9 Time Management Tips Working From Home
Being a single mom of 4 boys and running a successful online business from home, I’ve had to learn, many times the hard way, on how to manage my time successfully. Over the last year, more and more people are working from home and/or starting home businesses. This can be even harder if your children are doing remote learning at home and/or you have little ones not in school yet. It’s hard to work full time job at home where there is all kinds of distractions and it’s up to you self start, self motivate & stay focus.
I’ve worked from home for the past 5 years as I started & grew my successful online Avon business. I did this while also being a stay at home mom, with one being a toddler who is very attached to mommy. Then, when the pandemic hit last year, I really had to hone in on my time management skills & develop some new ones while I balanced working from home with all 4 of my boys at home, 3 of them doing remote learning.
Since then, I have found that these 10 tips have helped me continue to work my business and still be able to do what I need to as a single mom for my 4 boys without feeling overwhelmed day in and day out.
Tip #1: Set Goals & Make a Plan
If you’ve followed my blog or my YouTube channel, then you know I am a big advocate of setting goals & creating a plan. This is something you should do, especially if you are running your own business. Setting goals & making a plan is going to help you know where you are going and how you are going to get there! Once I implemented this into my business, within 6 months my business grew like it never had grown before and it has not stopped since.
Tip #2: Prioritize Goals & Tasks
When it comes to working at home, you have to ensure that you are using your time wisely. You want to make sure you are prioritizing your goals you want to achieve and tasks that HAVE to be done first. A lot of times I know these usually consist of the things that are not so enjoyable when it comes to our jobs. I personally do my daily tasks that I have to get each day first such as replying to emails, sending out my thank you emails for online orders, doing my daily social media marketing and following up to phone calls or messages I received. I am a creative person, so the “fun part” of my job is when I am able to use the creative part of my brain. However, I need to do these daily tasks to ensure I am providing the best customer service & mentoring possible and my daily marketing helps my brand continually being marketed on social media.
When it comes to goals, you want to make sure you are going after goals that will make sense to achieve them. I know personally I set annual goals and then set monthly goals which are going to help me reach my annual goal. So my day to day focus is achieving my smaller goals. This is going to help ensure I don’t feel overwhelmed and keep me motivated to continue working towards my goals.
For tips on how to achieve goals, click here.
Tip #3: Create a Routine
Having a daily routine is going to help you know when you are in work mode and when you are in personal life mode. This is going to especially be helpful if you are a parent who is balancing taking care of your kids while also working. Having a routine is not only going to help you stay on task but it is known that children do thrive when they are on a routine, even little ones.
Tip #4: Utilize Time Blocking
Time blocking is a great tool that I have implemented into my life over the past year. Through out the day I would have to bounce back and forth from working to taking care of my toddler to helping my older kids with their school work. After a few weeks of doing this, I noticed that there were certain periods of the day that I was able to get undistracted time to focus on my work. Most of the time they were only 20 minute blocks, but having 20 minute blocks undistracted can actually result in an hours worth of work getting done. If you are someone who struggles balancing going back and forth from work life and personal life, this is a great tool to use.
Tip #5: Create an Organized Work Space
Having an organized, designated work space is going to help you & those who live with you. You can establish, depending on ages of course, that when mommy or daddy is in their work space, that means he/she can not be disturbed unless emergency. Plus, it’s going to help you get into the mind set of work mode.
Keeping it organized is going to help ensure you are not wasting time on finding things you need and having them at arms reach. Have everything you will need in work space so once you arrive you can just get to work. I recently updated my dining room and created a work space for myself. I love it! It not only helps me keep focused while I am working but it also helps when I’m not working to be able to shut my work brain off. I was known to be one who would bring my laptop all over the house and work everywhere, multi tasking. In the long run, this just led to me being burnt out, things getting missed or not completed correctly, in both my work and personal life.
Even if you just create a space on your kitchen table or a corner in your bedroom. Having an organized workspace is going to help you out with getting work done as well as your mental state.
