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!