Going by an article on Stepcase Lifehack , What do Jason Jennings, Jim Collins, David Allen, Roger Martin, and Peggy Duncan have in common? They are leading productivity experts with credentials, expertise, and achievements that would want to make us feel like sinners as far as our “time management” is concerned.
As a mom looking to start a business from home, managing your time and making sure that you are productive during the work day is one of the greatest battles you’d find yourself unwillingly dragged into.
Stretch that gargantuan task of managing time over months, years, and probably for the rest of your life, and you very well know how your income begins to hinge on this one single factor: How effectively do you utilize your time?
Here are some tips to help you master your time better so that you can accomplish more, do all the things you wanted to do, be able to spend time with your family, and even pay attention to kids’ tuitions and homework, if you have to.
What kills your time? Why Save it?
First: Find out what kills your time everyday. Are you an incorrigible procrastinator? Does your attention drift away in a dark void of nothingness? Do you work as a mental “to-do” list goes off? Are you a habitual Internet browsing junkie? Do kids take a lot of your work time away? Do neighbors, phone calls, surprise visits threaten to derail your daily plans? Do all those chores at home keep you away from work?
Second: Determine where you lose your time everyday, is to think about why you need to save time. I say this because “saving time”, “being productive”, and “Punching in more work per hour” is not everyone’s priority. For home business owners, who mostly operate solo, productivity at work has a linear correlation to profitability. For instance, assuming that you are a business consultant or a legal consultant and your charge, $30-$40 per hour, it’s evident that you earn more when you put in productive time at work. Even a 6-hour full-time work per day, Monday to Friday, would fetch you $4200 a month (assuming $35 per hour). You do the math.
In a nutshell, the more work you manage to do in a specific timeframe, the more potential to earn.
The Super-Productivity Toolbox: Where is It?
Grab some free web-based tools such as:
Project Management Tool – Trello
To-Do List Tool – Lazymeter.com and make it a daily practice to fire them up as you begin to work.
Further, Quora has a riveting conversation on some of the best tools online for entrepreneurs; Work at home Moms; and freelancers.
Embrace Some of The Most Popular Methods
Some of the most popular methods for productivity, going by user likes and community feedback, are:
- David Allen’s GTD
- The Pomodoro Technique (My favorite)
- Kanban by Jim and Tonianne DeMaria Barry.
- David Kadavy’s 10-Minute Hack
- Seinfeld’s Productivity Secret (Don’t Break the Chain)
The first two techniques are world famous. So much, that we even have applications and web tools based on them. The other three are popular too, but they are usually variations or hybrids of popular techniques that some individuals have adopted for their own use, and for the benefit of others.
Make Productivity a Part of Your Character and Your Habits
There’s this little equation I wanted to share with you:
I still remember what my mentor told me a long time ago: it all starts with what you believe in. As a matter of fact, this post also begins with the much overlooked first step of convincing yourself that productivity is a trait that you are convinced you need. Maybe it helps you to earn more (which by itself fetches you hundreds of things you might need). Perhaps it allows you to beam with pride with a sense of achievement or maybe you get to spend time with your family.
Personally, I am highly motivated to work (since I love it and I get paid for it) and I make the best use of my time. Also, I have a family and my personal needs to attend to (just as any mom would). This motivation alone helps me to keep people off limits from my office (family included). The phone remains switched off while I work and I don’t get on Facebook or Twitter when I work. No unscheduled parties, lunches, and meet ups for me during workdays, unless it’s to meet a client.
As for doing actual work at my desk, I use Trello and some other tools I mentioned in this post. Trello is still my choice of to-do list and project management tool (free). There’s something “sticky” about the tool. The to-do list just lingers there urging you to complete your tasks.
To become productive, it takes commitment, guts, a teeny-weeny bit of ruthlessness, and practice.
Are you up to it?
What are your favorite productivity tools and resources? Please share…