index More Resources to Start a Business
Managing your time in a home business.
Is your business still an inspiration, or has the
pressure of time and responsibilities started to dull your enthusiasm?
Find your best working strategy, and you'll
save time and energy that can be better spent on creative avenues of business
and with family.
"Defining Your Space"
Defining your space is admittedly more about
organization than time, but there's an undeniable link between the two. Have
you scanned 100 emails to find that important reference code?
Are you still sorting piles of necessary documents on your kitchen counter,
just so you'll know where they are?
Here, then, is the reason for creating a specific working area. You may be
using the family computer, but make space for a file, incoming mail and a
Enforce the necessity of a cleared working area by providing bins or drawers
for other family members, or your own `non-work' related items. (If you choose
to organize them as well, all the better, but stick to your priorities.)
If it's a small business, create at the very least five files. One for
Expenses, one for Income (let's hope!), one for Reference Material, one for
Correspondence and one for Projects (or Customers).
If you deal with very many clients, or companies, give them separate files,
otherwise one should suffice. Consider setting up your email with similar
`folders' to keep everything organized and easy to find. Perhaps you can sub-
categorize even further as there is not the physical space issue.
This section could easily go on and on, but for simplicities sake, it would be
best to start out with this system. If you're already well over your head,
creating this simplistic organization system may be the best first step, you
can refine and itemize the bulk of it easier if you take the time to make these
first main files.
"Getting Busy" We've all done it.
A moment arises where you have the chance to get some work done and you go to
your computer, or workshop or otherwise, and for 5-10 minutes you browse emails
or papers, trying to figure out what needs to be done.
With any home business (and this is especially true when children are in the
mix) you need, or have created, the flexibility to work when YOU want. So don't
waste time figuring out what you'll be doing. If you are so inclined, create a
To-Do list. This may be for the day, or week, or just a running list that is
built upon as things come up. This creates an easy starting point when you are
ready to work.
Where did you leave off?
What was next on the list?
Do you have 10 minutes or 2 hours?
You will surely have something waiting to be done. If you do not feel the need
for a written list, at least have a goal for that day. As a work from home
mother, I find that one or two main goals are all I need. And there are always
emails to check, accounting, etc. for the slow times. I also have a personal
schedule for the week that itemizes my main tasks: writing an article,
networking in the forums, checking on orders, etc. This gives me an easy to
work from goal map. Although my work periods are broken up, I try to focus on
one task a day through to completion.
Once you have your main task ready to go, than try to follow it through to the
best of your ability. Not only will you be free to carry on with your day, but
you will feel a sense of accomplishment. If your goal is extensive, for
instance you're training, researching or building on something, than break it
down into smaller goals. You will find that a concrete goal will give you the
ability to get `caught up' in the process. You had a starting point, you are
driven towards the finish. Without the enormity of the full project lying in
front of you, you will feel free to focus your attention, enjoy the process
more and put quality time into it.
Especially when you are working on a multi-step project, when you finish task
for the day, try to slow yourself down by diverting time to some of the smaller
tasks; filing, correspondence, telephone calls etc. If you follow this pattern
regularly, you will not only find that both the large and the small tasks get
completed, but your `work day' will come to a natural end and you will feel
ready to separate it from your family life.
As with everything, balance is key. Now that is easier said than done, so using
this as a guide, find your own natural rhythm. Working with children will
likely break this system up even further (I know!). If you are on your own, you
may find it easier to plug on for the entire project even if it takes you into
the night. Whatever you do, remember your reasons for choosing to work at home.
Based on your original reasons, you will find motivation to schedule a working
life that benefits you and your family the best.
Enjoy your Day!
Shannon and Cyprian help others reach their work from home goals on their site
at http://www.Affiliate-Start.com. They run several online businesses while
raising two young daughters.
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