Archive for the ‘Time Management’ Category

How To Get Your Work Done When School Is Out


A huge percentage of home based businesses are run by people with children.

Many of those parents are stay at home moms, with some stay at home dads thrown into the mix.

When June comes, thousand of children say farewell to their teachers and school books. 

They hit home one day and begin a 2 1/2 month siege on our schedules.




Learning how to stay focused on the tasks we need to complete for our business is critical to success.

When our children are home on school break, we are endlessly distracted with their activities and outings.

Make a point of scheduling for yourself a block of time during each day when you will be the least distracted.

Focus on completing the tasks you need uninterrupted concentration for. 

For me, this would be the time I work on blogs, website content, and correspondence with prospects.

During times you are more likely to be distracted, work on business activities that do not require close attention to detail.

This might be sending out Direct Matches emails where you use the same copy & paste material.

Whatever your business activities are, remember to prioritize the most essential and productive tasks.

Don’t waste time on anything that can be addressed another time.

Spend that extra time with your children and enjoy your vacation time with them!



Believe in Your Success, I Do!


Posted by on June 19th, 2010 No Comments

Spending Too Much Time Online

Those of us marketing our home based businesses online often build up accounts at several social networking sites, traffic exchanges, article directories, and other sites commonly used to network with potential business leads.

It is quite easy to get distracted and and start wandering around in cyberspace.  Your time gets swallowed up without realizing it.  You also end up feeling fatigued and unfocused.





Social Networking sites like Facebook and MySpace are notorious for taking up hours of time.

It is critical that you make a list of your daily marketing activities.

  • List the site,
  • Exactly what you will do on the site,
  • How much time you will spend there,
  • What time of the day or evening you will do it.

You have to stick to your list and not get distracted.

Once you are finished with your online marketing  activities, close your browser windows and walk away from the computer.

You may think you can surf the internet and find valuable content for your business.

Your time would be better spent contacting your customers, following up on your leads, and touching base with your team to brainstorm.

If you like to surf the net, schedule it into your activities and save it for after you have done more important things.

Last thing…always give yourself a day off!

You need one day a week to unplug from your business activities, turn off the computer and enjoy your family!

To be effective at building your Network Marketing business online, you have to keep yourself from getting lost in a virtual world.



Believe In Your Success, I Do!

Posted by on May 3rd, 2010 No Comments

Are the Holidays Taking over Your Business?


Here it is…two weeks since I last posted. As a matter of fact, it feels like I haven’t done any work at all during this time! We have been getting ready for Thanksgiving, had family come in from out of town, kids on school break, and my nephew got married Saturday.

And Christmas is around the corner? Whew!




Most people face the challenge of how to divide a limited amount of time between an unlimited number of activities and obligations during holiday times.

How do we enjoy the holidays and our families and still keep our home based businesses running?


“Letting it Go” with the thought of resuming your business activities January 2nd is not a great idea. You will lose the momentum you have built and it will take some time to get yourself going again.

So make a plan NOW to manage your business during these often hectic times. It’s never too late!


Prioritize your biz activities.



First, write down everything you do while working your business.

Then make a list of the must do activities that keep your business bringing in business.

This would be things like your marketing activities…adding friends on Facebook, sending emails on Direct Matches, whatever it is you do to reach potential business partners and customers.


On days when you don’t have time to take a breath, give yourself a goal of completing at least one of your easiest, quickest activities. Don’t worry about the other stuff…email, newsletters, and organizing your desk will wait!


Remember the Slight Edge philosophy. Doing a little bit each day keeps driving you TOWARDS your goals. Doing nothing keeps you right where you are then starts sliding you back into doubt and failure.

Posted by on November 30th, 2009 9 Comments

time management quick tip

Like most of us working an MLM home-based business, I am always looking for business ideas and time management tips.

.clock time management


I subscribe to a few e-newsletters from people in the industry.  One of them is from MLMWoman.

In her recent newsletter, Linda Locke shared a time management “quick tip” for busy MLM business women.

“  Take ten minutes break. Right now. Plan your day on paper. Make
yourself a list of everything you would like to achieve today. That’s
right, everything.

Now, get two colored highlighter pens and mark all the tasks that
will take more than half an hour, and all those that will take less.

Set your own priorities for the jobs, but make sure you complete at
least two short ones for every long one.

