possible to outsource certain tasks connected to your freelance work – you can hire a VA for example, to do simple tasks for you like emailing contacts or writing.

Think about your work

This last tip is simply to try and change the way you think about your work. Pretty much every type of job requires lots of thinking – for example, writers have to think about what they are going to write, designers have to imagine what things will look like before they set about bringing that idea to reality.

No doubt, before you set off out to work, or go to pick the kids up from school, you already know what projects are waiting for you when you get back home. So think about these before you get home. If you’re a writer, you can more or less write the article in your head while you’re sat there at the traffic lights. Similarly, if you have a logo to design, look around you and try to gain some inspiration from your surroundings – in both cases, by the time you get home you will already have a good idea of what you’re going to do, and this will allow you to set about your task without delay, so you can finish it much quicker than if you hadn’t put any thought into it previously.

Vishal P. Rao runs the work at home forum, a popular online discussion forum for those who work from home. Read reviews, get advice or just stop by to have a casual chat.

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