Work From Home? How to Manage Your TIme

The internet has created a fantastic new world of work-from-home positions. You don’t have to wake up extra early to put on a suit and sit in traffic. Now, you can grab a cup of coffee from your kitchen and commute all the way to your home office desk. It’s very convenient, but it can also come with lots of struggles. Organization is key to managing your time. Here’s how to manage your time if you work from home:

  1. Have Different Lists: Have brainstorming sessions, and let those creative juices flow. Write down all of the things that you want to accomplish or ideas that can help you complete your job. Then organize those ideas. Some of them might be long term goals. For example, you’re an artist and you want to host your own show at a gallery. To reach that long term goal, you’ll need to have weekly goals. Give yourself the standard of completing three paintings per week, and contacting one gallery per week. Then, to complete your weekly goals, you need to have a daily checklist. Breaking up the work into segments throughout the day will help you stay on task and get you to your goals without stress.
  2. Pomodoro Technique: This is going to be your new best friend. You’ll become the most productive version of yourself with the Pomodoro technique. Essentially, you block out 25 minutes of time to complete a task (or longer). You set everything else aside and put 100% of yourself into that task for those 25 minutes. If your phone rings, you’re in focus mode. That means no social media and no TV. Set a timer. Once the alarm goes off, then you can respond to the text and watch all of the cat videos your heart desires for five minutes. Then, right back to it for another 25 minutes.
  3. Remove Distractions: You can’t think clearly in a space that isn’t made for working. Have a designated area that is your workspace. Put everything that you need to complete your job in that location. On the flip side, have designated spaces that are for play/relaxing. Separating these two will help you stay focused while you are at work, and help you completely relax when you are off the clock.
  4. Don’t Multitask Chores: You’re sitting at home, and your laundry is begging to get done. It seems so simple, but in reality it can suck time that you should use to work. Once you’re all done with the work from the day, then you can tackle all of the home chores. Don’t let the little lie creep in that you need to multitask just because you are at home.
  5. Learn Your Limits: This relates to everyone. When you work from home, there is a stronger stigma that you don’t work as hard, or that you have ample free time. Be firm about your daily schedule, and learn how to say “no” to things. This can come in many forms. It might be someone asking for a report that needs to be done by tomorrow. But, even more tempting, it can be a group of ladies who are going out for brunch and they’ve invited you to the party. If you’re your own boss, you have to have a great deal of discipline to say no to some of the extracurricular activities that you want to do.

Being your own boss requires you to have excellent time management skills. Give yourself regular work hours in the day so you know when you’re working, and when you’re off. When you aren’t working let yourself completely relax and put down your work. Give yourself the weekend to relax. You need downtime just like people who work regular 9-5 jobs. That way, when you come back to work, you’re ready to go and can stay focused.

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