For every long job crossed off the list or two short ones, give
yourself a small reward
. A five minute break, a square of chocolate, a
cup of coffee. You choose.

Now watch as your busy schedule starts to make more sense.

Welcome to the wonderful world of time management.”

How’s that for a fantastic, simple to do, quick time management tip?

I’m going to take my break right now and make my list!

Your Friend and Mentor,

Posted by on September 21st, 2009 No Comments

Taking Time Off From Your Home-Based Business

It may seem trivial, but when you are your own boss, you need to responsibly schedule time off.

This is particularly important with a home-based business where you only have yourself to answer to. It is very easy to fritter time away and be unaware of the negative impact it has on your business. It is also easy to get so wrapped up in business activities that you neglect yourself and your family and friends.

Remember the movie, The Shining, with Jack Nicholson? Whenever I find myself spending too much time on my business, I think about the character, Jack, while he was working on his book. When his wife checked on his manuscript, all it said was “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” over and over and over.

Make sure when you need a day off, or a mini vacation, that you plan ahead. Mark it on your calendar and let your business associates know that you will be unavailable. Make a commitment to stay away from your computer…don’t check emails and don’t “check-in” with your clients or customers.

Learn to get away, even if you stay home.

  1. Play a board game with your family.
  2. Take a walk.
  3. Lay in your hammock.
  4. Garden.
  5. Read a book.
  6. Learn Origami
  7. Hunt for Dust Bunnies.
  8. Do Yoga.
  9. Teach your kids to fish.
  10. Go dancing with your friends.

When you want to plan more time off for a vacation or the holidays, decide on your time frame, and stick to it. Free your mind of business obligations and world worries. Enjoy your time off!
Commit to a time to return to work and stick to it. Get right back into your usual business activities and routine.

You deserve a rest…take a break and enjoy yourself!
You will return to your business refreshed and energized to take it to the next level.

Everybody who takes advantage of the training program at Mentoring For Free, is impressed with the wide range of skills and business building advice that our mentors have to share…all for free.

Most people can’t wait to download this free ebook to get started with their free education…

Your Friend and Mentor,

Posted by on December 30th, 2008 No Comments

How to Use Calendars to Manage Schedules and Time

Another area I struggled with when I first started my home-business was managing my schedules.

I already use a wall calendar where I manage my family appointments and personal business.
Unfortunately, that is not an adequate system to use for a business.

I believe every person has to select a calendar system that suits his/her own personal style.

The important point is to keep your calendar highly viseable. It has to be in a place where you will see it several times a day. In a drawer or inside a cabinet probably won’t be helpful.

Additionally, your space for your home office has to be considered. Whether you have a separate room dedicated to your office space or a corner of the family living area will determine what you can use.

A visit to your Office supply store will give loads of ideas. When I was teaching, I used a large monthly desk calendar for daily activities and a poster sized write-on/wipe-off yearly calendar on the wall for annual & semi-annual meetings.
Many people like to use day planner notebooks.

We must remember the electronic methods of managing schedules.

At Mentoring For Free, we have 10 training calls every week.
I would remember the call 15-20 minutes before the call, then forget about it until it was half over.

To solve this problem, I used the calendar function in my cell phone. I entered the call as an appointment, set it as “recurring”, and gave myself a reminder alarm of 5 minutes before the call.

I also use Windows Calendar and Google Calendar. Comcast and other ISPs have calendars as well. With these calendars, I schedule all of my commitments, both personal and business. This allows me to see open timeslots available for teaching and mentoring activities. I can also better plan when I need to do my daily business activities.

One brilliant use for the Google Calendar is that you can share it with your team.
This way, when they need to schedule training or coaching calls with you, they can save time by checking your calendar for your availability before contacting you.

Be sure to review your calendar frequently.
At least every week you should look at your week, month and year to keep your commitments fresh in your mind.
At the beginning of every day, review and print out your day’s schedule so you have it in front of you at any time.

If you need any help with setting up your calendar, I am happy to help you.

Everybody says that after reading the free ebook, Success In 10 Steps, the help they get at Mentoring For Free is more valuable than any program they have paid for.

(541) 484-5455
Skype ID karen.j.miller

Posted by on December 18th, 2008 No Comments

Time Management for the Home-Based Business Entrepreneur… Part 3


The next habit to develop with email has to do with your business correspondence.

