Time management skills are essential to get through the day, regardless of your job or the type of work you do. When you work at home, balancing life and work can be extremely difficult. Often, work and life overlap making it seem impossible to devote a large stretch of time to either. Add a few kids in the mix, the regular duties of running a household, and the everyday stress that just pops up now and then, and you will find out how important it is to manage your work schedule.
Here are a few tips to find ways to manage your time when working from home:
Create a List of Daily Goals
Actually, you should create two lists of daily goals: one for personal, one for work. On the personal list, write down any personal errands, phone calls, and other tasks that need to be done. On the work list, write down the tasks that have to be done, in order of priority. This is a very useful tip if you are a freelancer and have multiple clients
Set Routine Work Hours
Discipline is very important when trying to get work done. Figure out the time of day you are most productive and set a regular block of time that you will dedicate specifically for work. No matter what type of work you do, try to do it at the same time every day. Setting a work hour routine will be like telling the world “I am working, do not distract me”. Avoid any non-work temptations. Your work hours are for you to get the job done.
Identify and Define Your Boundaries
Let your friends and family members know your routine work hours. I have been in the position where I have had to say “no” to lunch with friends because I had to get some work done. Working at home does not mean you are always available.
Separate Work And Play Areas
Have an area designated only for work. This could be a small table in your bedroom, or an entire room set up as an office. No matter the space, it is YOUR work space. The rest of the house is for play. Having a designated work space will lend to greater productivity and fewer distractions.
Dress The Part
Sure, we all like the thought of working in our pajamas. But in reality, it is more satisfying to actually shower and dress before starting your work day.
Whenever possible, outsource your small jobs. This is a great time saver. Fiverr.com is a great place to get people to do simple tasks, for $5.00 per project. If you have bigger tasks, consider utilizing Elance.com. Worth noting: when outsourcing, be sure to do your due-diligence and hire the right people.
Use Free Tools
There are so many tools available to speed the day-to-day paper trail related to working from home. Most of which are available online. Take a look through our list of Free Tools.
Know what you are capable of when it comes to your skills, as well as your time. Do not over-extend yourself by making promises you cannot keep, either on a personal level or work level.
It’s not always easy. It’s not always fun. But give yourself the opportunity to accomplish more work . Do you have any tips to share ? If so, drop us a comment.