There was a time when people would laugh when I talked of having a home-based business. Today, some of those people are asking for tips on how to manage their home-based businesses effectively!

Having a home-based business is not a new thing. These businesses have been in place successfully all over the world long before the internet.

However, the internet has made opening and operating a home-based business easier than ever. And as of 2020, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic opened up this opportunity for many people.

When run well, a home-based business can provide you with the opportunity to earn a substantial income from the comfort of your own home. It’s also perfect if you have a full-time job and want to create some additional income in your free time.

However, the picture isn’t always so rosy. A home-based business requires work, just like any other business. It’s important to make the best use of your time to enable your business to bring you the profits and joy you deserve.

Working from home gives the feeling of comfort, relaxation, and escape from an office. So it’s very easy to lose focus and, as a result, get different results than the ones you want from your business venture.

Time Management Tips for Your Home-Based Business

In a previous post, I shared some essential elements of running a successful home-based business. Time management is one of these key elements.

Managing your time well will ensure that everything gets done when it needs to be. This will in turn improve your productivity and overall business results.

Here are some tips that will help your time management tool to work effectively for you.

1. Use work time wisely

Create a schedule for your work week and allocate a specific time slot each day for work. Then use the time just for that. Avoid being distracted by TV or anything else that is not work-related. Remind yourself that you’ve scheduled enough time for everything, so work time should be just that!

If you’re a parent, you may need to work around your children’s school times. This process also works if you have small children at home.

For example, I’ve found that having a schedule for the school term and one for the school holidays helps to keep me in check. Before that, I would run myself ragged trying to keep up. Important tasks would get dropped and I’d work late into the night trying to catch up.

Nowadays, all my clients know that I have these 2 schedules and we work around that. Taking charge of my time in this way gave me back my sanity.

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2. Include scheduled breaks during the workday

Your schedule should include scheduled breaks in between work slots. When you do this, you’ll have something to look forward to. You’ll also have less of an urge to take unscheduled breaks while working.

One of the most effective practices that will help here is the Pomodoro Technique where you take a 5-15 minute break after every 25 minutes of concentrated work. I use Kanbanflow which is an online app that combines project management with Pomodoro.

If you have children at home, you can use these breaks to connect with them. I’ve taught my children to only interrupt me if it’s an emergency. Otherwise, they wait for a break.

I also have a notebook where they write down what they want to discuss and I look through the notebook when I take a break. Most times, I’ve found that it’s information they wanted and a lot of times they end up looking for it themselves.

Since everything is an emergency for children, take time to explain and reinforce what constitutes an emergency for you. Be patient because it will take a lot of repetition before they finally get it.

Also, keep in mind that:

  • What is an emergency for a younger child is not the same for an older child.
  • Older children may seem like they don’t need your attention during the day. They do. Don’t ignore them or make them responsible for everything the younger ones need!
  • Once in a while, it’s OK to take an unscheduled break and just hang out with your family. It makes for great surprises that cost nothing other than your attention.

3. Schedule enough rest time during the week

Lack of rest will significantly impact the results of your home-based business. You’ll start to feel tired and cranky if you’re not well-rested. This will undoubtedly affect the quality and quantity of work you produce.

Avoid the temptation to cut into your rest time to get more done. Use rest time for actually resting so that your work doesn’t suffer.

Rest time also includes weekends. While it’s tempting to be available all through the week, the truth is that your clients can survive without you for at least a day.

In my case, I work half-day on Saturdays when I have a group running and I don’t work at all on Sundays. In fact, I don’t even look at my work phone, get on social media, or check WhatsApp messages that are not from friends or family on Sundays.

4. Make your health a priority

Fitness, health, and diet also need your direct attention when you work from home. Not paying enough attention to the 3 could jeopardize your health. That, my friend, is the last thing you want when your only source of income is your home-based business!

I didn’t take my health and fitness as a priority for years. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in 2020 that I had a wake-up call. Since then, I’ve changed the way I live and work and made my overall health and wellness a priority.

Don’t wait until you have a health crisis to take action. Include physical fitness, proper nutrition, and your wellness in your daily and weekly schedule.

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5. A home-based business is not an excuse to ignore family

How you manage your time at home will have a significant impact on the success of your home-based business. At the same time, poor time management will also have a negative impact that goes beyond your business.

Working at home in a haphazard or ad hoc manner takes a toll on other important aspects of your life. Key aspects that get ignored or set aside are family, friends, your rest, and hobbies.

What do you think will happen in the long term if you don’t reserve time for the important people in your life?

People will learn to make do without you. That is not a great place to be because sooner or later, you will need more than your business.

Prioritize relationships and also make your self-care a priority so that you have more balance in your life.

Time management is self-management

It’s very easy to get so absorbed in your home-based business and overlook other important aspects of your life. Once you lose focus, your relationships will start to suffer and you may start neglecting your health.

If you’re working long hours each day, it’s also very likely that you’re not exercising or eating properly. Neither are you spending quality time with your loved ones.

Do your level best to avoid or get out of this scenario!

Having a structured approach to your business and life will help you accomplish more. You’ll also get more financial fulfilment from your business and be able to achieve balance in other aspects of your life!

How do you manage your time as you run your home-based business?

Are there strategies you’ve developed that have had positive results for you and your loved ones?

I’d love to hear from you so please share your experience in the Comments.

(Image credit: Pexels)

Whenever you’re ready, here’s how I can help you scale your business with less stress and in less time

  1. Monetize your expertise in Kickstart Your Business. Many self-employed professionals struggle because they didn’t set up their businesses the right way. Due to this, your business always feels as if it’s stuck at startup. Over the course of 3 months, I’ll help you turn things around so that you stop giving away your expertise for free or for less than you’re worth. You’ll also identify your unique sellable skills, match these skills to a market segment that is willing, able and ready to pay you, and set a strong foundation for your business. The program requires only 10-12 hours a week so you can take it even as you work on your business.
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  3. Work with me 1-1 if you’re ready for exponential personal and business growth and you have a mission to create a powerful positive impact through your business.
    Let’s talk.

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