Time Management For The Home-Based Entrepreneur

This is the final article in my series of time management techniques. These are the others, in case you missed them.

Pros and Cons of Working From Home

Although the “work from home” lifestyle may seem an ideal dream, there are downsides.

Good Points

You can be at work in minutes

​No commute costs

You can take time for family commitments

You are your own boss

Bad Points

You may be disturbed regularly if people don't respect your work time

​You're reluctant to "close shop" and stop working​

You miss having work colleagues

The buck stops with you​

Time management for the home-based entrepreneur.

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Family pressure is common among small business entrepreneurs but implementing effective time management tips can help keep you productive and the family happy.

Naturally, when you're building a business, your time should be focused on your work; however, you need to spend enough time with your family as well.

Family Pressures

work-home-px-250Your intentions are good. You want to spend time with the family but yet you yearn to make your business profitable.

Sometimes you forget the reasons why you are in business and wonder why you should remain in business. Your family seems not understand the pressure you're under.

Or perhaps things are going along well and then an unexpected family crisis knocks everything out of the window. If you were going out to a “proper job” and the cat got sick, it probably wouldn't be cause for you to take a day of work. But if you work from home you may find yourself drawn into domestic crises that could quite easily be handled without you.

Sometimes you feel defeated. What are you supposed to do?

A simple change to your priorities can do wonders for your business and the family's morale. The expression “give a little, get a little” comes into play when you're juggling a demanding work schedule and trying to please family members.

If you expect loved ones to understand your business needs, you'll need to understand their desire to spend quality time with you.

Address Family Stresses

If you can't fix it, feature it. Let the family see some of the benefits of your home based business.

  • Enjoy some relaxation in front of the television with your spouse and children. Take a dip in the pool or construct a jigsaw puzzle together. Take a two-hour lunch break and go to the park or visit the zoo. It needn't take much effort to make them happy.
  • Buy them a little treat when you make a good sale.
  • Involve your family in decision making and planning for the business – even the youngest members. An unexpected benefit for you is that they may see things from a customer's perspective and come up with ideas you hadn't thought of.

Proper management of your time is essential to achieve business success, but it's also imperative to preserve family harmony. If you feel your life is out of sync or the climb to success is a burden on the family it's time to make some changes.

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Time Management For The Home Based Entrepreneur

Here are a dozen effective techniques to help you reduce wasted time while increasing efficiency and family harmony:

  1. Consider hiring outside help instead of doing it all as a solo act. This alone may act as a barrier to family interruptions. See also item (6) on this list.
  2. Turn down any new work until you're caught up on current projects. “Scarcity” works – clients may see you as an even more valuable resource!
  3. Complete high-priority tasks while children are in bed.
  4. Start work an hour earlier, while the rest of the family is sleeping. It's amazing how much work can be completed while the house is quiet.
  5. Avoid unnecessary disruptions from friends and neighbors. Make it known that your work time is simply that – your time to work!
  6. improve your incomePlace a limit on telephone calls – turn off the ringer and let the answer-phone take the strain. Or just hire someone to screen all incoming calls. This could even be a family member. In the UK this could be a tax-deductible expense for your business and a tax-free income for someone whose earnings are below the tax threshold. I'm not an accountant, so check this out with your own accountant and check the laws in your own country.
  7. If you use them, pre-print batches of letter headings with your name, address, telephone number, website and email.
  8. Plan and schedule your days in advance. Knowing what is on the daily agenda will help you stay focused and on track.
  9. Repeat common tasks at the same time every day to help you remember what needs to be done. Set alarms on your smart-phone. This will keep your workday consistent and easy to follow.
  10. Become super-efficient by getting organized. You'll finish each project quicker and have more time to spend on other things.
  11. Limit your time on emails, social media etc – these can be real time-drains.
  12. Use time-tracking software like RescueTime. (Aff link, but I find the free version does all I need.)
  13. To help you get more mileage out of your time and your employees, here is a list of the best time and task management apps for 2019.

The Best Of Both Worlds!

hate commutingBy utilizing proper time management techniques, you can alleviate the daily pressures associated with running a business from home.

You'll only work during work hours, satisfied with your business and able to “close shop” with happy thoughts that a loving family is awaiting your arrival – without a mad dash on public transport.

Top tip: Any entrepreneur worthy of the title will realize the value of out-sourcing tasks they can't efficiently do themselves.

I hope the above tips will help you maintain a good balance between family life and your home-based business. 

How do YOU balance family time and work time in your home-based business?  Please share your best tips in the comments below.

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Joy Healey

I left it too late to plan for a financially secure retirement. Don't make my mistake. Start building an extra income with a part-time (or full-time) business online. Think you don't have time? Can't afford the start-up cost? Can't meet sales targets? Contact me for free advice (no obligation) on the best fit for your circumstances. Exciting retirement business opportunities here.

Edward Thorpe - June 5, 2016

Hi Joy,

Used to struggle with balancing family time with home biz time. Not so hard now there’re only 1 wife, 1 dog and myself…Not to mention, these days, I’m a poor excuse for an entrepreneur!

Good post, with good ideas for people working from home. Hope you’re getting back into your ‘grove’ now that you’re back from vacation. Have a great week.

