How To Manage Your Time Like A Pro For Your Home Based Business

How to Manage Your Time For Your Home Based BusinessMany of you reading this blog have a home based business, so I’m sure that this information will be helpful to you.

While having our home based business is our dream job for most of us, it also requires that we know how to manage our time well by being disciplined enough to get the job done.

Nobody is going to supervise you or tell you what to do, so if you’ve been used to that so far, or worth even, if you still need to be supervised to put yourself to work, you must start applying some discipline into your working life to manage your time like a pro and get the job done.

In this article, I’ll be giving you 5 steps to make it happen.  If you do this, you’ll even be able to enjoy even more money from your business while still having plenty of time to relax and do whatever you want to do.

So, here we go…

Schedule your Time

Truth be told, if you’re not going to actually schedule you time to work, you won’t be able to be productive. When I say schedule, I actually mean having a planner either digital or physical where you are going to write each of “your must do” items one by one with specific time frame.

As they say, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at the time (Not that you actually want to eat one). At times, having a home based business can seem to bit like an elephant in the house, so your hour by hour scheduling will help you digest it one piece at the time.

It’s much easier to stick to your work when you cut it into small pieces, because you’re doing it one bit at the time, so you’re not overwhelmed. In between hours, you can take a break, which you can schedule as well. If you stick to this simply method of managing your time, you’ll be amazed at what you can get done.

Minutes lost here and there will turn into an hour really fast, so don’t let time escape you just because you didn’t schedule your work well.

Schedule the Largest Task for the Hours you’re the most Productive

I’m sure you know what your most productive hours of the day are, right?  Basically, if you’re a morning person it’s going to be morning hours, probably even early morning.  If you’re a night person it’s going to be more like afternoon into the night hours. The good thing about having your own home based business is that you can actually work during the hours where you’re going to be the most productive, not what’s been dictated to you.  So, use this privilege to your best advantage to be productive in your time management and your business.

For example, for me, writing being what requires the most energy of all that I need to do, I schedule writing work for the morning.  I get up early (6 AM or earlier) and I usually write for 2 hours straight. Then I can always get back to my writing later to edit, but the hardest part – the actual writing – must be done when I’m on top of my energy level.

So, if you’re not sure yet what part of your work requires the most energy from you, try to figure it out as soon as possible, and make it a habit to schedule it when you’re the most productive during the day.

Stay Seated for a Full Hour

Let’s face it, the human tendency is to be lazy. It’s so easy to be attracted by the shining things that lure us in a house when we work from home. There is the backyard (especially in spring and summer), the fridge, the TV, children, pets, and so on.  All of which are there tempting us.  The lazy person that lives in all of us is strong enough to pull us out of that chair and take a break in the middle of what we’re doing. And we will, or should I say, we’ve all done it?

Unless we schedule a time where we’re going to force ourselves to sit on that chair for a specific amount of time until we’re done.

Renowned copywriter Steve Slaunwhite says to schedule your sitting time to an hour. Like any of us he recognizes the lazy and unruly person in him, so he found out that by sitting an hour at the time, he can get things done. Anybody can at least stay seated one hour at the time, with the promise that he or she can go and play for 15 minutes after that.

By chopping your time into bits of an hour at the time you can become much more productive in your home based business.

Sylviane and Tom "Big Al" Shreiter

Sylviane and Tom “Big Al” Shreiter

Reward yourself Only when you’re Done

This is a trick I’ve learned few years ago from Tom Schreiter, also known as “Big Al.” who is a multi millionaire Network Marketing Entrepreneur. Like anyone else, he had to find ways to discipline himself to get the job done, and one thing that he imposed on himself to complete a task, is rewarding himself ONLY when the job at task was done.

He went even went so far as to impose on himself to do something he really didn’t want to do, in case he messed up and didn’t do the job he had intended to do.  For example, he would tell himself that if he didn’t stick to his work to finish a project by a certain time he would give money to the Politician he hated the most. This even reinforced in him the fact that he’d better have this work done or else. Because, by the way, he was keeping his promises to himself no matter, no matter what.

