Staying organized while running your online business at home can feel like there are just never enough hours in the day to achieve anything. And then when 6pm comes along and it’s “time to go home”, you think that nothing has happened to move your business forward.
You know you get the calls to help with the kids, go shopping or just “do this because it’s only going to take you 5 minutes” when actually you know it’s going to take more like 5 hours.
Or that “you can get this done now because you’re only surfing the net” *sigh*
So what can you do? Here are some tips I use when running my businesses at home that hopefully some of them can help you manage your time better and improve your business this year.
1: Set boundaries
If you have a home office within the house you should really lay down the law and state that between x and y hours that it’s your time to develop your business. If you are always having to undertake household chores then how about setting aside 1/2 day each week to do them and ask your partner to prepare a list. I do all the household shopping in my local supermarket at 7am twice a week and am at my desk working away by 8am. The supermarket has just opened and there’s no one in it so it doesn’t take much time. We have a shopping list on the fridge that we write down what’s required per trip.
2: Show what money you have made by “surfing the net all day”
One of the most common issues when you are working from home on the computer is your partner only sees you tapping away at the keyboard and assumes you are simply “surfing the net” when of course you know you are working hard.
So why not show your partner the earnings you make every day or your search engine results or something else that shows them just how far your business is progressing.
3: Prepare lists for the household
As there are plenty of things that need to happen in the home why not start writing lists of things that need to be done and when they will be undertaken. That way you can put aside the right amount of time at the weekend or evenings to get all the household chorse undertaken.
4: Prepare lists for your business
So, OK, we have set aside the time to undertake household duties so what about your business! Every business owner should have some type of business plan showing how to achieve overall goals so why not prepare a plan for tomorrow or next week? That way you can concentrate on the activities that are going to drive you business forward and get some form of self satisfaction when you tick items off your list.
This is basic project management but ensures you remain focused and only work on those items that bring profits to your business as it’s so easy just do the easy things with your business rather than those that actually build your business and longer term profits.
About The Guest Author: Peter Hale is a successful business owner in the UK and writes for his own website, Small Business Pro, which includes many “how to guides” on starting a small business, including marketing and finance requirements.
Great tips! Are you familiar with the “getting things done” method? I recently wrote a post on tools you could use if you want to stay organized. Click on my name (Martin Lindeskog) if you want to read my post. I have to get things in order first and then keep up with staying organized! 🙂
I am a serial task list orginiator, and for me it’s very important to write out a specific, ATTAINABLE task list for the day and accomlish it for your sanity.
Peter, two thumbs up for this post!
Also, Martin thanks for pointing us to your post.
Thanks for your comments.
I’ve not read any books about this – just writing on what works for me – especially as I have a 8 day old daughter now; time is limited 🙂
Good tips, Peter!
Point #2 has the added benefit of reinforcing your own goals, too. It makes you think about what you are doing and that you’re making money from it. And if you want to be successful in business, you have to have goals.
Arthur: You are welcome! 🙂
Anita: You are right about the goal setting approach. One expert in this field, is John A. Locke.