Working from home is not easier than working at an office. It takes more work to be efficient and productive, mainly due to more interruptions and the freedom to do whatever you want. Self-discipline is a key trait of moms that excel at running their own business from their home office. They're also doing the following on a regular basis:
1. Make Lists of Daily Tasks
It's unproductive to reinvent the wheel every work day. Make a generalized list of tasks to accomplish, such as:
- Email marketing
- Organize paperwork
- Cold call prospects
- Enter financial transactions into Quickbooks
- Make products
- Assign tasks to virtual assistant
Think about how your business runs, and list all the tasks that you need to accomplish daily in order for it to run like a machine. Turn it into a template in Microsoft Word, or use it as categories in time management software that you use. Assign specific tasks under each category at the close of your work day for the following day, or before you start work.
2. Background Noise
You may be the type of person that needs noise in order to work faster. Otherwise, your mind tends to wander off and you lose focus. Line up your audio podcasts, talk radio channels or music in your free time. Don't spend the first 20 minutes of your work day browsing the Internet for new shows or music to download. That's time that needs to be allocated solely to business purposes. When you get ready to work, you should focus on that only.
3. Prepare Meals ahead of Time
One interruption that all moms working from home can expect is time to put food on the table or in the lunch bag. You can minimize those interruptions, which will help you work more effectively, if you prepare meals ahead of time. It takes planning on your part, but it's not difficult to do. Find sample meal plans shared by other moms on blogs and other websites if you don't know how to make your own menu plan. Cook and freeze meals weekly, by tripling the portions you normally cook. You can also schedule Saturdays to cook meals for the upcoming week.
4. Limit Multitasking
The ability to multitask is essential to working from home. However, it can work against you if you don't set limits. Don't do too many tasks at once. It's not a good idea to start a client's project and then simultaneously work on the books for the business, while writing your email newsletter. Each task will take longer to complete, and it's not fair to clients if you're billing them for your time. Some multitasking is necessary, but use your best judgment on when it's appropriate.
5. Train Children to Work in Your Business
Your older and capable children should be helping you, and they should learn what working from home entails. Assign business tasks to them, so that you free up your time to work on high level business tasks. Here is a short list of some of the business tasks that children can do:
- Organize paperwork
- Place price stickers on books or other merchandise
- Package inventory for shipping and delivery
- Resize and upload graphics for website
- Help design blog
You'll achieve success while working from home, if you follow these tips to be effective and efficient.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.