One of the biggest excuses for not working at home is not having enough time. I’ve been known to complain about not having enough time myself. But the reality is that there is enough time. The trick is in managing time. While everyone is busy with jobs, kids, commitments, bills, housework and reality TV, there is always a way to find time. Even little pockets of time can be used to make money at home and, in fact, the busier you are, the easier it might be. I know that sounds strange, but I once read an article that said busy people get more done. While that sounds obvious, the point of the article was that people who had free time on their hands didn’t use it efficiently, whereas busy people were better managers of their time.
So how do you make the time to achieve your work-at-home goals?
1) Stop feeling guilty. Moms in particular have a hard time pursuing personal goals because it takes away from kids and family. What’s most interesting about this is that most women who want to work at home do so to help the family not for some self-indulgent reason. Guilt about spending time on a work-at-home goal isn’t limited to moms or women. Dads and men can be afflicted as well. Guilt doesn’t serve any purpose but to make you feel bad, so follow the tips in #2 and let it go.
2) Get support. If working at home is important to you, let members of your family know about it. Most people I know would be willing to sacrifice some time with their partner if in the long run they reached their goals particularly if those goals helped the family as a whole. You can even get the family involved in helping you, so you’re not spending time away from them.
3) Get real about your time. There are twenty-four hours in a day. If you use up twenty-two hours for sleeping, commuting, working, chores and time with family, you should still have two hours left to work on your goal. Most people argue with me that their life-tasks take more than twenty-two hours. I then ask them, how much TV do they watch? The average American (who works, does chores and has kids) watches several hours a day. If everyone who had a work-at-home goal gave up TV, I bet we’d have more people who work at home. Again, it’s not about how much time you have, it’s about how well you use the time you have. You’ll never have more time, so it’s time to get real about how you spend your time. Find the pockets of time that are wasted that could be put to better (more profitable) use.
4) Make time instead of looking for free time. When I have free time, I don’t usually think of the projects I want to get done. Instead I usually waste it flitting around. Instead of waiting for free time, schedule time to work on your work-at-home goal as you would schedule other activities such as work, bills, exercise, and social events. You don’t necessarily have to have large pockets of time. Thirty minutes before work, 45-minutes at lunch and hour at night can give you enough time to plan and start implementing your work-at-home project. Further, by having a regular schedule of working on your goal, it will become habit and be easier to stick to.
5) Protect your work-at-home schedule. Don’t let guilt or other activities get in the way of the time you’ve scheduled to work on your goal. You’ve made a commitment and you’ve got to stick to it. If something comes up and you need to give up the time, reschedule your work-at-home activities, so that it’s sure to get done.
I don’t mean to sound unsympathetic about how busy people are. But in reality, everyone is busy. Successful home business owners didn’t have 8 hours a day to build their business initially. Many have children and other commitments as well. They had all the same obstacles (time, money, economy, etc) that everyone else has. But what they could control is their use of time. You can do the same.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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