The most successful people are the toughest on themselves, and that’s why they’re successful in the first place.  They are steering the boat, they don’t let the waves take over. They find ways to stay on tract and deliver.  What about you?

Be and Stay Organized

Now, it’s a known fact that being and staying organized will pay its dividends. People who are disorganized lose precious productive time just trying to find things they’ve lost or misplaced, and that goes even for time.

If you are so disorganized that you have to keep making for time lost, at the end of the week, you might have to work a whole Saturday or Sunday just to be back on track when Monday comes around.  I know I’ve done that myself, and it really sucks.

So, don’t fall in that trap and give yourself the gift of nice extra bonus hours of freedom just by being organized.

Make sure all your needed documents and information are in one place, and easy to find.  Make sure that you have all the email addresses you’re going to need in a specific place on your computer. Make sure you have your schedule handy at the click of the mouse or at glance. Make sure you have all the office supplies you’re going to need at hand.

In short, make sure that all the details that can be time consuming won’t mess up with your time, as long as you are organized.

Make sure that your day is totally scheduled, and that only, maybe an emergency, could mess it up. But even if that should be the case, even an emergency, shouldn’t put you too far behind because of you being so organized. Yes, truly organized people do plan for emergency as well, so in the can that one arises, they know that they’ll still fall back on their feet.

I hope this article was helpful to you and gave you more ideas to manage your time better for your home based business.

Your turn now, Let’s hear what you have to say about time management.
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43 Comments

  • Ashley FaulkesTwitter: madlemmingz says:

    Hi Sylviane
    A topic that I need to focus on more lately.
    As I get more serious about my business and potentially busy I see the need for many of the things that you write about.
    I have just started using Trello to write down my tasks. It is not a habit yet, but I made a start.
    I also need to learn to focus on the things that are probably going to bring the biggest gains in my business and each day.
    It is all a matter of habit, that is for sure
    thanks for your tips
    ashley
    Ashley Faulkes invites you to read..Website Review #3: Improving Your SEO and Page Load SpeedsMy Profile

    • Hi Ashley,

      I’m in the same boat as you. As I’m getting more serious when it comes to my own businesses, I need to take on better habits. I actually wrote this post as I’m applying those tips myself. It’s so easy to get side tracked when we work from home.

      Thank you for your feedback. Very much appreciated :)

  • Bren says:

    Hi Sylviane!

    These tips are not only good for those with a home based business but for someone who manages their own time out on a job site. Thanks so much for sharing them with us. Gladly passing it along!

    Bren

  • Sunday says:

    Time management in home-based business is one factor that determines the success.

    If properly done then the business would have more leverage of success. It becomes necessary for the business owner to determine what would work well to achieve effective time management.

    Setting priorities in tasks and ensuring that DISCIPLINE is applied with them would mean a lot to manage time like a pro.

    The tips shared in this post are on track!

    This comment was shared in kingged.com – the social bookmarking website for Internet marketers where this post was found.

    Sunday – kingged.com contributor

    http://kingged.com/manage-time-pro-home-based-business/

  • Chery Schmidt says:

    Hello Sylviane, Now this right here is such an important topic. When I first got started online I was all over the place, I never actually accomplished anything. I had my e-mail open, all my chats, the phone on and when something would go off I ran to see what was happening.

    Your article here is one that every newbie needs to read. You cannot go throughout the day without a plan if you want to get something accomplished, You need to have your income producing activities scheduled at the same time each day and therefore they will become a habit.

    Now habits are the kind of things that work. Right? Great Tips my friend all the way to reaping the rewards.. Keep up the good work.. Chery :))

    P.S. I did end up on your blog today Via Kingged where I also commented and kingged this post..

    • Hi Chery,

      Yes, habit is the magic word, which I didn’t even used in this post, but you’re the second person mentioning it. That’s why comments are good :) they can complement the post and add to it.

      If we have bad time management habits we’ll never go anywhere in our own at home business.

      Yes, I’ve seen you on kingged too, just never really know how to get someone specific’s post on there :)

  • Arun Kallarackal says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    Solid time management tips from your side! I juggle between my day job, online works and blogging, thanks to a good schedule that I follow religiously!

