7 Ways to Win the Time Crunch
Are you working a "day job" while building your home-based "dream business"? Do you find it difficult to manage your time? Follow these seven tips to get more done growing your business and have the time for other important things in your life, too.
(1) Make and use a 'to-do' list daily.
It's easy. Write down the tasks you need to do for today (or for tomorrow). Now, do them. Any that aren't done are placed at the top of tomorrow's list. Seeing that list at the end of the day with everything scratched-off is a great feeling.
(2) Schedule your time for the day.
Make note of your 'free time' (non-day job time) and set a block for each major thing that you need to do. Save the most involved tasks for your more fresh, alert time of day. Try your best to adhere to the schedule but be flexible. Don't stress out when you run out of time and are off schedule. Over time you will know how much time a task will take to complete and can plan for it better. Remember, this is only a tool for you to set time for what you need to do. It's not intended to have a negative effect on you, but it could if you don't be realistic.
(3) Do not disturb.
Make sure that your most productive, task-filled period is free from interruptions. Close your office door if you have to. Plan to use this work time when household distractions will be at a minimum. When the kids go to their grandparent's house. When your husband shoots pool with the guys. When the wife goes shopping. If you have to hang a sign on your office door, do it. You'll be surprised how much more you get done.
(4) Make time for the family.
Quality time with your family should not be sacrificed in order to build your home business. If you make time regularly for your spouse and kids, they will be able to deal with your 'no disturb' sign without feeling neglected. Don't be the parent that the kids never see.
(5) Take your work with you.
If your day job leaves you with slow periods when you do little or nothing, use this time to your advantage. Lunch breaks or smoke breaks can add up to some valuable time by the end of the week, too. Always carry the tools that you need to do your work with you. Don't go anywhere without a notebook and pen, and a small voice memo recorder. Be prepared.
(6) Automate tasks.
Computers and the internet allow you to automate certain tasks that were once time-consuming manual chores. Use autoresponders to deal with repetitive email questions and replies. Use modern accounting and word processing programs that are multi- featured. Use a list management service/program to make it easier to contact and follow-up with your prospects and clients.
(7) Time to relax.
Don't kill yourself trying to work a day job and build a home-based business at the same time. You need time to totally escape from your daily duties occasionally. Exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself, while helping to manage stress. Don't sacrifice your health for business's sake. Take that drive to the beach. Play basketball with your friends. Read that new mystery you've been wanting to read.
If you try, you'll see that it 'is' possible to solve "the time crunch". Be organized and know what your total workload includes. Maybe spend less time watching television, or on other useless activities. Don't forget your family. Even though you are working hard, make sure you are having fun. If you don't love what you are doing, don't do it.
Enjoying life is what it's all about. Right?
Ken Leonard Jr.