I've been working at home with my own business for 5 years. Now that the kids are back in school you would think I would have more time. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
So where does the time go and how can you make the time you do spend working as productive as possible?
Here are some tips for women working at home:
1.) Scheduling. Schedule your time carefully. There will be times you have to multitask, and you can schedule certain activities during these times. Other times require more quiet and concentration. You might not have huge chunks of such time (e.g. if your children aren't in school yet) but there will be opportunities during your day. Treat these times like gold and dedicate them to such activities as client/prospect/partner communication. Be flexible though. Things won't always go as planned, so try your best to take it in stride.
You might have to forfeit some sleep to get in some quality work time. You can get a lot done before the kids wake up or after they go to bed. This is the time to do things like marketing, send emails, write, do business planning and admin work.
2.) To-do list. In addition to knowing when you're going to work, have a to-do list of what you are going to accomplish each day and each week. Prioritize your list and incorporate deadlines. This will not only help you stay focused, it will also give you a sense of achievement as you move forward in accomplishing your goals.
3.) Business tools. You can do a lot of work in transit and having the right tools, such as a cell phone and a laptop, is essential. Get a good calling plan for your cell phone, and make sure you have a professional voice message. Your message doesn't have to be about your business, but make sure its polite and professional-sounding. There's no need to be "home bound" for your home based business.
With a laptop, you have more freedom to do business from anywhere. Make sure you have a wireless card so you can connect to the Internet from just about anywhere. And there is some great technology, such as Foldershare, that allows you to connect all the files on your home computer to your laptop.
Some other great tools include Office OneNote 2007
, which is a digital notebook that provides one place to gather your notes and information, as well as a powerful search to find what you're looking for quickly, and easy-to-use shared notebooks. You can get it for $99 or save when you buy it as part of 2007 Office suite. There is also a 60-day free trial.
Another great tool is X1 searching
. It's a free download and it allows you to efficiently search for data residing in over 400 file types and applications.