    Joy Healey - June 5, 2016

    Hi Edward,

    I normally only have myself to “balance” (some hope!!) but this week it’s my Dad’s 94th birthday and also belated celebrations for Matt’s birthday – so rather more juggling than usual, but juggling of the best sort.

    So, not exactly back in the groove after the holiday – but certainly set for a great week.

    Of course, having the opportunity to change my schedule to fit round family pleasures is one of the best benefits of being a home-based entrepreneur.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Kim Willis - June 7, 2016

Hi Joy

Time management is a big issue for many home biz people.

Some are mentally unsuitable to the work from home lifestyle.

There’s no boss to crack the whip, no workmates to talk to. It can get lonely. Many people who’ve been employed for a long time have become institutionalised, and find it impossible to make the shift.

There are many temptations when working from home. It’s easy to turn on the tv and burn a few hours mindlessly watching reruns of old shows. With no one to be accountable to, we can also waste even more time checking emails, and playing the social media game. And what about walking the dog?

To avoid the time bandits home biz folk need to use a time management system to keep them on track. Above all, they need a big why – a purpose.


    Joy Healey - June 10, 2016

    Hi Kim,

    That’s a very good point – I think I’m so steeped in the self-employed culture (from childhood – as long as I can remember) that I quite forget there are people who will just never be suited to work from home because of poor self-discipline. Some of these people can be “cured” by their “big why”, but I think that some people will never be suited to work from home. I’ve come across people who in MY opinion have enough “pain why”, but still get so easily distracted by time-wasting activities.

    Another danger is convincing yourself that some activities are actually productive business activities – and I think the main one here is social media.

    Serious self-examination is necessary before deciding to start a home business. And then track your activity with a time management system such as Rescue Time.

    Thanks for highlighting this possible danger of deciding to work from home,

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Robin Khokhar - June 7, 2016

Hi Joy,
very nice, previously you mentioned The rescue time and I am using that app, And that is working well for me.

    Joy Healey - June 8, 2016

    Hi Robin,

    I’m pleased you’re finding Rescue Time useful. It took a little while to set up and tailor to my activities, but it’s a really useful and informative piece of software.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Enstine Muki - June 10, 2016

Hey Joy,
This is a very timely and highly needed post for people like us who spend a lot of time working at home.

As a matter of fact, I do not have another office outside home. And you know with kids who love hanging around dad, I have made things clear. There is times I take off my computer to play with them, take them out for a ride, watch movie, etc.

But when it’s time to do business, I tell them daddy has to work now. I think they are a gift because they never do stupid things when I’m busy. They know it and would always keep away.

But there are certainty things that happen and you must leave work to turn to them.

A few days ago, the plumber came to fix a broken pipe in the toilet. I had everything arranged, including his pay. But it still needed me to checkout of computer to go make sure all is well.

Like you mentioned, there are minor things that don’t need your attention but once you are home, you can’t avoid giving them time.

Thanks for the recommendations and tips.

Very helpful

    Joy Healey - June 12, 2016

    Hi Enstine,

    How wonderful that your home-based office means that your children have their Dad so involved in their lives – AND especially that they are disciplined enough to understand that there are work-times that have to be respected. They’re learning a valuable life-lesson that will help instill in them a great work-ethic.

    It was something like that when I was brought up, because my parents had a shop and lived “on the job” which meant that I could help them with little jobs appropriate for my age, for instance counting the money into bags for the banking, or filling shelves. Times working in the “family team” were among the happiest of my life.

    Funnily enough I have a broken toilet here too and after the weekend I will have to take time out to find a reliable plumber which I’m not looking forward to after my last plumber problem:-(

    But here again, working from home is an advantage because if I were “going out to work” I would have to take time away to find a plumber and just wait about while he travelled to find me and then do the work. The last unreliable plumber would have probably cost me a week of annual leave in missed appointments!

    Assuming I can find a reliable and honest plumber this time it will be much simpler.

    Thanks for sharing how you organise working from home so that it’s a positive experience for the whole family.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Fakharuddin - June 10, 2016

Hello Joy,
Excellent post. I’m a full-time blogger and work from home but unfortunately, most of my friends and relatives don’t respect my work and kidding me. 🙁

    Joy Healey - June 12, 2016

    Hi Fakharuddin,

    That’s tough if people won’t respect your work. How can you ever get the best possible results?

    Much as working from home can seem lonely at times, I’m really grateful that I can just get on with my work and please myself what hours I keep.

    Once they see that you are determined to stick with it, and when they see your results, you should be able to command the respect you deserve as a home-based entrepreneur.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

sazia - June 11, 2016

Hi Joy mam, Wonderful tips on how one can spend time with family and give limit to work..It is true working from home is for name sake but i have seen people who work from home they spend more time on work than in any office employees do..Yes it is necessary to give time to people and involve them in our work while making decisions. Thanks for sharing.

    Joy Healey - June 12, 2016

    Hi Sazia

    You’re right – I spend far more time on my home-based business than ever I did when I was working for someone else. In fact my problem is more to learn when to stop work than getting started, so for me “time-management” is more about limiting the time I spend and using it effectively.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

Basharath - June 14, 2016

Very well explained about the time management. Really it need for every one.
“Time and tide waits for none”.

Thank you for the share


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