Time Management Strategy When You Are Your Own Boss

Elaine Currie
 


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Knowing When And How To Stop When You Have Your Own Internet Based Home Business

Time Management is important to everyone who runs their own business. If you don't employ an effective time management strategy, your working life is liable to descend into a chaotic mess. One big reason people want to work from home is to have flexibility in their working hours. Being your own boss means you aren't constrained by office hours or the whims of the management. You set your hours and, as long as everything gets done and your customers are happy, you can work when and how you please.

One advertising slogan you will see on the Internet is that you can earn money working in your pyjamas when you have an online home business. This is perfectly true, there is no dress code and no need to keep office hours when you have an Internet based home business. You can split your working hours up to fit in with your family commitments. You can decide to take a day off at short notice and catch up in the evening or during the next day. You can eat and drink at your desk. You can play music while you work. You can take a break any time you feel like it. This is all fine and just the way things should be.

It is, however, possible to make this self government too liberal. You can push the boundaries of liberty so far that you find you have created your own personal prison. Here are some danger signs that your time management strategy has collapsed and you need to reassess the way you plan your daily work schedule:

When you realise you have been wearing your pyjamas all day or, worse, realising you have been wearing nothing but those same pyjamas for several days.

When you realise you have no idea what the weather has been like all week because you haven't left the house or taken your eyes off your work for long enough to glance out of the window.

When meal times arrive suddenly and you are never ready even though those meals have been served at the same time every day for years.

When every day ends with you reluctantly leaving a half-completed task because exhaustion is setting in and your brain is crying “enough" or, worse you wake up slumped over your keyboard.

If you examine your time management strategy you will probably find you are working hard but not smart and, in fact, your strategy is no longer being applied. There's nothing wrong with hard work but smart is better. Remember: failing to plan is planning to fail. One of the biggest enemies of the home business owner is procrastination. Working every hour available seems like the opposite of procrastination but it does not work like that.

The trap of working too hard for too long is terribly easy to fall into when you are your own boss and there's nobody to tell you it's time to pack up and go home. The knowledge that every penny of profit you earn working at your own business is yours (not just the meagre wages an employer would dole out) is a great spur when your energy starts to flag. Enjoying your work instead of dreading that old 9-5 plus commute makes it easy to keep on working far beyond the limits allowed by any employment contract.

Those things combined represent a serious danger to the home business owner. Underpinning the whole thing is the knowledge that you can do what you like when you like when you are your own boss. Without company rules or supervision, if you fail to map out each day, your working life can expand to fill the time available and this time can be your whole waking life. The old job you hated, suddenly doesn't seem so bad - you didn't have much of a life working 9-5 and commuting for hours each day but at least you used to get some time off at weekends.

Working excessive numbers of hours will inevitably mean that you are not performing at your best for some of those hours. Your business will start to go downhill and your family and social life will suffer. It will tire you so much that you wonder why you ever had that crazy idea of being your own boss when you could have just stuck to working a civilised number of hours. If you calculate your profit at an hourly rate, you will probably discover you were paid better per hour when you were getting that pittance from your old job.

You have to make a choice. You could go back to the dreaded 9-5, put up with everyone around you telling you how they always knew having your own business was a mistake and try to be happy doing a boring job in return for small rewards. Alternatively, you could give yourself a hard mental slap, write down all the reasons you hated your old job and all the reasons you wanted to be your own boss. Then make a plan which includes sensible working hours broken down into manageable portions.

Working from home, running your own business is a dream many of us are managing to achieve and the number of people starting a home based business is increasing year by year. J M Barrie said: “Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else". This is one of my favourite quotations because it is so true, but we need to be aware that having too much of a good thing can spoil the enjoyment. Don't push yourself to work and work until you find you would rather be doing something else.

You will find ideas about earning money, useful home business resources and time management tips at Elaine Currie's Work At Home Directory For articles about online writing visit Writing Tips

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