The most valuable resource available to your home business is time. Unfortunately, it is one of the few things for which you cannot buy, barter or beg. Here are a few time management strategies for work at home entrepreneurs.
The “15-Minute Task” List – Keep a list of tasks that take only 10 to 20 minutes to complete. This list may include things like leaving a meaningful comment on one new, relevant blog, replying to an email, responding to a few tweets in your Twitter stream, etc. These are small tasks that can make a big impact in the long-term success of your business, but they are often put aside and then forgotten. Keep a reminder close and tackle them one by one as you have time.
Do Not Multitask – You probably earned your Multitasking Badge within your first few days working at home. This is not a badge of honor, however. Those tiny little distractions you jump around to complete while working on an important project can get you mentally off-track, delay your project’s completion or even sidetrack your efforts entirely. Instead, keep another little list (we love lists around here) to jot down those things that come mind at the worst time.
Big Tasks First – For many, mornings are a time of mental clarity, energy and enthusiasm. Use this perfect storm to your advantage by putting the most important task of the day at the front of the line. This benefits you in a few ways. Your project is accomplished much quicker and with less effort when in a productive mindset, and this sense of accomplishment can carry you through the rest of the day.
End of the Week Wrap-Up – Take a few moments on Friday afternoon or Saturday to clear out your inbox, write down that first big task for Monday morning and clean off your desk. Your week will start much more smoothly if you invest a little time in making sure you are prepped for productivity and these time-wasters have been completed in advance.
Be Conscious (and Honest) About How You Spend Your Time – I will be the first to try to convince myself that surfing the net is “research,” chatting on Facebook is “marketing” and drooling and DIYing on Pinterest is “connecting with the masses.” Sometimes these activities really are business-related, other times not so much. Be aware and honest with yourself about how your time is being spent and the return on that investment.
If It Isn’t Productive, Pass It Along – You are going to uncover a long list of home business tasks that are not the best investment of your time. Those tasks may be “busy work,” things that not within your current skill set or maybe they are simply tasks that you do not enjoy. Pass these things along to an online service provider.
What is your strategy for getting the biggest return on your time investment?
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