Making the Most of Your Time: A Guide for Home-Based Franchisees

28/03/2018 08:00 | Start a business

A guide for home-based franchisees to manage their time

Working from home is a luxury that is enjoyed by many franchisees up and down the country. The ability to work the hours you choose and run your business from the comfort of your own home may be your ideal set up. But the home working dream can quickly turn into a nightmare when a neighbour starts drilling, you get the urge to check your social media accounts, and the lure of daytime TV takes over.

Working from home obviously has enormous advantages, but it's not for everyone. The owners of home-based franchises need to be disciplined and have exceptional time management skills to make it work. If you feel that you possess these skills and have the self-control required to work from home, then there are many franchises to buy which will offer you the flexibility to make the most of your time.

Heres a guide to help you take control of your workday at home so that you can consider the best business opportunities; including home-based franchises.

Establish a routine

The flexibility that working from home offers is probably one of the most appealing aspects of becoming a franchisee. So, recommending that you should establish a routine seems to contradict the very reason why you chose to work from home.

Although being able to work when you want is tempting, you shouldnt underestimate the power of having a routine. Humans are creatures of habit and establishing a standard structure to your day will help you to work productively.

Set your working hours, take breaks regularly, and remember to finish work at the same time that you would if you were office based.

Create a to-do list

Organise and prioritise tasks that need to be completed by the end of the day in a simple to-do list format. Its so easy to get distracted when youre based at home so having a plan of what you need to do and by when will help avoid procrastination and give your day structure.

As well as a creating a list of your top priorities, you should also keep a list of other tasks that are important but can be completed quickly and easily. If youre struggling with one of your main tasks, taking 10 minutes out to do something relatively simple like replying to an email or making a quick call, maybe all the distraction you need to get you back on track.

Keep a log of work completed.

Keeping track of how much time you spend on each piece of work may seem like just another admin task that takes up your precious time. But it can be a handy tool to help you identify when you're at your most productive.

If a piece of work took you two hours to complete during the morning, but a similar task took twice that long mid-afternoon, this tells quite a compelling story. Just by choosing to perform complex tasks at the times of the day that you're the most productive will be beneficial to both you and your business.

Build physical boundaries

The best business opportunities for you may mean that you spend a significant proportion of your day working from home, rather than being out and about meeting clients. This type of business may suit you perfectly but does increase the importance of having a dedicated workspace in your family home.

If its possible, set up your office space separate from your living space. This could be a converted garage or attic room, a spare bedroom, or even a desk in the corner of the dining room. Whatever space you have available you should optimise for the working day. Having your office located in an area that has a physical door that can be shut is extremely helpful.

Not only does this enable you to close off the distractions of home life, including noisy children and spouses, but also creates a physical barrier for you. At the end of the working day being able to shut the door on the laptop and phone is very satisfying and can avoid quick late-night email checks that turn into hours spent at the computer.

Have technology free time

If you cant close the door on your technology at the end of every day, then you should try setting time where no phones, laptops and tablets can be used. There are very few if any, franchises to buy that require you to be contactable 24/7 so embrace your downtime.

Creating rules about having no technology at certain times, such as mealtimes, playtimes and bedtimes, will help you to achieve a work/life balance. The lines between home and work can quickly become blurred with technology making us so accessible at all times. To ensure that they are kept separate be strict with their usage when youre not working.

Take breaks regularly

Even the best business opportunities can become overwhelming if you dedicate too much time to work and not enough on rest and relaxation. Taking regular breaks can help to keep you energised and focused in the short-term, but you also need to prioritise more meaningful breaks.

Take time out of your busy schedule to meet friends for lunch, arrange to have a massage, or book that much-needed family holiday. The best franchises to buy are the ones that fit in with your ambitions and goals. If one of the reasons that you became a franchisee was that you wanted to spend more time with loved ones, then you need to keep sight of this.

Home-based franchises are the perfect solution for many entrepreneurs, but no one can make a success of even the best opportunity if theyre tired, burnt out and stressed. Enjoy all the benefits that come with being a franchisee; including the freedom and flexibility to work when you want but remember to take much-deserved breaks when you want too.

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