If you are really serious about starting a home business and expect it to be successful, then you really need to get serious about it. You have to treat it just like a job – schedule your time to work on it just like you would have hours where you are expected to show up and perform for a job.
If it was a job, would you have the attitude that you will do it if you get a chance, and if you can squeeze it in to your social calendar? Not likely because you wouldn't have the job very long if that was the way you handled it. It is the same concept with your own business – you need to take it seriously. It has to be a priority.
You really need to make your home business work schedule part of your business plan. Determine how many hours you have per day or per week to work on your business. While you may have a day job, a family and pets, etc. that demand your attention and are definitely the priority, if you want to add a home business to your life then you need to make some structured time for it. Whether it is 2 hours or 10 hours you need to use the time wisely and be consistent.
One thing that is a huge energy rip-off is email. You should learn how to only open emails that are relevant to your business during your home business time. Even at that if there is nothing pressing you should just glance over it and file it. Don't waste your time trying to read every ad that comes into your inbox. It is hard to ignore total chaos so just archive everything – if it is from companies you are working with then make a folder for those and file things away.
Some time in the future when you have spare time you can go through them – but again you need to learn how to just glance over them so you don't waste your time – if there is something critical it will be in the subject or first paragraph. Understand that it is an avalanche and you will never catch up or keep up with it so you just need to get it out of the way.
You need to have a definite plan on how you will spend your time. For example, with the email out of the way (and say you gave that 15 minutes), if you have anything that you need to do related to that, like pay a bill or sign up for something before the deadline, then get that done (say 15 minutes for this). Knowing that one of the most important (free and effective) ways to promote your online business is to use your blog, maybe give yourself (30 minutes) to compose a few paragraphs, or more if you have something more to say. Original content is always best, but if you don't have anything unique, then maybe post an article by someone else, and of course including their links, etc. to give them full credit when you copy and paste it to your blog.
Some other tasks that are typical to an online marketing business would be to manage your list in your autoresponder, (15 minutes); do some advertising with whatever strategies you are using – for instance solo ads, traffic exchanges, list builders (30 minutes); Check your affiliate programs for commissions by logging in to each one and looking for your reports (15 minutes); Check in to your social networks, etc., to see if you have any messages (business-related) to respond to; add here whatever else for your business that you may need to devote some time to.
Just remember not to get ‘lost' on any site that you are on. It has been determined by people who track statistics, etc., that people are wasting time, for example when they need an answer from a search engine and they typically would need to click 1 or 2 links to get their information. However one link always seems to lead to another and you have just wasted an hour by going to 6 or 7 different sites. Maybe you even forgot what you were doing. While this is fun and interesting, you have just taken up time you could have used to promote your own business.