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Is Time Your Friend Or Your Enemy?

Aug 17, 2007
In my experience, if you ask someone the question, "Would you like to be your own boss and work from home in your own home based business?", most people will answer, "Yes!".

The reality is, however, that most people who give it a try, do so without the the kind of preparation they actually need to make a success of such an endeavor. They go right for it, and then discover that they've simply not prepared themselves with the right tools and skills they'll need to be successful.

The major "faux pas" I find people to commit in this regard, is to begin a new business with no thought to time management. They simply go to work with no concrete plan for the structure of their day. Time becomes their enemy, rather than their friend. This can lead to two completely different traps: over-work or under-work.

Under-working is an easy trap in which anyone can get caught. When working on the Internet, there are billions of distractions: viewing hundreds of web pages each day, sifting through thousands of e-mails for those that we want to see. These activities, while necessary, can lead us to places where we suddenly come to the discovery that we've spent two hours doing nothing. It's all well and good to be on our computers all day, but are we doing something that will actually earn us money? Were we placing advertisements? Were we e-mailing prospects? Or were we simply surfing the net, being led by the nose from one useless waste of time to another?

Over-working is very popular as well. Having come to Internet marketing from the world of real estate, I know all about professions that can be done 24 hours a day. In Internet marketing, there is always something more you can do.

You probably know the feeling already. You plan to work eight hours. When the eight hour mark comes up you think, "Well, I'll just do this one more thing. It won't take a moment." Then that one thing presents something else, which leads to another, and soon you're at the 12 hour mark. I know all about this one, having found myself working up to 20 hours during one day when I first began. This is a truly dangerous pitfall. It's a sure path to "burn-out", and that will make you disaffected and totally ineffectual in your business.

You've got to do several things to avoid these dangers:

1) Plan your day.

Before you begin each day, or when you wrap up the day before, write down what you're going to do this day, and how much time you'll spend on it. Don't forget to include time for exercise, family, friends, and leisure activities. You want to build your business to provide you with an enjoyable lifestyle...not put you in the grave.

2) Be specific in your daily goals.

Let's not have any goals like, "Get something done on the advertising thingy...". That doesn't work. "Place two Google ads for the Podsnap account, and write an article on badger training for posting to my blog" is much more like it. This type of goal lets you know just what it is you need to do and also tells you when you're done with it.

3) Delegate or hire out what you can.

If you need a website created, but you know nothing about doing anything like that, find or hire someone to do it for you. Trying to figure it out yourself is going to chew up what might be productive time, turning it into a waste. If you would like to create websites in the future, go ahead and learn. But make it something you do in a timeframe specifically set aside for learning and training. Don't let it take you away from doing the things you need to do yourself on a daily basis.

4) Leave the multi-tasking to those with no focus!

All right, so multi-tasking is all the big rage...everybody's doing it. Just remember: not everybody is successful. Even with all of the advantages and opportunities afforded us by the Internet, 95% of all those who attempt to make it their workplace will fail. This is one of the main reasons why. Do one project at a time. After you complete it, go on to the next. Try, also, to avoid interruptions. If possible, schedule a time when you will return phone calls, instant messages, and e-mails. We all want to be available to our colleagues, prospects, and enrollees, but not at the expense of our own business.

5) Build in some "cushion time".

Stuff happens. Especially when you are working at home. If you plan your day too tightly, you'll find that you're forever falling behind in achieving your daily goals. If you figure that something should take two hours, give yourself two hours and fifteen minutes in your goal planning. That way, when the kids start screaming, or the dog barfs on the carpet, you'll have the "cushion time" to take care of it. If you complete your daily goals before it's time to quit, take a look at what's up for tomorrow. You'll might have time to eliminate something from that list right now.

6) Forgive yourself.

Remember: everybody screws up and no one's perfect. When you don't complete your daily goals by your designated quitting time...quit anyway. Simply move the items not completed to the next day, and adjust tomorrow's schedule accordingly. If you find you're always transferring from one day to the next, you're probably not scheduling objectively and need to re-evaluate.

These six items can literally make or break the success of your new home business. In my Pay-It-Forward-4-Profits and ProWealth Solutions businesses, I speak constantly with enrollees who are suffering from a lack of understanding of these six simple practices. I try to impress upon each of them the necessity of following these principles. Sometimes, in the face of the
excitement and anticipation created by the realization of just what careers in either or both of these companies might mean to them, it's just impossible.

I'll make my plea right here.

Take these items to heart. Follow them, and they'll serve you well as you attempt to balance a productive work life with a healthy personal and family life.
About the Author
Steve Gaghagen is an expert in the field of home based business. He is successful in the field of Internet marketing and trains others to earn a living working at home through his websites:

ProWealth Results
The Online Home Business Learning Center
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