    I can very well relate to some of the factors you discussed here. Like I very well know the importance of following a schedule and sticking to it. Also, prioritizing activities and assigning the most productive hours to the most important job is something that I do every now and then! And it sure works like a charm.

    Once I’ve made a schedule, I make it a point to stick to it and get up only after the task is over. Also, I reward myself after completing a task successfully!

    I found the link to this post on Kingged.

    Keep writing! :)

    Arun

    • Hi Arun,

      I’m so glad that you seem to do great with your time management. That’s so rewarding when we do, isn’t it?

      Seems that lots of people found me on Kingged. Love that site :) Thanks for coming.

  • Kumar GaurawTwitter: kgauraw says:

    Hi Sulviane,

    This is my favorite topic and the most challenging one at the same time. I love to get things done. I love to put priorities on my tasks and attack those The most important first.

    But the problem is, sitting for more than 1 hour at once is a bit of a challenge and I must get up and take a walk or a bite to chew every 15-20 minutes :-)

    That’s the way I operate unless the work is so challenging that I lose my track on time.

    Thank you for these awesome tips and have a great week.

    Regards,
    Kumar
    Kumar Gauraw invites you to read..Top 10 SEO Bloggers To Follow For SEO, Traffic And Conversion TipsMy Profile

    • Hi Kumar,

      Of course, time management also means that we do what works best for us. If getting up every 15-20 minutes works for you, then that’s fine, as longs as you do the work :) right?

      I’m glad you liked the post. Thanks for coming

  • Ann07 says:

    I have been struggling with my time management and I must say that this article is indeed helpful for me.

    I agree that it is difficult to supervise and discipline yourself in managing your time as you work at home. It is a good idea to schedule my time, and do my biggest tasks in the hours when I’m most productive. I should also take at least an hour of rest for this will relax my mind and body. These are just a few things that I’ve learned after reading your article.

    Thanks for sharing us your thoughts, Sylviane. I really appreciate your content. :)

    Best,
    Ann

    By the way, I found this post shared on kingged.com

    • Hi Ann, and welcome to my blog. I’m so glad you found me on Kingged.

      Don’t worry you’re not the only one, many of us have to kind to discipline ourselves when it comes to prioritize and be accountable for our time working from home. It’s a habit that we all can take, though.

      I’m glad if this post was helpful to you. Thanks for coming :)

  • Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    I think we can all relate to this interesting topic because most of us work from home :)

    Like you, I’m also a morning person and might spend a limited time on the social media and then relax and do my work in peace for a long stretch. Yes, I also believe in sitting for 1-2 hours together, though I take a few minutes break as and when needed – and there’s lots of work to catch up with at home, isn’t it? So, just chopping or doing the usual chores serves as a good break for me.

    For us writers, everything revolves around time – the better we can manage it, the more productive and more work we can actually get done.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead :)
    Harleena Singh invites you to read..Getting Google Adsense Account Approval EasilyMy Profile

    • Hi Harleena,

      I’m sure you’ve got a busy schedule so managing your time is very important for you, having kids and all. But I can tell you that even without kids life does get in the way too :) I still have a four legged kid :)

      Thanks for your feedback as a writer ;)

  • Nanda RahmaniusTwitter: NandaRahmanius says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    Managing time is important, I have no doubt about it.
    I agree with you. Do first something that requires more energy is a great idea. I’ve done it :)

    For me, writing is also takes a lot of energy, very similar with you. If I was not at full energy to create an article, then I would get tired quickly. So, I should be able to manage it, no matter what :)

    Thanks for the share, Sylviane.
    It’s great article!

    Nanda
    Nanda Rahmanius invites you to read..4 Ways To Protect Yourself From the ‘Heartbleed’ BugMy Profile

  • Enstine MukiTwitter: enstinemuki says:

    Oh! now I know how to get some money from Big Al; Just going to be his worst politician ;)

    Jokes aside!

    You see Sylviane, being your own boss is tricky. a lot of people see the money and freedom sides of it but this post raises a serious issue. with no one being there to tell and impose on you what to do, you think you can jump off and on any time and before you know it, you are wasting time doing nothing.

