Many people think working from home is the dream. In fact, a recent study found that nearly 90% of people would love to work from home, and it isn’t hard to see why. No commute, no colleagues interrupting you while you work and no boss hovering over you.
However working from home isn’t as easy as it seems. It can be difficult to motivate yourself to start working, especially if you live with children or noisy housemates. This can be very stressful, but it is possible to be productive – you just need to know how to motivate yourself.
Here’s how to manage time when you work from home.
1. Get Up At The Same Time Every Day
If you work from home, it can be tempting to hit the snooze button for as long as possible, but this should be avoided. Various studies have found that people are more productive if they get up at the same time every day, and this is for a wide range of reasons; it helps to regulate your body clock, so you will feel less groggy when you wake up, and it also helps you to establish a routine you can commit to. So try to fight the urge to snooze, even if it is difficult!
2. Create A Realistic Work Schedule
It is also important to create a realistic work schedule that suits you. If you are an early riser, you may want to work from 7am to 3pm, but if you are more productive in the evenings you may want a later schedule. Either way, make sure the schedule is planned around your energy levels, as this means you will accomplish more in a shorter period of time.
3. Use A Time Tracker
If you want to ensure your schedule is actually realistic, use a time tracker to measure yourself. Doing this will teach you more about how long it takes to complete specific tasks, so you won’t schedule too much work for one day.
If you use a time tracker and you realise that you are spending way too much time on small tasks, consider hiring an online virtual assistant to help you. The online virtual assistant will be able to complete the smaller jobs for you, so you can focus on bigger projects.
4. Avoid Pointless Meetings
It can also be useful to cut out pointless meetings that seem productive (but actually just end up wasting your time). For instance, if you have an online virtual assistant it may be quicker to email them with your requests, and then you only need to set up a meeting if the assistant has questions.
So before planning a meeting, ask yourself these questions; could this be dealt with by email? What is the advantage of doing this face to face? Do I need to pay the other person for their time during the meeting? These questions will make it easier or you to determine if the meeting is essential or not.
5. Leave Gaps In Your Day
Finally you can leave gaps in your day to help manage time. Most people who work from home are busy with tasks all day – but other tasks may also be assigned during the day, which means that they have to work late to complete everything. So schedule 30 minutes of free time into every working day, and then use that time to deal with any unexpected tasks that appear.