When you are launching your business part-time, time is one of your most precious resources.
Working from home is full of challenges. Not only do you have to sacrifice some evening and weekend entertainment, you also have to fight procrastination. And you also want to make sure your time is well spent. This means eliminating time wasters so you can spend the limited time you have have being productive and ultimately profitable.
There are the obvious time wasters – like watching Oprah while you’re trying to work. However, other time wasters are more subtle. Being aware of these time wasters will help you make the most of the part-time hours you have to launch your business.
Time Waster #1 – Email
But wait, you say. Email is a necessity. I must stay on top of my email so I can stay on top of my business. Yes, it is important to make sure your customers, prospects and business partners are responded to. However, you don’t need to respond to them immediately and you don’t need to be the person to respond.
Email is a fantastic task to outsource and automate. Autoresponders, customer service ticket systems and FAQ pages can all help reduce the amount of customer email you receive. If you have to be the one to manage your email, create a disciplined routine where you only check your email once or twice each day. And schedule it during a time when you’re generally not productive.
Time Waster #2 – Disorganization
How much time do you spend each day looking for things? Each minute you spend sorting, shuffling and searching is wasted time. The solution? Create one central location for your work, a home office. Now, if you’re like many and your home office is the kitchen table, that’s fine. Purchase a cart where you can store, file, and organize your business materials. The more organized you are, the less time you’ll waste getting prepared to work.
A big time -waster for me used to be tracking down usernames and passwords. I recently started using RoboForm and it has saved me a huge amount of time (and peace of mind) when it comes to keeping track of log-in details.
Time Waster #3 – Social Networking
Social networking may be your most effective (and accessible) marketing tactic; however, it doesn’t need to consume all of your available time. Like email, social networking is something that can be outsourced, automated, and scheduled.
Identify upfront what you want to achieve with social networking. Then create a plan that supports your goals. Next, assess your capacity to make it happen and assign resources accordingly. Find post scheduling plug-ins, widgets and tools like Hootsuite. Hire a contractor to manage your social networking tasks. And if you must manage it yourself, then schedule it into your day. Whatever you do, don’t open Facebook at the beginning of the day and keep it open throughout the day.
Of course each person has their own unique time wasters. These are simply the most common. What are your time wasters? Unsure? Spend a week tracking what you do each day.You can use a tool like RescueTime to help. Literally keep a notebook and a pencil next to you and track what you do and how long you do it. This will give you a good idea about how you spend your time. To your success!
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