Working from home is very challenging. Motivating yourself and managing your time can be two big downfalls in a work at home environment. To keep yourself from falling into these traps you need to eliminate time wasters to be productive and profitable.

You can probably think of a few obvious time wasters off the top of your head – for example playing Words With Friends while you’re trying to work just isn’t productive. However, other time wasters are less obvious. Knowing what these time wasters are will help you create a more productive working day.

Time Waster #1 – Email

But wait without email how can I communicate with my clients? If I don’t stay on top of my email correspondence then my business will flop. Yes, you need to make sure your customers, prospects and business partners are responded to, but it doesn’t have to be immediately and it doesn’t have to be you that responds all the time.

Automating some of your email correspondence is a great way to avoid wasting time. Using autoresponders for customer service ticket and FAQ pages can all help reduce the amount of customer email you receive. If you are the only one to manage your email, create a routine where you only check your email once or twice each day. Make sure you schedule this during your less productive times of the day.

Time Waster #2 – Disorganization

Are you constantly having to search all areas of your house for that sales receipt? Each minute spent sorting, shuffling and searching is wasted time. To resolve this create a home office so all of your work is in one place.

Before you go getting concerned that you need to build an addition on your home to create a home office DON’T! If you have to use your dining room table, that’s fine. Just purchase a cart or some sort of filing system to file, and organize your business materials. If you are organized with everything in its place when you start work for the day you’ll waste less time getting prepared to work.

Time Waster #3 – Social Networking

Social networking while important to marketing does not need to consume your day. Like email, social networking is something that can be outsourced, automated, and scheduled.

Decide what you would like to achieve with your social networking. Create a plan that supports these goals. Check your resources to make it happen. There are many post scheduling plug-ins and widgets. Hire an experienced and educated social media expert to manage your social networking tasks. If that’s not an option, then schedule it into your day. The last thing you want to do is open Facebook at the beginning of the day and keep it open throughout the day.

There are many time wasters which are unique to each individual. These tend to be the most common across the board for people. Do you know what your time wasters are? If not spend a week tracking what you do each day. Keep a notebook and a pencil next to you and track what you do and how long it takes you to do it. Then you’ll know how you spend your time and what you need to do to make your day run more smoothly. To your success!