Three Ways I save Time "At Work" with schedules

I've been working from home a little over a three years now and I love it. My business is really growing and in some ways this blog is turning into a business too. It's all very exciting. 

But I have a toddler and a preschooler so my life doesn't revolve around my home-based business, it revolves around my home. So that means streamlining and automating how I work. 

So I wanted to share with you five ways I save time at work using schedules. 

1. Schedule time to check my email. If I let myself I would be checking email every five minutes. I had to curb that because my time is precious and pretty valuable. It's a blessing to work from home, but I am a MOM FIRST and I don't want to take time away from my sons because I was obsessively checking my email. 

I check my mail in the morning when I first wake up. That way if there is something pressing a client needs I can tend to it before my boys wake up for the day. 

I will check it again right at 8 a.m. and after that I usually turn off my computer because it is the boy's breakfast time. 

Then I check it again  around lunch. Since I work through nap I will turn my email alert on my computer to notify me between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Then I check it again right before dinner so I know if more things need to be taken care of after the boys go to bed. 

I made a rule: I DO NOT CHECK MY EMAIL AFTER 8:30. I just don't. 

2. Schedule Social Media Posts. It felt like I was spending all my time on Facebook and Twitter. This was because social media management is a large part of what I do for my clients. If I let myself I could totally get sucked in for an hour or two. 

So I use a few tools to schedule social media updates. 

See that button right there? That allows you to schedule posts on Facebook. 

You can set a date and time for back posts or future posts. Cool right?

To schedule multiple posts at a time for Twitter and Facebook I use Hootsuite. Its free version is pretty good so I have yet to upgrade to the paid account. 

3. I have a lot of To Do lists. 

Yes, I need all of these things to keep me track. That's three different lists. A home to do list, a work to do list and a long term to do list. 

There are certain things that take priority over others. If the boys are sick, that's obviously number one above all. If my husband needs me to do something that takes precedence over work. 

I have been very blessed that my clients understand this. 

It isn't a perfect system. But since it is important for me to be home with my boys five days a week and have them home with me and not in daycare (not that I have anything against daycare) this is the system that I use and love. 

What about you? What tools do you use to manage your work time?