Work at Home Tips for Squeezing the Most Time Out of Your Day

Work at home tipsWhen your home is also your office, it’s incredibly difficult to draw a line between work hours, family time and the laundry that needs to be done. My kids are always strolling in to ask for help with homework or what’s for dinner. My husband will pop in to remind me to call the plumber about the broken instahot. If I had a dog, he’d probably be whining to go for a walk.

However, after over 20 years of working from home I’ve learned a thing or two about time management. Here are a few work at home tips I’ve learned that will help you to be as efficient as possible and squeeze out every ounce you can from your day.

Create a Work/Family Schedule

The first and most important key to efficiency is planning out your day. Schedule everything, down to the minute if possible. At the beginning of the week,put together your to-do list for the week and for each day. At the end of each day, reassess and see what you need to change for the next day. It only takes a few minutes.

I then allot a specific amount of time for each task, whether it’s writing an article, networking with colleagues, posting on social media, doing a workout, or even showering and doing my makeup. I could care less what I’m wearing, but there’s no way I wouldn’t put makeup on!

Be Flexible

While schedules will help you be efficient, they also need to be flexible. Life happens, especially when you have children, and one of the biggest benefits of working from home is to be able to handle any crises, rearrange your schedule as needed, and still get everything done.

If I don’t set a time limit it’s easy to let the work expand or to get distracted. But if I suddenly get a call to pick up a sick child from school or some other emergency, I just rearrange everything. Unfortunately, that may mean putting off a task or doing it at night, but that’s just the reality of working from home.

Move Around

Another work-at-home trick I’ve learned is to vary where I work. Sometimes I can focus for hours at my computer in my office. Other times, I start getting distracted and just a change of venue helps to get back on track. That could involve moving into the living room with my netbook or just going to Starbucks (where half the work-at-home world seems to have their second office).

One of the biggest challenges? Making myself stop working. There’s no end to the things you need to do when you have your own business, but you have to make room for downtime and time with family and friends. Another thing to add to the schedule!

Comments

  1. WOW! Such simple techniques, yet so easy to forget and not implement! I want to start implementing the allotting time to my tasks. I learned from Bob Proctor to have a list of the TOP 6 things that must get done each day, and complete those before you go to bed at night, but I don’t usually allot time to all that I need to get done. Thanks for the reminder!

    I love this blog – it looks so professional – where do you get all of the pictures? I need to start using pictures on the blog attached to my website.

    I found you on AdrienneSmith.net, just so you know.

    • Funny, some people say top 6, others say top 3. I always tend to list out more than I can reasonably do in a day. It’s so easy to get sidetracked or underestimate how much time you have.

      I’m so pleased you found me on Adrienne Smith’s blog. That means my guest blogging is paying off!

      As for pictures, I usually get mine either from SXC.hu, which are free, or from Dreamstime.com, which are paid. It can take me longer to find a good image than to write a post, so I decided that it’s better sometimes to just pay for one. Then I don’t have to worry about copyrights either. On dreamstime, I use the advanced search and look for ones at the lower level so they are the cheapest. I then buy the smallest size, since they’re just for thumbnails. It’s pretty cheap.

      Hope to see you around more!

      – Sharyn

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