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Time management tips for women who work from home

Posted by | April 6, 2015 | Career, Time Management

Via LinkedIn : If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last three years since I became self-employed, it’s this: Time management is different in significant ways for entrepreneurs and women who work from home.

Here is what I’ve learned the hard way as a woman entrepreneur who works from home:

Time tips for ‘treps

  • Get out of bed. You probably think I’m joking. I’m not. It’s just so tempting to grab the laptop, bunch up your pillow and work from bed in your jammies. Don’t do it. Bed is for sleeping (among other activities), not for working. Be serious about what you do. Rise and shine!
  • Get ready. After you get out of bed, this is the next step. It means taking a shower, having breakfast and putting on real office clothes. Deodorant, perfume, jewelry and if you feel like going crazy, throw on some makeup, too.

I have found myself wearing my walking clothes well into the afternoon and it just doesn’t feel business-like. It feels like my day hasn’t even started and it’s time for dinner. It just messes up my whole day.

If you’re serious about your business, act like it. Look the part — even if you work from home and no one but the dog sees you. What if you have to run to the store for a printer cartridge or a pound of espresso beans? You never know who you’ll see. Do you really want to run into your Next Big Client while you’re wearing your sweat-stained workout clothes? I didn’t think so.

  • Go to the office. Yes, I know. You work from home and you don’t have an office. Well, it’s about time you made one. Clean out one of your closets. Take over the spare bedroom. Convert that open space in your basement or attic. Carve a working space out of the corner of the master bedroom and use it.

Maybe you live in a shoebox and there simply is no room to clean out, carve out or convert into office space. You use the dining room table. You spread out on the coffee table in the living room. That’s fine; you gotta do what you gotta do. Which means it’s even more important to…

  • Establish parameters and boundaries. This means setting office hours, which means when you start and when you finish. I said, “Finish.” You did get that last part, right? That means packing up the work you’ve got scattered all over the sofa, and putting it away until you drag it all out again tomorrow.

Except in dire emergencies, do not work more than 10 hours a day. More than 10 hours a day on a regular basis increases your chance of heart disease by 60%. You want to live to retirement age. You want to enjoy your grandkids. You want to have fun in your golden years. This means you need to establish regular office hours now.

  • Block out your time. To-do lists are essential, especially when they are centered on your business and life goals. (The entire point of time management is to get the important stuff done so you can enjoy your life.) But blocking out time is vital if you don’t want to get sucked into a time vortex that consists of you just checking things off your list and never getting anything done.

Set aside specifics time in your day to do specific things that are important to your business. Make an appointment with yourself. Block out the time in your calendar so you don’t overbook.Then shut the door, turn off your phone, close all your browser windows, get out of your email, set your timer and focus.

How long depends on you. If you suffer from ADD, start with 15 minutes and go from there. If you can focus with the best of them, set it for an hour. Challenge yourself to finish in just a wee bit less time than you think it will take. I know you can do it; you’re running your own business. You eat challenges for breakfast.

What’s your best time tip for entrepreneurs? I’d love to hear! Please add your comment below.

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