home distractions
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Working from home sounds ideal to most people. You are free to get up when you want, work when you want and indeed go to bed when you want.

In-between, you can choose what to work on (or not as the case may be), who to answer the telephone to and basically be in control of your entire working life.

Perfect you may think?

Well, yes AND no.

Sure, whilst it is great to control your own life, not have to worry about commuting and have no responsibilities other than to yourself and your business, working from home can catch many people out until they implement effective time management.

The main issue with this new found freedom (providing of course, home working is new for you) is distractions. Everywhere you turn, there is always something else that can be done. I put these into two categories, home distractions and work distractions:

Home Distractions:
These are the ones that serve absolutely no purpose towards your business. I am talking about things like, cleaning the house, washing the dishes, running the kids around, walking the dog and even doing the gardening. Distractions that if you were employed in an office, you would have to do outside of your employers time. Can you imagine sitting at your desk in a corporate company and saying to your boss “I’ll be back in 45 mins, I just have to pop home to mow the back lawn”?.

Yet when we work from home, we somehow fall into the trap that doing this stuff is OK. Believe me, I have done more than most (my wife sadly is NOT the tidiest individual in the world, whilst I am a ‘clean freak”) and there is nothing more demoralising than having dinner in the evening realising that you have a wonderfully tidy house and pristine gardens, but that you have made no money (again) and your business is no better off.

Work Distractions:
These are the clever ones. The distractions that make you ‘feel’ like you are working, but actually accomplish nothing. I hate these even more than home distractions, because in the former, at least I have a tidy house to show for it. Work distractions, particularly if you work online in IM are simply everywhere. From your email to the social media. From YouTube to Skype.

Don’t get me wrong, these tools can be incredibly important when used effectively, but most of us fall into the trap of flitting from one to the other without actually achieving anything. Before we know it, another day has flown by and we are in the same position as we were when we started!

Effective Time Management

This is where effective time management becomes so important! In order to maximise what we are doing in our business, we need to ensure that EVERY action we take on a daily basis makes a difference. If any action is not going to have some form of actionable result, then simply don’t do it.

If you are going to use Facebook in your business, surfing around your friends pages and various groups is not going to achieve that. You need to set clearly defined goals as to exactly what purpose you are using Facebook for. Once that has been achieved, then work on putting that action into place.

It took me several years to get my head around this stuff. I would hate to count the hours I have wasted! It’s so easy to convince yourself that “you will do it later/tomorrow”, because inevitably, it never gets done.

I have found that the best way to enforce effective time management in my home business is to spend 30 mins at the end of each day, setting out my day ahead with actionable steps, defined into time blocks. Then every morning when I come into my home office, I know exactly what I am doing and when. I know what time I have available to have lunch and walk the dogs and the rest is dedicated to growing my business.

A a result, I now achieve 3-400% more, every day than  I used to and have the results show for it.

And on that note, I’m off to put the washing in!

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