Managing time with a home business
According to several recent surveys, more women than ever are seeking to leave full-time jobs and return home to become stay-at-home moms or to operate home-based businesses.
However, many of these stay-at-home moms who have chosen to start an at-home business have discovered that there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish all that needs to be done. In fact, some feel as if they are busier than when they worked full time outside the home.
10 tips for managing time
Working at home requires a certain level of flexibility and liberty, but daily abandoning scheduled work can lead to an unhealthy business. “The Lord your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand, in the offspring of your body…for the Lord will again rejoice over you for good” (Deuteronomy 30:9-10).
The following are 10 tips that will help any stay-at-home mother manage her home business.
1. Start each day by dedicating it to the Lord. Our time each day is given to us by God: “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Before the workday begins, dedicate it to the Lord. Ask Him for guidance and for help in using the time He has given, as He wants and as He sees fit.
2. Schedule time for business paperwork and accounting. Set aside a certain time each day or week (depending on the size of the home-based business) to do paperwork. This would include filing receipts, invoicing clients, balancing accounts, and paying bills.
3. Plan time—don’t fragment it. Divide the day into similar things by category. Group all phone calls (mornings are best for phone calls), projects, and errands (plan errands around no-rush-hour times) to be done at the same time. Finish one category before shifting to another.
4. Be productive—don’t procrastinate. Procrastination is probably one of the primary reasons why goals are not accomplished. By determining when is the most productive time, people can limit procrastination. Strive to work during peak performance periods, if it doesn’t conflict with family time or the family routine. Home-based businesses must conform to the family routine, not the reverse.
5. Establish a routine that is acceptable. Although home-based businesses do not have to be limited to a 9-to-5 routine, some type of routine should be established—one that can maximize production without sacrificing family. Business owners might commit a certain number of hours per day to the business or certain full days to the business and take full days off—perhaps working with the business every other day.
6. Know when to say No! If business owners commit to friends, projects, or jobs, they must honor those commitments. Therefore, before any commitment is made, be sure to determine how that commitment will affect the family, business, deadlines, or other commitments. If accepting the obligation will negatively affect any of these, the answer to the request should be, “No!” Or at the very least, “Not at this time.”
7. Organize commitments. List all things that need to be accomplished or commitments that have been made. Then list the time that it will take to accomplish or finish each task. Divide the steps necessary to meet each goal or accomplish each task into daily assignments. Maintain these assignments until the project is complete.
8. Schedule extra time. When making schedules, make sure that there is enough flextime. Pad all appointments and activities with a few extra minutes in anticipation of unforeseen delays or unexpected circumstances.
9. Evaluate the importance of all meetings and appointments. Many meetings and appointments waste time that can be used for other, more productive things. Some business can be conducted quickly by phone, fax, mail, or e-mail, rather than scheduling a meeting to do it. Don’t hesitate to set a length to meetings and end meetings that become non-productive.
10. Have family cooperation. Although business schedules and routines should not interfere with quality family time, the family should understand and support an agreed upon business and work schedule. Although family time is of priority importance, the family needs to understand the value of being a good steward and maintaining good work ethics.
When God provides an opportunity for people to operate a home-based business, they need to organize that business and operate it with the highest level of work ethics, if they expect it to be productive.
If God controls the business and if the time management tips above are followed, chances are, the home-based business will be successful.
Originally posted 4/18/2013.