    These are important tips you are discussing here but you know it’s hard to walk by them. Maybe Big Al’s method can achieve bigger results. One may need some to subject himself to some serious conditions to get disciplined. Of course, if you are your boss, then you must give yourself instructions and obey them

    Wonderful post this week Sylviane ;)

    • Hi Enstine,

      I’m glad you liked the post.

      I truly believe that successful people are disciplined people. They’re not superior in anything, they have to fight their demons like anyone else, but they take control. I think that’s very important.

      Which ever way we choose to get in control doesn’t really matter. Like Big Al chose what works for him. We need to find what works for us.

      Thanks for your great input :)

  • Adrienne
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hey Sylviane,

    Ah, time management… Something that I have to admit I’ve never had a problem with.

    I remember when I was in corporate America my boss wanted me to go to a time management seminar. Of course he hired me because of my organizational skills so he knew I didn’t need it but the other executive assistant they had definitely did and they didn’t want her going alone.

    I remember sitting through that and she was having some aha moments. I just sat there and of course was bored out of my mind not taking any notes at all. At the break she would ask me certain questions about how I handled things and when I told her she was like “I never thought about that”. I just think for some people this doesn’t come naturally to them and they honestly need some serious direction. This girl had a hard time telling people no to the point she was staying late getting their work done and stressing herself totally out.

    I know when you work for yourself you have to be very disciplined which is why there are a lot of people who do not want to do what we do or could for that matter. I guess it can be learned because I’m sure not everyone is able to come by this naturally.

    Great share Sylviane and I\’m sure your tips are really going to help.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne invites you to read..The Perfect Posting Schedule RevealedMy Profile

    • Hi Adrienne,

      I know we’ve talked about that before and you’re pretty good on that one. I’m pretty good too, if not, I’d never be able to all the stuff I do in a week. Some people, however, suck at it. I have worked with people telling me that they could never work from home for that reason.

      Now, not being able to say no to people and get your life over crowded, I’ve done that, many times. Learned it from my mom :) but I’ve got much better at it, thankfully. My mother used to work all week to make money, and all week end for others. If I were then what I am now, I’d tell them to go to hell so bad! Just thinking about it makes me mad :)

      Thank you for coming Adrienne and sharing your experience with this topic.

  • Carol LynnTwitter: carollynnrivera says:

    Wow, Sylviane, this was great advice! It’s definitely challenging to make sure that you stay focused when there isn’t much separating you from going back to bed.

    I also follow your idea of scheduling time. I have lists like crazy and plan all sorts of things that I’m going to do and I even plan in the rewards! Like if I get some particular thing done then I will go eat ice cream :)

    I can also add that it’s a good idea to create a work environment that you enjoy being in. For example, I used to find our office so boring. So I would wander out to the kitchen or the living room where I liked to be better. I could bring my laptop with me but then I was distracted and doing something else. So we fixed up our office room and made it comfortable and someplace we enjoyed hanging out. So now I can come in here and work and not feel like I want to escape back onto the couch.

    Even if someone doesn’t have an office, they can make their work space be comfortable but also feel like “work”. Just surround yourself with things that mean “this is my work space and time” and it gives you a bit of a psychological boost.

    • Hi Carol,

      Yes, that’s a great idea, and thanks for adding this idea to the post in your comment. Of course, liking your work environment is so important, so you don’t want to get out of there as you’re saying.

      You look like you’re someone very organized, I’m not too worry about that :)

      Thanks for your excellent input.

  • Barbara CharlesTwitter: BarbaraCharlesl says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    All of your tips are perfect and every single one is what we need in order to stay focused and at the task at hand. Perfect management strategies to work on how to manage our time is one of the most important things in order to run our home based business.

    Thanks for the share. I’m sure all of us need them. I use single one, except maybe staying seated for one hour (teehee!> That’s a hard one for me.

    Barbara
    Barbara Charles invites you to read..Barbara Charles – A Shorter Path To Financial SuccessMy Profile

    • Hi Barbara,

      Finally getting to reply to yours and other people’s comment here. What a week.

      I’m glad you agree with those time managing points. I know some people can’t stay seated for an hour. I usually stay seated for longer than that, so that doesn’t really bother me. I guess it’s also a matter of habit and forcing yourself :)

      Thank you for coming by.