How you and your associates write emails is critically important to how you all can efficiently handle your emails.

Following are some guidelines on writing business emails.

1. When selecting your business email, avoid cutesy names like In a group of fifty emails, it is difficult to remember the person who belongs to such an email.
Name brand yourself. You are better off using your name like, or in your email address.
This assures that the recipient will immediately know who you are and is more likely to address your email sooner and not think of it as junk mail.

2. Be specific and clear in your subject line, make it relevant to your topic.

3. Remember to sign your name and include your contact information to the end of your message.

4. Remember that your business associates are as busy as you are and need to keep their time with emails short as well. Keep notes for social niceties and visiting reserved for separate emails, Skype messages, or phone calls. If your upline is particularly busy, that person may have dealings with 100s of people in their organization. Remember to be respectful of that.

5. Keep your communications concise—only a few lines and stick to the facts. This has been a real challenge for me and I’ve needed to practice a lot on this skill….after all, I do love to write!

6. Fix in your mind first, “What is the end result of what I am asking?”, in other words, “What do I want, exactly.” Just ask your question.

7. Remember that your team (your downline) may not have these skills so you need to share with them how you expect emails to be sent to you. Create a document or email draft outlining your expectations.

8. Give them a clear method and time when they can communicate non essential business matters.

9. Tell them if they have a complaint or issue they need help with resolving, they are to send you a one or two line email giving a brief description of the issue and ask you for a time you can discuss it.

10. When asking for your upline’s time on a 3-way call, put “coaching call request” in subject line. In the body of the email, give the days & times your prospective client is available, and time zone. Leave other details for a later briefing with your upline if they so desire.

By keeping your email communications to the point, you will soon notice a huge time savings in this area.

Most people who are building a home business, find the information in this book to be critical to their success…but some don’t.

Wishing You a Lifetime of Success!
Success In 10 Steps

Posted by on December 15th, 2008 No Comments

Time Management for the Home-Based Business Entrepreneur… Part 2



Everybody knows, we all have the same 24 hours in every day…no matter where we live in the world.

Now that you have tracked your time expenditures and set up your Daily Activities chart, let’s look at a few of the ways we spend time on our business and personal activities.

One of the biggest time consumers I’ve encountered is email. I send and receive email to & from various sources: family, friends, business contacts and personal business. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but I got to the point of feeling swallowed alive by correspondence.

Here are a few tips I’ll share with you that helped me tame the wild email beast.


I set up different email accounts for the different groups of people I interact with.

Your Internet Service Provider should provide you with the ability to create several email addresses. I use Comcast & they offer 7 additional accounts.
If you have a website, your web hosting service allows you to create several email addresses as well.

Another option is to use a free service such as Gmail or Hotmail. These services are less likely to ban mass emailings (such as you what you would receive from your MLM company).

Additionally, the emails are stored on their servers & never downloaded to your computer, which can protect you from harmful viruses. This is handy in the event your computer crashes since your addresses & saved emails are on their server.


Here’s how I’ve done it…

I’ve kept my original Comcast email for family and friends communications and personal business.
I use my email from my cattery website,, for all communications with my “cat” friends, cat Yahoo groups, and cat related business.

For my MLM business and Mentoring For Free, I opened up a Gmail account. I use this email address for the online sites I use for business activities like Direct Matches, You-Tube, and Facebook.

I have been able to prioritize my use of time interacting with my emails much more efficiently now.
Each day, as I review my schedule, I choose which email categories I can spend time on & how much time I can spend on each.



Set a time limit for yourself and stick to it! If you’re getting too many “fun forwards”, ask people not to send them to you, or make a decision to delete the unread ones every week.

If you love those “fun forwards”, be sure to delegate a set amount of time every week for reading those. Likewise, be sure to set aside time for non-business emails with family and friends.

Always look at the value of spending the time on emails.
You can’t read everything in depth…learn to skim for the essentials.

Most people get very excited about the training and teaching we offer for free at Mentoring For Free, but some don’t.

Wishing you a Lifetime of Success!

Posted by on December 11th, 2008 No Comments

Time Management for the Home-Based Business Entrepreneur…Part 1


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


Posted by on October 7th, 2008 No Comments

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