When you work at home, it can sometimes be difficult to balance the time you must spend on your work and the time you must spend on your family life. If you spend all of your time focusing on your business, it goes without saying that your activities of daily living will suffer. On the other hand, if you're not disciplined about the time you devote to your business it will surely not succeed. What can you do to balance your time wisely between your business and your home when you are working at home? Read on to find out.


If you want to run your home business successfully, you must devise a time management plan. If you don't create a specific and firm plan for managing your time, you'll spend a great deal of time running around putting out fires and very little time actually accomplishing anything.


When creating a time management plan, there four basic practices you can call upon to help you manage your time wisely:


1. Color coding - You can use color coding throughout your home and business to help you stay on top of what's going on. When you color code your calendars in a consistent and organized manner, you'll be able to see at a glance what you have on your business calendar, your kitchen calendar and the one you keep on your computer. This will help prevent you from overbooking and wasting time scurrying around attempting to be two places at one time. The key to color coding is to use a three color system that helps you prioritize your tasks from top-priority to medium-priority to low priority. By using this system, you'll be able to envision your day and see what tasks, plans and appointments might easily be moved or combined to make the best use of your time.


2. Goal setting - If you don't know where you're going, you will almost surely end up someplace else! Establish your goals for both your home and your business life. You should determine where you want to be in each within a year, five years and even ten years. Once you have these big-picture goals in mind, you must set about creating objectives or steps to get you there. Goals and objectives can carry you efficiently from where you are now to where you want to be. Remember that your goals and objectives can change as your accomplishments change. They are guidelines, not rules.


3. Relaxation scheduling - Be sure to schedule downtime. Remember that you will need time to yourself and time to spend with your friends and family. If you neglect to schedule this into your everyday activities, you'll soon find your life hardly worth living. If you let this happen, your home business success will certainly suffer.


4. Expect the unexpected - Be flexible. Leave a little wiggle room between appointments in case you need to add something or change something. If you are too rigid with your scheduling and your plans, you will make yourself and everyone around you miserable. Being miserable is not a good way to be successful.


When you manage your time wisely, you can expect success in your home life and your home business. Remember to be kind to yourself and to schedule your tasks in a practical and sensible manner. Don't overdo, but do keep a handle on everything you must take care of in a day. By managing your time wisely, you create a sound foundation for a successful home business.