      Have a great weekend.

  • Tuhin says:

    Hello Sylviane,
    Nice post! Time management is a skill which if learned properly can do wonders in any field! My problem is that I get distracted easily so I make sure if I work for even an hour, I utilize it to the fullest!

    • Hi Tuhin, and welcome to my blog. How did you find me? Just like to know where new people find me blog.

      I know it’s easy to get distracted, but it’s a good habit to try to stay focus at least 20 minutes at the time, and than maybe extend it to a longer time.

      Thank you for your input.

  • sherman smithTwitter: shermanksmith75 says:

    Hey Sylviane,

    Time management isn’t a big topic for me, but I do have to say that being organized can be. You can say that I’m “half way organized”. I have the stuff that I really need where I want it, but it’s not in the most organized fashion LOL

    But besides the organization, I resonate in staying seated for a full hour. Yes sometimes my mind will wonder off and my body will follow LOL, but this strategy works best for me. I’ll stay seated for 1 or 2 hours, then I’ll go do something else, then come back. I get a lot more done and it gives me time to come up with some new ideas, especially for my blog.

    Thanks for sharing Sylviane and I hope you have a great rest of the week!
    sherman smith invites you to read..Simple Way To Set Up Tracking For Your Sites’ PerformanceMy Profile

    • Hi Sherman,

      I’m like you I could work on getting better organize, because at times I’m all over the place. Like you, also, I have not problem staying seated 1 or 2 hours. That doesn’t bother me at all, but it seems that some people can’t stay seated that long.

      I guess as long as we do the work that’s fine, if we can’t get things done, than it means that we need to work on our time management.

      Thanks for coming by.

  • Yvan says:

    Hey Sylviane,It’s not ever easy to manage time for home based business. I work some years at house and i can say “we must be very organised”.

  • Cole WiebeTwitter: ColeWiebe says:

    Hello Sylviane,

    I recently read the following:

    “What’s the most attractive thing about owning your own business?
    You get to choose how you invest your time.

    What’s the worst thing about owning your own business?
    You get to choose how you invest your time.”

    I struck out on my own 17 years ago. Time management is right up there with cash flow, in keeping the business running. There have been times when I’ve been very organized, and other times, not so much.

    – Cole
    Cole Wiebe invites you to read..How Do You Get a Brand New Website Noticed?My Profile

    • Hi Cole,

      Yes, thank you for adding this true statement. Working from has it pros and cons.

      My mother worked from home whole her life, even though she worked for her boss, she could work as much or as little as she wanted, but in order to make more money she really put in the hours, especially during the winter which was the busy season for her.

      I’ve seen her work from 4 AM to 7 PM at times with like an hour break for lunch. Without no one to supervise her, I know that it took discipline on her part. Thankfully I’ve got some of that too. But like you at times I’m better at it than others.

      Thanks for your great input.

  • MayuraTwitter: MayuraDeSilva says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    This is a wonderful topic and being productive at home is not something we can achieve pretty easily ;) I think different opinions can be added on this one depends on the activities of each person. I’ve enjoyed my time being organized, and nothing much to worry about when it comes to time management. But things changed over time.

    Most of my online time devoted to blogging, working as a developer and services I offer as a freelancer. Sometimes offer helping hand to some bloggers. I really enjoy ‘em.

    Earlier I never missed a post, favorite blogs to comment on and composed posts few months earlier. Then, scheduling worked like a charm and I knew what to do when and how.

    Nowadays work overtaking blogging and I kinda worried not being able to be on top of blogging schedule as I used to. You may know, how time consuming some technical stuff can be :)

    Actually, I can’t predict exact amount of time they take for many tasks but approximate number. Sometimes my assumption is 8 hours, but end up spending 2 days instead after finding more hidden issues to be fixed. Same goes with development stuff, sometimes.

    Considering ‘em, scheduling is a pretty touch job in this situation and I have to keep my other activities pending. Of course, employer and client requests comes first. I know I may sound like I’m making excuses, but I don’t know when the next request land in my inbox.

