Tips for Time Management

Do you have a tendency to procrastinate?

You can ask any professional, whether self-employed or employed outside of the home, and they will stress the importance of time management. As a self-employed independent contractor or sole-proprietor, it is more important than ever to take up the task of honing your time management skills — this is your business. Your business means you control the environment. One of the most common problems in nurturing your business into growth is poor time management skills.

Is there a one-step process for conquering the art of time management? No. Why? Because each individual is different. Each individual has their own strengths and weaknesses. Where one individual might be good at multi-tasking, another may not. While one individual might be great at prioritizing, another may not be.

However, there are some tips you can consider while finding your own groove in honing your own time-management skills.

1. First, you should figure out WHY you are procrastinating. What around you is taking your mind off the task at hand that needs to be completed? Is there something nearby distracting you? Perhaps a TV? A noisy work area? Does your work area or office get a lot of foot traffic? Meaning, are people stopping by to talk, or coming to your desk needing you to do something for them?

Often, work-at-home individuals find all of the above distractions apply to their work space. There are some people who are able to block out outside noises and distractions, and others are not so lucky. Analyze your own workspace to figure out if these distractions are actually causing you to procrastinate.

2. Prioritize based on deadlines. Many times, creating a daily list of tasks helps to bring those deadlines into better clarity. Do you have tasks that should be completed daily, as opposed to weekly, or monthly? Perhaps assign letters to these tasks. A, most important. B, least important but still required to be completed daily. Once you’ve established task importance, create your daily, weekly and monthly tasks. Some tasks such as designing a monthly newsletter can be put off toward the end of the week on a day you have less tasks scheduled.

3. Consider using professionals for more complicated or time consuming tasks, such as a newsletter. There are professional services who offer monthly newsletter management for a very reasonable fee. Graphic design for a professional can take as little as ten minutes, but for someone less experienced, you can easily waste an afternoon, only to realize you had put off more important tasks.

These are all great tips to help you hone your time management skills, but the one most important tip to remember for anyone working from home, or even an individual who may have a more flexible schedule working outside of the home, is that you must learn to separate your personal time from your professional time. Working from home or with a flexible schedule is an incredible feeling of freedom. But with that freedom comes responsibility. It requires a great ability of self-control. Whether working from home or working in an office, you are a professional who is required to meet deadlines and to stay on-task. Personal errands should not be completed during the time you have blocked off for your professional agenda.

Time-management is really a skill, and as with most skills, it takes dedication to perfect. As each individual is different, one routine may not work as well for the next. But, we can all agree, that good time-management is necessary for success.

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About Jannice Roy

Jannice Roy has over 7 years of corporate, general, legal, market research and analytics transcription experience. She’s taken courses in oral and written communication, business principals, and English, as well as fiction writing and creative writing. When she’s not transcribing, she writes novels and publishes romance under the name Niecey Roy.

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