7 Time-Management Tips for a More Productive You

Time management and productivity go hand in hand. Many women who work from home find it very difficult to be productive when the day ahead is loaded with tasks, both at work and at home. Want to be more productive? Learn how best to manage your time. Below are 7 tips you can start doing today to be on your way to a more productive you.

Tip #1: Establish Boundaries

Achieving a work-life balance can be difficult. One way to create a balance is to establish boundaries. If you’re working from home, it can be especially difficult to establish boundaries over your time and work space. Begin by creating a dedicated area in your home that is yours. If you’re children are old enough to understand, make it clear the area is yours and they are to respect it as your workspace (e.g. no toys). If your children are too young to understand, just make sure important business papers and materials are kept out of their reach.

Tip #2: Compartmentalize Your Time

Schedule both family and business responsibilities daily, making sure it’s a realistic schedule you can stick to. For example, though it’s easy when working from home to stop and throw in a load or two of laundry, don’t do it during work time. When playing with the kids, be fully in the moment. Let work calls go to voicemail when you’re at the park. Wearing one hat a time is the best way to stay focused and productive.

Tip #3: Time Blocking is Key

When you’re a mom who works, time blocking is the best way to keep it all together. “The one tip I can share with others about balancing motherhood with running a business is that time blocking is everything. I have a color-coded calendar (blue for kid stuff, orange for work stuff, etc.) When I block off specific times in my calendar to work my business vs. focus on my family it allows me to be 100% in the moment regardless of where I am—absolutely guilt-free. With time-blocking, I control my calendar and how I spend my time, rather than it controlling me. It’s a beautiful thing!” – Stephanie Nivinskus, SizzleForce, Inc.

Tip #4: Wake Up Early

Best selling novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford once said “Successful women don’t sleep until noon.” What’s important to take from that is that the routine of waking up early has always been a practice of highly successful people. Why? Because productive mornings start with early wake-up calls. Every mom who works from home knows time is a precious commodity. So, before the day gets consumed by phone calls, meetings, projects, and kids, the early morning hours are the perfect time to get things done, or at least get a jumpstart on the tasks ahead. Starting off in a productive manner leads to better time-management throughout the remainder of the day.

Tip #5: Prioritize Daily Goals

It can be hard, but knowing how to prioritize tasks effectively is an essential part of any time-management strategy. Start by determining which tasks are most urgent. Limit the list to 3 priorities a day. When the list is under control, you are more likely to finish the tasks at hand. But, what happens when you have more than 3 things that you want to get to in a day? Narrow it down. Check out this article from Inc.com on how to prioritize when everything is a priorityhttp://bit.ly/Re1K8b

Tip #6: Minimize Distractions

Do you know we can lose as much as two hours a day to distractions? Whether they come from emails, IM chats, or phone calls from clients, distractions prevent us from managing our time wisely. Distractions can be especially troublesome when working from home. If you want to gain control of your day, you need to minimize distractions. Check out this article from entrepreneur.com on how to manage distractions when working out of your home: http://entm.ag/1i3xaJe

Tip #7: Set a Countdown Timer

For those working on multiple projects at once, a great way to stay focused and productive is to use a countdown timer. Once you’ve decided on your top priorities for the day, determine how much time you need to spend on each to be your most productive. Then set a timer as you begin to work on a project. Using a timer is the best way to stay focused, and it will alert you when it’s time move on to the next project. “When I use countdown timers, my pace speeds up because I want to beat the clock. The timer also brings me back from being immersed in creative flow in between client sessions.” – Sherlyn Pang Luedtke, mompreneur founder of Present Parent Training