    Do you think I shouldn’t worry about blogging and getting busy, but focus on work first? I’m not blogging for business, but you know kinda feeling guilty a bit. I must say it takes a lot of time for me to blog and submit comments too. However get back to blogging and related activities when I have no other top priorities to be dealt with.

    I appreciate your thought / feedback on that, Sylviane :)

    Enjoy the wonderful weekend over there!

    Cheers…
    Mayura invites you to read..Show Related Posts on Blogger with LinkWithinMy Profile

    • Hi Mayura,

      Well, I think that if you get very busy with work and can do blogging, that’s fine if you take a break, but it’s more how much it matters to you, and how much your blog means for you and your business.

      For me, for example, my blogs are really my portfolios, for both my freelance writing and coaching, so it’s vital that I keep them going each week. But like I said, everyone’s case is different.

      Thank you for taking the time to come here and comment, Mayura.

      Have a great Sunday!

  • Uday Ghulaxe says:

    Great post mam.Yes managing time for posting new content is really hard task speciialy if you are not full time blogger ang I think this post is really going to help me to manage my time.

    • Hi Uday,

      I’m glad you found this post, and hope you’ll tell me where you found me.

      That’s great if this post helped you in your time management. Nice to hear.

      Thank you for your input.

  • donna merrillTwitter: donna_tribe says:

    Hi Sylviane,
    I had a crazy week too, but I finally got here. What wonderful advice! Yes, people’s attention span is 50 to 60 minutes. This is why breaks are so important if we want to keep focused.

    I love the picture of you and “Big Al” – one of my favorite guys! Rewarding yourself is one thing I do all the time! It is positive reinforcement. If it is good enough to train my dog, it is good enough for me. he he he….But it is so true.

    When I accomplish something, I reward myself all the time. And if it is a big thing…I go on a shopping spree! (that girl thing of mine)

    Most importantly we do need to “eat that frog” every day. That saying is always in my mind. The biggest task, the one we want to procrastinate on, is called eating the frog. It isn’t easy to do, but once we get ourselves used to it, everything else runs smoothly.

    -Donna
    donna merrill invites you to read..Drive Traffic To Your Blog With Facebook Page PostsMy Profile

    • Hi Donna,

      Yes, I know about eating the frog, and that’s a perfect analogy for doing what bugs us the most first, so it’s done, and then we feel so much better.

      I thought you might have been very busy this past week, because I didn’t see you anywhere :) I missed you and glad that you’re back.

      Have a more restful wee this time around.

  • JeevanjacobjohnTwitter: Daringblogger says:

    Hey Sylviane,

    This is certainly one of my favorite topics :D

    I love experimenting with how I work – routines, tools I use and that sort of thing. I have had great success in the past, but I have also gone through long periods of disorganization and procrastination, like I am experiencing right now.

    But, I am working it out..and so far, it seems to be working…few changes here and there.

    The problem right now is my schedule…I transferred to another university, so longer commuting times (and I take the bus). I do use the time…for the most part. But, there are days when I just get lazy (or feel sleepy).

    I haven’t achieved many of my blogging goals either…so, the first half of 2014 isn’t as good as I wanted it to be.

    But, I don’t regret it. It was a learning experience….that I could certainly use for next year. Now I know what to do (and what not to) :D

    Hopefully that will go well (I do have lot of work…especially this summer; trying to catch up with blogging; lot of writing actually).

    I have been thinking about list incentives, and I have got a few so far…so I have to create/make them., write a few guest posts (and even outline a few others). I want to be prepared for the second half…and try to meet the goals I had for the first half of the year.

    Hopefully everything will work out :)

    Ah, yes. Negative reinforcement if we don’t complete the task, I haven’t used it very much, but it was very effective for the 1 or 2 times I tried, have to try it again. Thanks for the reminder, Sylviane!

    Thank you for sharing these tips, Sylviane :)
    Jeevanjacobjohn invites you to read..How Do You Conclude Yours Posts?My Profile

    • Hi Jeevan,

      I think that your blog did great right from the get go as far as popularity goes. I do not know what other plans you had, but I’m sure you’ll work it out. You’re pretty good at that!

      At time being busy and tired can really put us behind, I know.

      Thank for taking the time to come by :)

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