One of the best ways to make sure you reach your WAHM goals and live the life you’ve envisioned is to make sure you manage your time effectively. Before offering you some time management tips, let’s first define what effective time management means.
What is Effective Time Management?
Time management means you are able to:
- Focus on the task at hand without distractions.
- Focus on high priority tasks first – so you get more accomplished.
- Use technology and tools to work effectively and efficiently
Sound challenging? Impossible? It’s not. You can get a tremendous amount accomplished – even while caring for family, home and loved ones. Here’s how…
#1 Schedule Your Time
Schedule your work time. Schedule your play time. Schedule your errand and chore time too. It may sound very “type A” however, when you schedule your time it helps you focus on the various areas of your life.
For example, if you have young children to care for during the day you may schedule your work time in the morning before they wake. You may schedule chore time while they’re napping and then errand time when they’re awake and can go with you.
Scheduling or segmenting your day also helps you get into work mode. You know that later in the day you can worry about other responsibilities. During your “work time” all you have to focus on is work.
#2 Group Like Tasks
First, multi tasking is a myth. It is impossible to focus on two things and once. And if you try, both are going to be short changed. However, you can maximize your efforts by grouping like tasks.
For example, if you own an information or affiliate marketing business then you may need lots of content; articles and blog posts. Instead of focusing on several different tasks during your work time you may be more productive if you devote one or two work days to writing. The other days can be devoted to product creation, partnerships and other business tasks. Similarly, you can group household tasks like running all your errands for the week at once.
#3 Get Help
There is absolutely no reason why you should do everything all by yourself. Get help! Partner with other WAHMs to help each other out. For example, if you’re a graphic designer you might swap services with a writer. You design their website and they write your web content for you.
You might swap childcare with other WAHMs or friends too.
Also consider outsourcing some tasks. For example, many business owners find that they just don’t have time to keep their home as clean as they’d like. So they hire someone to come in once a week or month to clean.
Or you can outsource business tasks too. For example, you could hire a ghostwriter, bookkeeper, or website designer.
Identify areas where you need help and look for solutions. Ask friends and family. Look for partnership solutions and of course don’t hesitate to consider hiring people to help you with some tasks.
There are a wide number of tools and technologies to help you manage your time better. For example, autoresponder software or services can help you manage your email marketing campaigns. Online bookkeeping software can automate your financial statements and generate income and expense reports.
You can even automate your social networking by scheduling posts in advance with tools like HootSuite.
#5 Get Organized!
Getting organized is essential for good time management. There are several keys to functional organization.
- Use scheduling tools – Use Outlook, a day planner or other scheduling tool to keep your plans and schedule in order.
- Learn to prioritize – assign a value to tasks and to your time. For example, answering email isn’t generally as important as writing content or meeting with a prospective client.
- Create task lists the night/week before. Planning ahead means waking up the next day and knowing exactly what you are going to do. You won’t waste any of your valuable “productive time” on trying to figure out your day.
- Create systems – systems help you stay effective and efficient. For example, instead of answering each email independently you can create templates. Then you simply have to cut and paste your responses. It’ll take seconds to answer your email instead of minutes.
#6 Use Time Nuggets
What do you normally do when you’re waiting at the dentist, doctor’s office or to pick your children up from events? These “time nuggets” are ideal for getting things done. You can use them to plan your business. To write content. Or to make phone calls or answer emails. You can accomplish a lot within these small sections of time.