Time Management And Working At Home
Working at home can throw up some interesting time management Issues.
There you are, sitting at your desk or on your sofa, trying to finish a project before the deadline, while wondering why time has such a rude tendency to disappear so quickly.
You don’t seem to have stopped for a minute and yet, you are still running out of time. If this sounds like a familiar scenario, you might have a time management and productivity issue. Indeed, despite hacking all day through your workload, you can’t quite manage to get It all done.
As an adult, we assume that we already know how to handle our time effectively. However time management will become a problem when you are not totally in charge of how you choose to divide your time. Sometimes it’s your boss or colleagues in a 9 to 5 job or it could be family and friends, if you work from home full or part time.
Even when you are in charge, the problem of time management can still morph into a lack of productivity. We all have the same 24 hours in a day so lack of time is not really an excuse or a reason. It is the amount of things you have to do in that time or a lack of planning that is the real time management issue.
What is stopping you from achieving more during your day? Here are some ideas to get you started.
If you fail to plan you plan to fail. Planning out your day is vital to time management when working from home. It is a simple process which many people fail to do. Every morning before you start or preferably the evening before, take some time to plan your time. It all starts with your to do list.
Give everything on your to do list an estimate of how long it will take. Then plan out your working day and fill in the tasks into your time slots. Don’t forget to fit in lunch and any other breaks you know you are going to take. If you have more tasks than time then it’s time to start prioritising.
We all have tasks that are urgent, should be done, you would like to do and ones that will make no difference to your bottom line. I don’t need to tell you which way you should prioritise them. Always remember that delegation is always an option. Maybe you need a virtual assistant. This doesn’t need to be expensive. Try out a Fiverr where you can find people willing to do all sorts of tasks you just do not have time to do yourself.
Too Many Interruptions
I just need to check my emails before I can finish this project.
I just have a quick question, I need to research before I carry on.
I just need to call my friend, brother, mother sister…..
These are some of the typical sentences and mindsets that will affect your productivity dramatically.
Actually, all interruptions can cost you valuable time, especially as once you have given in to them, getting back Into the right mindset to work takes even more time. Checking your emails, a common disruption, can quickly take over your whole day as they may give you more unnecessary jobs to do. Plan to check them once in the morning and once at the end of your working day.
Do not answer your phone, unless you have lots of customer enquiries. If it’s an important call they will leave a message. Teenagers and parents are the worst culprits for this. Make sure your family and friends know what your working hours are and that you are only to be interrupted unless it’s an emergency. Not being able to find their favourite top is not an emergency!
Unfortunately, most homeworkers will admit that emails and unnecessary interruptions can make them feel busy while utilising time that would have been better kept for urgent projects.
Lack Of Quality Resources
If you work from home, it is probably fair to say that, like most freelancers and home-based workers, you probably rely on a laptop.
Now, what happens when your laptop suddenly and without warning dies on you? Do you have a backup plan? Every day, hundreds of thousands of self-employed people struggle to run their business with poor equipment and low supplies. When you can’t trust your laptop, your printer or maybe even your ink cartridge to perform as they should, your overall productive abilities are diminished. You need to make the most of the technology available to protect your work, starting with creating a backup of all projects.
It always helps to have different things that you can work on while that laptop is at the menders. I have an IPad and a Smartphone I can use if needs must. Actually I prefer the IPad to the laptop but I have everything backed up on the I Cloud so I can continue to work in most circumstances.
Multitasking Without Tasking At All
Are you trying to do everything at the same time, while still drinking a cup of hot coffee?
Modern society encourages a constant stream of activities and interactions, so it is easy to understand why most people consider multitasking a normal behaviour. In reality, it makes you less productive. The more you take on your plate at the same time, the least you will achieve. Apparently, only 2% of the population can multitask effectively, so it may not be the right thing for you.
Try to stick to one task and work through it until it is finished. I try to block my jobs now because concentrating on one thing keeps me more focused and productive. When writing posts I used to start one and then go back to it later. I’d often forgotten my train of thought and so had to waste time retracing what I had written…sometimes the post would be binned because I couldn’t remember my point! Now I will often write 3 or 4 posts in one go.
It can be difficult to be motivated for a new day if you can’t exchange ideas with another human being as you work. Indeed, home-based businesses can create the appropriate terrain for loneliness and depression. It is not the kind of feeling you can work through easily. It makes you sluggish and slow to think. It affects your creativity and your attention to details. Instead of suffering in silence, you can join your local co-working space – Grosvenor St Pauls is a good place to start – and grow your network of contacts.
Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you have to spend the entire time alone.
In short, being productive and having great time management abilities, has nothing to do with tapping into your inner energy or mental abilities. It is about creating an environment that facilitates your work, from the tech you use to the frequency at which you check your emails and manage your family and friends.
I hope you have found this post useful. If you have I would really appreciate a share on your favourite social media platform.
As ever if you have any questions or just want to share your thoughts please leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
With Grace and Gratitude
Please be aware that this post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one and then make a purchase, I will earn a commission but it won’t cost you any more.