Over 12 years of working from home, one would imagine that I have my time management system set in stone. Much to your surprise, I find great success in some general time management principles that I stick to instead.
By establishing a few principles or guidelines for your time, you are able to prioritize them to fit your personal lifestyle and family life.
Your time management principles or guidelines allow you the flexibility to adapt your duties, responsibilities and obligations around your personal choice and needs.
Listed below are some general time management principles to help guide you:
- You can mix business with pleasure-as long as the game rules are agreed upon in the beginning. This allows your time management principles the respect and priority they deserve. I would not have my husband's full support for my business if he didn't truly understand my duties and responsibilities. By better understanding the ground rules of my business time management principles, not only do I gain my biggest supporter, but I develop my strongest advocate.
- Set reachable goals, deadlines, and track your progress. Set daily, weekly, monthly and annual deadlines check lists, to-do lists, electronic memos, calendars, events, etc. Keep an accountability chart that works best for you and stick to it. If you are not good at being accountable to yourself, involve your spouse, child, virtual assistant, or hire a business coach or mentor.
- Set Family Rituals: Daily routines, weekly date nights, monthly family trips, annual vacations, etc. Have an alternative or back-up plan for inclement weather or an occasional once-in-a-lifetime promotional opportunity that you can't pass up. Make sure the alternative play date is much better and enticing. Your family comes first!
- Set religious/spiritual time. Have daily, weekly, monthly appointments, devotions, prayers, etc. Practice freely and openly and let faith, peace and joy lead and guide you.
- Set Personal Time. Vacation and down time is critical to your success. Mommy or women-outings are also necessary. During your personal time, check emails and voice messages only during downtimes in the airport or travels, but don't make it a priority. Make the priority to stay away from the office and take of you.
- The luxury of flexibility means the ability to adapt your work obligations in priority order with faith and family obligations taking precedence.
Now, 10 years later and pregnant, I know that my sleep schedule and hands-on baby time will force me to re-adjust my “system". I find peace knowing that I have control of my time management principles, and I have the ability to prioritize accordingly.
Challenge yourself to grow and prosper in the luxury of adjusting your time, rather than systemizing it.
Lesley Spencer Pyle is the founder and president of the HBWM.com, Inc. Network which includes: Home-Based Working Moms (http://www.HBWM.com ), Hire My Mom (http://www.HireMyMom.com ) and Mom’s Work-at-Home Kit (http://www.WorkAtHomeKit.com ). Pyle is the author of “The Work-at-Home Workbook" and has been featured in numerous publications including Forbes, Entrepreneur, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Home Office Computing, Parenting, Business Start-Ups, Dr. Laura’s Perspectives, Family PC and many others.