Those of us who work from home, often face the challenge of being able to efficiently manage our time.
This holds true for people who are working full time from home, stay-at-home moms creating a second income from home, and part-timers who are working around a full-time outside job and family responsibilities.
Wherever you fall in this spectrum, you only have 24 hours a day to spend on your activities, just like everybody else.
How you budget these hours is critical to how successful you will be in your business.
There is one thing you need to do first before we move forward…
Track your time expenditures.
In order to effectively know how to budget your time, you need to have a clear idea of how you are currently spending your time.
Step One: Create a Time Expenditure Table.
- Get a sheet of paper, and divide it into 7 columns.
- Label the top of each column with the days of the week.
- Along the left side of the paper, write times in 30 minute increments, from the time you get up until the time you go to bed.
- Start by writing in all of your fixed activities: wake-up, shower, meals, kids off to school, go to work, business training calls, etc.
- Place your Time Expenditure Table where it is handy to write on at anytime…on the fridge, a clipboard, the wall, etc.
- Now, every day, you must commit yourself to writing down everything you do in the time slots for each day. No time slot should be empty, even if you take a nap…write it down!
- This point is important! When you are doing business related activities, like computer time, be specific about what activities you are doing!
Step Two: Study Your Time Expenditure Table
At the end of the seven days, you will need to study your Time Expenditure Table closely.
You will be able to see how much time you spent with family, daily living activities, recreation, your job, on the computer, personal development, etc.
When you examine business related activities, take note of how much time you are spending on emails, following links elsewhere, surfing, reading/watching/commenting on other people’s blogs, lenses, profiles, & videos, etc.
You need to answer to yourself, how much time are you getting distracted by non-productive activities, non-business related emails, links, & websites, and family & friend interuptions.
Step Three: Your final analysis
This is the time you need to be clear about your priorities.
You need to know what you want out of your business and how important these things are to you.
You also need to decide what activities you are spending your limit of 24 hours a day on that you are willing to sacrifice.
This won’t be easy, but you must do it if you are serious about building a successful home-based business.
Once you decide where you can trim away time, condense activities, and eliminate waste, you will need to make another Time Expenditure Table.
Only this time, we will call it Time Expenditure of Daily Activities.
- Write in your fixed activities.
- Write in times you will devote to uninterrupted business activities.
- Write in times you are leaving open for family, friends, personal development, & leisure activities.
- Remember to include ordinarily “dead” time, like breaks at work, waiting for appointments, commute, etc. You can pack these spare minutes with reading or connecting with business associates.
There you have it!
You are on your way to more efficiently managing your time!
As always, if you need any help, please don’t hesitate to call me at (541) 484-5455 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.