These time management tips will help you achieve work-at-home success!
One of the most common excuses I hear from people struggling to work at home is that they don’t have time. The reality is everyone has time. What is lacking is commitment, focus, and time management.
You won’t be able to build a sustainable work-at-home career in the bits and pieces of free time during your day. This is especially true if you’d like to be working at home sooner rather than later. Like any other goal, you need to put time and effort toward it to achieve it.
If you feel like time is tight, here are some tips to help.
Determine How Much Time You Need
The amount of time you need to give to your fledgling home based career will depend on what you want to do. If you want a work at home job, you have to search and apply to jobs. That requires a different amount of time than starting a blog, selling items online, or starting a service based business.
Figuring out the time you need requires that you know what tasks you need to do and a good idea of how much time they take.
Decide How Bad You Want to Work At Home
Do you REALLY want to work at home or does it just sound like a nice thing to do? I’m on several work at home groups in which many people post how badly they want to work at home, but then they gravitate toward questionable work-at-home options that sound like there’s no work involved. If you’re looking for fast and easy, you’re better off to stay in your regular job. I’ve met hundreds of people who work at home successfully, and none of them signed up for fast and easy.
Here’s the important thing to realize….
Your ability to make time to work at home will be related to how badly you want to work at home.
Do you want to work from home bad enough to skip TV watching to do a job search or figure out how to start a home business? While your life may be busy, there is always time to do what you want if you really want it. But you may have to sacrifice hobbies or other time, or force yourself to work when you’d rather relax.
Best Ways to Make Time for Your Work-At-Home Goal
You now what you need to do and how much time you need. And you’re committed to making the time to get it done. Here are the best ways to fit in time for your work-at-home goal.
- Do a time audit. To figure out where you might have time, you need to know where your time is going. Don’t guess at this. Studies show that most people underestimate the time they spend on activities. Keep a log of everything…how much time do you take to get ready in the morning, eating breakfast, commuting, spending time on social media, etc?
- Decide on tasks you can reduce or eliminate. Do you watch 3 hours of TV a day? What if you didn’t do that at all? Or cut it down to 1 hour.
- Determine what tasks can be automated or hacked to use less time. This can be tasks related to working at home (i.e. setting up email alerts from work at home job search sites), or in other areas of your life (i.e. using a Crockpot to make dinner.) Tools and systems can be a huge time saver.
- Figure out tasks you can delegate. Like the tasks you can reduce or eliminate, delegated tasks can be those related to your work at home endeavor (i.e. hiring someone to build your website) or daily tasks (getting a family member to do the laundry or cook dinner).
- Sleep less. Studies show that sleep is important, so you don’t want to cut your snooze time to unhealthy levels. With that said, staying up an hour later or getting up an hour earlier can give you more time. Most of the successful people in the world are early risers. I’m not a morning person, but I’ll admit that when I get up early, I get a ton done before noon. You might be interested in checking out The Morning Miracle for tips on getting up earlier to get more done.
Making Time for your Work At Home Goal
So now you know what you need to do, how much time it will take, and you’ve found ways to put more time in your day. The next step is to maximize your time. You can do that by:
- Have a goal for each day. For example, “Submit 5 resumes,” or “Complete profile on freelance site,” or “Call city about business licensees.”
- Have a to-do list to start each day. Ideally you should do this list the night before. Based on your goals, write down the tasks that need to be done to reach them.
- Block out time to do your work-at-home tasks. Be realistic about the amount of time it will take. Also, guard the time. Don’t let something else slip in and take up the time you committed to work on your goal.
- Don’t multitask. You may think you’re saving time, but in fact, multitasking can waste time because of the focus adjustment time it takes to go back and forth. Focus on one to-do and when it’s done move to the next.
- Use a timer. It is possible to get so focused you lose a sense of time. If you need to stick to the schedule, set a timer for each task or your work block.
Success working at home comes from focused, consistent effort. While you can’t build a career on a few minutes a day, it doesn’t take a lot of time necessarily to make significant progress. As little an hour a day can be a great start. What you can’t do is be haphazard about your efforts. You can spend an hour one day, two hours three days later, and ten minutes the next week. Making time each day will make your work-at-home tasks habit, and will give you the momentum you need to start seeing results faster.
Do you have any time management tips? Let us know in the comments below.
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