If you are among the growing number of people enjoying the benefits of working from home, you are also likely to be struggling with time management. Working from home allows you the freedom to set your own schedule, but comes with the heavy responsibility of managing your time efficiently to remain an effective, productive employee.
Below, you will discover a few simple strategies to manage your time more effectively so that you can reap all the benefits of a work at home arrangement without sacrificing your professionalism.
To effectively utilize your time, start by creating a simple list, including ALL your tasks big and small. Categorize the tasks as HOME or WORK related tasks. You may find that using two different fonts or two different colored pens is a convenient way of accomplishing this. You can use a PC-based organizer program for this or a journal-type planner designed for the job. Set a clear due date for each task. This will help in prioritizing your work. Break down larger tasks into small, manageable goals.
Use your organizer to schedule all the tasks in your list. Remember to leave time for unexpected delays. Set a schedule where you finish your tasks prior to their due date, rather than extending them to their deadlines. Schedule similar tasks together to ease transitions, and take advantage of larger time chunks.
Combine errands with similar locations to save driving and parking time. For example, arrange to return your library books after your work-related trip to the post office, if the two buildings are close to each other.
Don’t feel guilty about SCEDULING PERSONAL TIME. If it’s on the schedule you are more likely to do it. YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY NEED TO KNOW THEY ARE IMPORTANT. Setting aside special time for them and following through on it is a sign of respect.
Schedule tasks that require concentration at your personal best time of day. If you are an early riser, schedule your most demanding work for early morning when you are freshest. If you are a night owl, set aside time later on to tackle the big jobs.
Schedule errands to avoid peak congestion times on the roads and avoid crowded hours at businesses and stores. For example, you might choose to do your grocery shopping at 8:00am and complete your paying work during the more conventional shopping hours.
Schedule a weekly performance review for yourself. Look at the past week’s tasks and consider how you could have accomplished them more efficiently. Look forward at the coming week and decide how best to tackle the upcoming challenges. Learn from your mistakes and put experience into practice when scheduling forward. Above all, make sure you reward yourself for a job well done.
Putting these suggestions to work for you will enable you to become more efficient and effective when managing your time while working at home.