7 Essential Time Management Tips for Solopreneurs Working From Home6 minute read
Whether you are excited to start your new online business or you have been a solopreneur for a while now, you know that it is important to find your work-life balance.
Running your own business is not easy and you will encounter many challenges along the way. Even more so if you are on your own.
Time management can help you find the right balance between work hours and personal life and develop a routine to make you more productive.
Let’s see our top time management tips for work from home solopreneurs:
1. Create a To-Do List
This can seem quite obvious if you are doing it already. However, if you are used to working without a to-do list, it can be a game-changing solution in terms of time management.
A to-do list can help you organize your tasks and better manage your time during the day. In the morning or the night before, try drafting a reasonable list of tasks that you need to complete before the end of the day. As time goes by, check your list to understand your progress.
It is difficult to manage your workload while keeping every little task stored in your mind. Writing your tasks on a todo list allows you to safely forget about the task until the time comes that it requires focus. This alone can help to reduce potential overwhelm.
Make sure your to-do list is manageable according to your own rhythm and productivity level. While some people are comfortable completing a to-do list with more than 10 tasks, we have seen that most people tend to complete an average of 5 tasks per day. So keep your list in line with your expectations and don't overdo it.
As you complete each task, check it off from your to-do list. This simple act of checking something off will give you a feeling of accomplishment and it will give you the motivation to check off more items in your list.
2. Prioritize Your Tasks
Being a solopreneur means that you don’t have a boss or a manager to tell you what to do. While this allows you to have more flexibility and freedom, it can sometimes be hard for entrepreneurs to prioritize the right tasks.
Look at your to-do list and try to determine which tasks are more urgent and take more time than others. Ideally, in one working day, you should focus on one “bigger” task and multiple “smaller” ones.
It is easy to be busy, but if ensuring that you are progressing on the right tasks at the right time can make all the difference in helping your business grow. It’s okay to spend time thinking about what the right tasks are for you. It is also helpful to be strict about cutting out the tasks, that after a closer look, aren’t actually important.
Sticking to your to-do list and prioritizing more urgent tasks can help you to be more productive and avoid procrastination.
3. Separate Work and Break Times
This is probably the most important tip for anyone working from home. Especially if you are working on your own business, it can be extremely hard to stop working.
The worst thing you could do is to mix break time with working time, like eating your lunch in front of the computer.
Sometimes it can happen to skip a lunch break or work at night, however, if you wish to achieve a healthy work-life balance, try to clearly separate your break times and your work times.
In other words, when you are working you should be 100% focused on your job, and when you are on a break you should try to not think about work.
Use your break times to do something that makes you happy and gives you energy: take a walk, eat a snack, read a book or watch an episode of a favorite tv series.
If you are working from home chances are that you are mixing work with household chores. Chores could be a way to distract yourself as well, but try to always do something fun as well.
4. Find Out When You Are Most Productive
There are certain times during the day when we are most productive. These times change from individual to individual, however, studies show that most of us experience high productivity levels in the early afternoon.
Generally, people believe that the best time for working is in the morning. This is not always the case and it varies in every one of us.
If you have a corporate 9 to 5 job, you are “forced” to be extremely productive during these hours, excluding a lunch break. But for solopreneurs working from home, the same rules do not apply.
Working from home allows you to be flexible with your work schedule and you can choose to start working whenever suits you best. So try to understand if there is any specific time during the way when you feel most productive.
Sometimes a less enjoyable task gets in the way of creative work. For some, it can work well to “eat the frog” or get this blocking or unenjoyable task complete first thing to open up the rest of your day to making creative progress and avoid procrastination on those less enjoyable tasks.
Once you can figure this out, try to complete as many tasks as possible during your “productive” hours, and take a relaxing break afterwords.
If you "force" yourself to work during your most productive hours, you can manage to be more productive in a shorter time. Avoid switching between many different tasks: when you start a new task, stick to it until you complete it.
This is called time blocking, a time management system where you divide your workday into blocks of time. Each block represents a different task in your to-do list and how much time you need in order to complete it. Time blocking helps you concentrate on only one task at a time and save a considerable amount of time by not switching between tasks.
5. Have a Designated Working Area
Having a special place reserved for working in your home brings many benefits. When you have a dedicated workspace separated from the rest of your house, you can better focus on your work, avoid possible distractions and make it easier for you to separate work from life.
You don’t need to have a home office to achieve this. Even in a very small home, try to find a place where you can work comfortably and is far from distractions.
If possible, try to use your designated working area exclusively for work. When you are done for the day, switch off your computer and get out of your workspace. The simple act of getting up and changing location - even if just a few feet away - can help your mind to switch off from “work” mode and indicate the end of the day.
6. Dress Up
If you have worked in an office before becoming an online solopreneur, you probably had dreamed about working from your bed wearing your pajamas.
So even if dressing up to stay at home alone may seem unnecessary, it does have its benefits.
The act of dressing up can help you set the right tone to start your day. As we associate cozy, comfortable clothing with relaxation, it might be harder for you to focus 100% while wearing your pajamas.
This is not a rule, you can definitely be productive while wearing anything you want. However, it can make it easier to start the day with the mindset.
Dressing up in the warning to start your day right is important, so it is also important to change back to your pajamas when the workday ends and you are ready for some rest!
7. Get Out of The House
If you work in a physical office, you have to commute to work every day. This means that likely for at least 30 minutes per day you are outside trying to get to the office and back.
While not commuting is an advantage of a work-from-home environment, it also has its downsides and needs to be counteracted.
Getting out of the house from time to time is extremely important if you want to remain sane while working from home. A walk allows you not only to get the right amount of daily physical activity but also helps you sharpen your mind and boost your focus.
So when you get back from your walk, you can start working again and being even more productive!
Working from home can sometimes make you feel lonely. This is another reason why you should get out as much as you can, to reset your mind, be more energetic and maybe socialize and meet people!
Starting your own business can be challenging and extremely time-consuming, which is why it is important for solopreneurs to figure out what works for them in terms of time management.
Especially if you work alone or from home, you need to find the right work-life balance and understand when you are most productive.
The tips in this article can help you with your time management skills and productivity. Another way to ensure you are saving the most time is to get the best software to support your online business.
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