One of the biggest advantages working at home is that you can decide your own working hours and you need not stick to a nine-to-five job. However, if you don't manage your time carefully and set rules for yourself, then it's pretty easy to get distracted and stray from your goals. People who do not manage their time find themselves lagging in their commitments to other people and ultimately are not successful. What you need to do is to consider a home business as your job and set aside working hours. You know that being delayed by an hour will not mean a lecture from the boss but avoid breaking the rules that you have set for yourself. Being serious about your work will indicate to others that you mean business and that you are not doing a home business just for fun or to earn a few extra bucks! To manage your time better, follow a few basic guidelines. * Concentrate only on your work during work hours ??“ Time set aside for work is for work alone. Don't entertain any kind of interruption during this period. It could be a self created distraction or one that is created by someone else. Take only business related calls, chat only with your potential or current clients and definitely don't do laundry and other chores side by side. Make sure that your family and friends are aware of your timelines and respect it as well. You may have to be curt and blunt with them a couple of times in case they do not get the message in the first instance. Turn down calls from friends and be firm even if your friend calls on you without prior notice. * Decide the times that you will allow disturbances ??“ It is important that people understand the situation in which you can be disturbed. This should include only emergencies, the nature of which should be spelled out. Decide on a special way of communicating for instances like these, may be through phone or email (if you have a home network with more than one pc). This way, it can be less distracting. If you have children, decide beforehand who will take care of your children while you are working and arrange for all household chores to be completed before you sit down. * Another useful tool that you might want to use is a calendar in which you can put in tasks for the day, deadlines and goals. This simple tool can be used to understand whether you are over committing to a large number of projects that you cannot manage. Design a spreadsheet wherein you capture the number of hours that you have spent on each of the projects and estimate the amount you are making per hour. Be sure to include the time that you spend in talking to your clients on chat, phone or writing emails. This will help you redefine the kind of projects that you take up the next time. Understand that managing your time while working is as important as managing your time with your kids and family when you are off work. Don't think of your pending work or access official mails once you have let yourself out of the hook. Do something special at this time with your family. Put your official phone on the answering machine and do not take client calls after a certain time. You will feel like a professional if you think of yourself as one and behave accordingly. And you will soon realize that those who make money from home business or freelancing efforts are the ones who feel more motivated enough to try and manage their time effectively.