Here are 11 tips that help me to work smarter, get more organized and focused on what I do with regards to my home business.
I do hope that you’ll find one or two of the tips useful and that they may even take any feeling of stress or overwhelm that you may have off your shoulders!
11 tips how to work smarter, not harder, with your Home Business:
1) Have a strategy in place
Many small home business owners don’t have a strategy in place.
However, to succeed with your business it’s important you have a strategy and also a budget. This will give you a plan to follow, you know how much you can spend, you’ll know what activities to focus on, what your goals are and what skill sets you need to master etc.
2) Write down what a typical week looks like for you.
Write down on a piece of paper – or in a calendar – everything you usually have to get done in your week, include the hours it takes.
Include the hours you work if you have a job, and all the things you need to get done in the house, in the garden, grocery shopping, helping kids with homework, taking kids to spare-time activities, family time.
And don’t forget time you need for yourself, like dinner with your spouse or partner, friends, exercise etc.
This will help you to see how much time you REALLY have at your disposal to spend on your home business – and also what hours during the day and week.
3) Know the time you need to complete specific activities.
It’s necessary that you know the time you need to complete specific activities and tasks you do, for example how many minutes or hours do you usually need – from start to finish, to:
- Write blog posts, publish them and share them on social media?
- Shoot a video, edit it, upload to YouTube and share on social media?
- Create a capture page and write 10 follow-up emails for a new campaign?
- Create a marketing campaign on Facebook?
If you don’t know this, start measure how much time you need. Write it down in a calendar. This will help you to PLAN your weeks and days in a way you can manage.
4) Have a daily and weekly action plan and be consistent.
At the start of each day, you must know exactly what activities and tasks you MUST complete during the day to reach the objectives of this day and week.
Therefore, you must have an action plan where you describe the activities you must do to reach your goals and objectives.
Take into consideration how much time you have at your disposal for your business each week, and make sure you plan out activities you can fit into your schedule.
The action plan and the objectives must be realistic in relation to the time you have, and to your budget. Otherwise you need to adjust your goals and plan.
5) Batch similar tasks together.
Whenever it’s possible, batch similar tasks together, both in your private life and in your business life.
For example, you can batch tasks like:
- Blog posts: write 2-3 blog posts in a go instead of 1
- Emails: write 3-8 auto-responder messages in a go
- Videos: shoot 5 videos in a go while you have everything set for it. You can change your shirt in between the videos if you want it to seem like the videos are done on different days
This will save you time, because when you’re into something, you’ll get in the right mindset and “the flow” of doing it.
You’re much more focused and more effective, working for a longer time on a similar task, than “scatter” your time and mind on many different activities.
6) Limit the time you spend on emails and social media.
Reading emails and checking social media news feeds can really “steal” hours from you.
It’s easy to waste hours every week on emails and social media, doing things that could be automated (see tips 11) or at the very least done faster with the right tools.
Add up those few hours a week, and you’ll see that you’re wasting many hours each week.
To avoid it, you can decide to only check your emails and social media profiles on two occasions during the day (morning and afternoon).
Put also a time limit for how long you can spend on it. Only reply to urgent emails and comments.
7) Avoid multi-tasking.
Multitasking has in several studies been shown to NOT save time, rather the contrary.
Focus on one task at a time (as mentioned in tips 5 above), and chances are you do it better and faster.
8) Do what’s urgent, important or unpleasant first thing in the day.
Whether it’s a phone call or a meeting, make sure to do anything that’s urgent, important or unpleasant, the first thing in the morning.
Otherwise you may be lingering and avoiding it all day, which will distract you and make you less focused and less effective on whatever you’re doing.
9) Reflect every day, week and month.
Reflect on what’s working well for you, what’s working less good, then adjust your schedule and tasks accordingly.
If you struggle to reach your goals, perhaps you need to lower them? Setting too high goals can be counter productive and discouraging.
It’s no fun to always feel like you’re struggling and can’t reach your goals!
Strive to find a balance in life that works for you, a balance of the time you spend on your business, on your family and on YOU.
10) Outsource or delegate.
To free up time for you, consider if you can outsource some of your tasks?
You can get a lot of things done from online freelancers on e.g. fiverr.com or elance.com and similar companies.
Perhaps you can now and then ask for some help from a friend, your spouse or kids?
11) Leverage the internet and automate.
Consider what you can change and perhaps automate to work smarter.
Perhaps you can use the internet more to automate parts of your business activities such as:
- Lead generation
- Product or Business presentations
- Online sales funnels
For example, instead of doing one-on-one presentations of your products or business, you can do the presentations by using videos or webinars. You’ll save a lot of time and it will be available online for your prospects and clients 24/7.
For social media marketing, there are tools you can use to schedule the posting and sharing to be done automatically on several platforms (e.g. Hootsuite). This means, you can plan and schedule all the social media postings once a week for the whole week.
Auto-responders is another example of a useful web tool that will automate your follow-up messages with prospects, leads and customers.
So, that’s my 11 tips how to work smarter, not harder, for stressed and overwhelmed home business owners!
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