Tip #6: Delegate & Ask for Help When Needed
This tip, I will be honest, is one that I have to continually remind myself to do. Asking for help and/or delegating tasks to other employees is extremely hard for those of us who are, let’s say, perfectionist. No one can do it “right”, the way we can. However, little do we realize, when we start getting overwhelmed, we don’t even get tasks done “right”.
If you are someone like me who is running a business and the sole employee of your business, this is a tip that you can use when it comes to things around your home. When I first started my business, I was the be all for my family. I did EVERYTHING. This just led me to getting sick in 2019 and since then, I continually work hard to make sure I never get back to that point in my life. I am a single mom of 4 boys, but I do have kids who are teenagers. Remember when I was telling you I was going back and forth from working to being a mom to tutoring? I implemented this tip to help as well. A couple times a week, I had my older boys take turns watching my 4 year old after school so I could get 2-3 hours of undisturbed work done. I’ve also established daily & weekly chores that each of my children are responsible for, including my 4 year old. Obviously, depending on their age depends on what their chores are, however, it’s been an extreme help to have my children help me around the house. Not only is it helping my mental state & not getting overwhelmed, but it’s also teaching my boys what it means to be responsible to run a household and that as long as you live in a home, it is everyone who lives there to help out. We are a family and we are all going to support & take care of each other & our home.
Tip #7: Streamline Tasks with Automation
One thing that helped me was streamline my tasks by using automation and scheduling tools. I started using these tools a few years ago when I realized it was taking me hours a day to do emails & to market my business consistently. Using tools like MailChimp and Buffer made a tremendous difference on what tasks I need to get done each day. Plus, this is going to help ensure that follow up emails are not falling through the cracks and that i am continually posting on my social media marketing.
Even if you don’t feel that automation is right for you right now, having templates that are ready to go will make a huge difference. Having templates of emails that you continually send can help. All you will have to do is copy & paste and if anything edit a little to personalize it. With social media, what I did before using Buffer is each day would focus on a topic. For example, Mondays I would focus on marketing makeup, Tuesday would be special offers & sales, Wednesday would be new products, etc. You can actually find a variety of calendars and topic planners on Pinterest.
Tip #8: Have a Solution for Your Distractions
The number one problem those of us working from home is our distractions. It is so much easier to get distracted because we don’t have anyone watching us over our shoulder making sure work is getting done. Distractions are especially true if you have children. The best thing you can do is come up with solutions for your distractions before they even happen. Getting into the habit of turning off the tv and your phone before you start working, implementing other tips I’ve talked about like having a designated workspace that is away from distractions or having a routine where your kids will be busy eating breakfast or taking a nap when you are working.
Tip #9 Focus on Tasks That Produce Results
This tip is more for those who are running a business from home. Obviously if you are an employee, you really can’t decide what tasks are appropriate and which ones aren’t… unless you go to your boss. Any who…
Now for those of you who are running your business, this is a tip that you should be doing anyways. There is no point in doing tasks or activities that are not producing results. Now I’m not talking about tasks that are a must such as following up or marketing your business. You can alter how you are following up & marketing to techniques & activities that are time effective & producing results for you.
Now I understand, especially when it comes to marketing, you do need to give it time to sink in. But to be honest, the way I see it, if you are dreading it and are unable to do it correctly each time, then either find a way to make it easier for yourself or don’t do it. When it comes to running a business, the benefits is creating a business that represents you! To be honest, that is the best marketing technique you can do. You are the best marketing tool you have for your business.
Well, those are my top 9 time management tips that have helped me balance being a single mom who is running a successful Avon online business. I hope that these help you be able to balance work & family life because having the opportunity to work from home can be a positive and amazing experience. Stay positive, make alterations as needed and don’t be afraid to make mistakes along the way. That’s how we get to be better and figure out what works for us, individually.
If you’d like to learn more, here are some more tips that I’ve come across in my research:
- The Balance Small Business Time Management for Busy Home Business Owners by Leslie Truex
- Business.com 5 Tips to Manage Your Time as a Small Business Owner by Meredith Wood
- Forbe 5 Time Management Tips When Working from Home by Caroline Castrillon
- Moo Time Management Tips for Small Business Owners
- Robert Half 8 Realistic Tips for Time Management When Working from Home by Robert Half
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