How Home-Based Entrepreneurs Can Be Productive, Not Just Busy

January 21, 2014

11:00 am

According to Forbes, 52 percent of small businesses in the US are home-based. Proper time management is a key factor, if not the most important element of any successful business, but it can be especially challenging for entrepreneurs who work out of the home. Working from home means that you’ll have to battle numerous distractions, overcome procrastination, and figure out how to balance your time in a way that prevents you from feeling like you’re always “busy,” but not getting a lot accomplished.

You probably feel like you’re always working, but by the end of the week you many feel like you haven’t really gotten anything done. Co-founder and CEO of the Everyday Genius Institute, Taryn Voget, says one of the most important things to ask yourself is if you are being busy, or if you are being productive? Here are some tips to help you overcome the obstacles of being a home-based entrepreneur:

Eliminate Time Wasters

Trying to do too many things at once in an attempt to become the “King” or “Queen” of multitasking can actually drain time; Entrepreneur magazine reports that it’s more effective to focus on one task at a time rather than working on several projects concurrently.

If your business requires you to spend a lot of time online, the Internet can become a huge distraction that wastes away large chunks of your time. Frequently checking your email inbox, spending hours on Facebook, reading blog posts, or whatever happens you draw you in can quickly add up to a lot of lost hours. Schedule designated hours to work within and avoid checking your email or Facebook news feed during that time.

Provided you don’t need these tools to promote your business, you might consider an Internet blocker like Anti-Social which blocks social media sites that commonly distract such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter in addition to other sites that can be specified by the user.

Streamline Your Accounting Processes

Streamlining your accounting processes by purchasing invoice software can help you become more efficient by saving time and also becoming more organized. It can help you track your expenses, as well as sales and income in addition to creating and sending invoices. Keeping your books better organized can result in both time and financial savings come tax time.

Utilize Apps for Better Time Management

Of course there’s an app for that. Better time management is the key to becoming more productive and less busy. One app to help entrepreneurs manage time is 30/30, which works in the form of a simple timer and allows the user to create task lists and set a time limit for each task. This is a great app to help keep you focused on your work.

If you find yourself constantly searching for that little note you left for yourself, Evernote may be an essential app for you. It syncs notes across mobile and desktop, making it very effective for entrepreneurs to organize and keep track of all of those notes.

Balancing work and personal time is one of the toughest challenges a home-based entrepreneur has to face. OmniFocus is an app that can help you juggle all of the necessary tasks for running your business as well as help to balance your work and personal life. All of the information you enter, including to-do lists as well as thoughts and ideas, is made available on the OmniFocus cloud server to remind you of your goals where ever you happen to be.

Guest author Victoria Campbell is a graphic designer that helps small businesses develop e-commerce sites to compete with the big boys.

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