The hardest thing to do for any of is to manage time efficiently. When you work from home, this task gets even more daunting.
When you work for yourself, no one tells you what to do, you often don’t have set hours of work and you need to motivate yourself without external stimulation. It can be hard. When there are small kids at home and a household to run, time won’t flow as smoothly as it might have if you were miles away in a quiet office building. Certain allowances need to be made to achieve the balance you need and business success you seek. This might mean shortening the blocks of time in which you work and lengthening the time spent on other tasks. If it results in more getting done, then it’s all good.
Remember that all households are different. What works best for your family might be disastrous for another. With that in mind, these tips are valuable but also general to fit into any dynamic.
Here are some quick tips to help you manage your work schedule when home is also the workplace.
- Start with a plan – Spend 15-30 minutes of each work day planning for the next one. If you plan to work six hours a day at your business, you must prioritize. Decide on the most important tasks that need to be completed and concentrate on those. Understand that there will be interruptions (if there are small kids) so work around them accordingly. When there is a goal in mind, you are better able to track progress.
- Schedule time wasters – What are we talking about here? Some activities can start out well, but turn into sinkholes – checking emails, updating social media pages and handling administrative tasks. Plan to spend an hour on them and then do not come back to them until the next day – otherwise you may spend whole day doing not so important work, while you have other goals to achieve.
- Keep set hours – This doesn’t mean that business is open from 9 to 5. If the goal is six hours of work a day, once that is reached, knock off until tomorrow. This isn’t straight time all the time. It might be 20 minutes or an hour early in the morning while everyone is asleep or the odd hour or so around bedtime when the kids are down for the night.
- Use alarm clocks and reminders – Setting up an alarm or reminder can help you to organise work. It’s so easy to lose yourself in work and forget about important meeting or another task.
- Behave like in working place – You are at home, so it’s very easy to make too long break or start to play with kids etc. Sometimes it’s good to keep your door closed and to not make yourself available in working hours. Plan your breaks, so they do not exceed half an hour. Do not start watching TV, browsing facebook, unless you are very disciplined to stop after few minutes and come back to work. You can plan to do that for 10 minutes and then – go back to work.