When I hear someone wants to be self-employed and work from home, I can’t but encourage her to try. It’s as simple as setting a date, writing an action plan and getting it done. That’s the only way to know it it will work. You only need a teenie tiny friend by your side: Time. Either you manage your time wisely, or days are gonna fly away without having even started your home business – especially if you have a family and household chores to get done.
Time management strategies or productivity tips may sound as something relevant for later. You may think that you have to get your business started first before dealing with productivity. But that’s not quite true. If you don’t start managing your time asap, your home business may never see the light. And we don’t want that, right? So let’s get started!
Easy Planning Tips to Start Freelancing
- Don’t set unreachable goals. Your time is limited, so keep it in mind while you’re planning how you’re going to start your business.
- Plan baby steps. Completing small tasks is better than getting only half of a bigger task done.
- Consider working in time blocks. You may not have 4 hours in a row, so make sure you plan tasks that are manageable in 30-60 minutes.
- Schedule your tasks in a planner, and handle them as though you had a doctor’s appointment.
- If you need motivation, listen to podcasts or audiobooks. You can listen to them while folding the laundry or cooking. Just make sure you have a notebook and a pen by your side.
- If you have no time to write, record your ideas on your phone. Use apps like Evernote, where you can give your recordings a title and search for them when you need them.
- Create space to plan. 10 minutes a day. 30 minutes per week. It’s important to have some weekly time to plan ahead and to check what you’ve accomplished.
- Sleep enhances your productivity, so make sure you get enough rest 😉
Set Up Your Home Office Space
First of all, and even though it may sound awkward, you need “office hours”. Make sure your family – and YOU – know what those office hours are. And act accordingly. And what does that mean?
- Have a dedicated place for your office. Don’t work in the living room or in the kitchen – unless you’re alone at home.
- Let everyone know that you’re not to be interrupted when you’re working at the office.
- Don’t let anyone distract you from your scheduled tasks. Unless someone’s sick, you can get to them later.
- Schedule your breaks. That’s how you’d do it if you were working at the office, so keep it as professional as it goes.
- Having fix office hours and scheduled breaks will help you plan the tasks you’re going to complete every single day.
- Setting up a home office doesn’t have to be expensive at all. Ikea has very affordable desks and office products!
How to Simplify Housework to Have More Time and Start Freelancing
- Tidy up in a way that makes it easy to find clothes and everyday objects:
- The less time you spend searching for things, the more time you’ll have available.
- Let everyone in your family know what your tidy-up system is so that they can find anything they’re looking for – and stop asking you to find it for them.
- Use the time you’re tidying up to listen to motivational podcasts or instructional webinars.
- Clean the house thoroughly once a week instead of doing a bit every day.
- Let your kids help you with the cleaning. You can create a fun task out of it, and your housework will reduce if your kids clean their own bedrooms!
- If your washing machine has a delay timer, schedule your laundry time in your planner as well.
- Plan your washing and folding times in a way that you aren’t in the middle of a scheduled task for your business. I usually do the laundry during my lunch break, or when the kids go to bed.
- Buy your groceries online. Make a list of everything you need for the week.
- Go to the store only to buy fresh products you’d like to see before.
- If you’re missing something for a recipe, be resourceful and don’t go to the grocery store just for an item. You can either use something else or use that drive to the store to do your weekly shopping.
- Take your kids with you to the store. Use the time you’re alone at home for your business.
More Time Management Tips & Tricks
- Complete the most important tasks first. Even though you may want to do something else because you think you have enough time, think about it: Something unexpected can happen, your kids or you may get sick, and that time you thought you had, will disappear. So you’d better get it done first, no matter what.
- When you’re working, turn your phone off, or put it on mute. You don’t want any calls or messages to distract you from your work. And even hearing a message coming in can let you lose focus for 20 minutes, so keep distractions away!
- Don’t check your emails continuously. It’s better for you to check them 2-3 fix times a day. Schedule some time to read and answer them.
- Forget Netflix, HBO, Hulu… And use that time either to work on your business or to do some housework chores. No housework to do? Then go sleeping 😉
- Facebook, Insta and other social media networks are forbidden. You can spend HOURS scrolling instead of doing something more productive, so let them be while you’re creating your business.
- Sacrifice what you’d like to do right now to get what you wanna do long term. Freedom isn’t about doing what you want whenever you want. Unfortunately, it doesn’t usually work that way. At least not in the long term. So, when it comes to starting tasks you don’t feel like doing, keep your end goal in mind.
Recap – Time Management to Get Your Business Going
I know, I know. It all sounds a bit too much. But believe me, either you spend a couple of weeks or months sacrificing a couple of things to get your business off the ground, or it’s going to get quite hard to ever see it take off.
The way to reach freedom is doing what you have to do now to get what you wanna do in the future. Or, as Oprah says, do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do. Even if that means canceling your Netflix subscription 😉
Need more productivity tips & tricks? Check out these blog posts!
PS. Are you born to freelance?