How to Manage a Realistic Schedule

March 20, 2015

The one big challenge of having a career is balancing your work life with family and other activities. As an entrepreneur trying to start up your own business, you may have thought that you will work less in a week while having time away from your business every once in a while. But in fact the reverse is the case. The only way to survive this is by creating a schedule that actually works especially when working on a start-up business.

Website designer, specialist in content marketing and LinkedIn influencer, Steve Cartwright, explains how to craft a schedule that allows you to make the most of your business time and family time.

Who are your target audience?

The first step to planning out your schedule would be to identify the category under which your prospective clients fall under. “There is no point being a night watchman if you only want to work days … so know your audience first,” Mr Cartwright explains. It is important to figure out those with whom you will get along with and what services you are capable of providing while providing the best services. Begin with the client, the problem should be solved by rendering your services as opposed to finding the perfect client for your services.

Understand Yourself and Be Honest With Yourself

You will need to understand what best works for you and the time when you are most productive. “Are you an early riser or do you like to stay up late at night?” If you fall under the category of people who hardly keep to a particular schedule, being more time conscious wouldn’t hurt. “[…] you’ll need to develop tasks that are deadline focused instead of time centric. For instance, if you don’t want to have to do a task at 8 am. each morning, don’t offer that service.”

Know Your Family

The tricky part is when you have to look into your family’s schedule, and trying to work around it. Do they understand and take your work seriously? “Even if they don’t take your work seriously right now, you can still create a business around your family’s schedule.” Ensure that you are aware of what is expected from you and what you can expect from them. “When are you going to get a proper job?” type comments will eventually stop, at the beginning it is rather inevitable. This is because in actuality they know you best and sometimes do not have a clear idea of what you are doing and jump into negative conclusions about it.

Hours set aside for clients

“Taking all the things into consideration, it’s important to develop a set schedule of when you will be able to perform your clients’ work.” Regardless of the time you eventually come up with, it is possible to run a business servicing clients as a contractor. All you need do is find a balance between work and the time you can have it done. Do not forget that you will also need time to work on your business. “You will still have email lists to maintain, content to create, sales pages to craft and so forth for your own business.”

Schedule everything in a calendar.

Everyone needs a calendar, you will need a constant reminder to balance all of these activities. “Not only will you need to calendar the work you are doing for yourself and clients, you also need to include in your calendar anything you really want to make time for, including date night with your wife or husband.”

Yes, work is important, but don’t let it consume all of your time. It isn’t supposed to be at retirement age that one should look back and realise what they could have done differently.

Use a Project Management System

Do not hesitate when it comes to spending on tools and software to help your business grow. “Tools like Basecamp.com, FreshBooks.com, and QuickBooks.com as well as others can help you do more in less time. In order to secure a realistic schedule, be honest about time available and the kind of work really like to do. “Don’t forget to spend time each work generating sales and leads, you might have a full order book but it takes work to keep it full.”

It is quite different especially for those working from home as contract quite different in practice when working from home as a contractor. “[…] at least from a family perspective … and as a business owner, never ever neglect your family.”

Source: Ventures Africa

 

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