How To Rock Time Management When You Work At Home

Time management is a huge concern for every individual today. So many things are crammed onto our to-do list and we still end up not meeting our goals.

It seemed so easy when I started working from home. I was thrilled that I could set my own time and do not have to follow anyone else’s schedule. I am my own boss after all. Soon after, I succumbed to temptations and binge-watched shows after shows (What up, Game Of Thrones?).

By the time I pulled myself together, the deadlines were creeping up on me.

Real Ways To Improve Productivity While Working From Home

There is no exact formula for managing time that works for one and all. Here are few tricks that have been applied by some amazing work at home moms and other entrepreneurs who run a home business along with a full-time job. They help you to both save time and increase productivity.

1. Journal Your Time

This tip is on top of my list because it has been the most helpful in bringing my schedule under control.

Most of you may already have a to-do list and it is worth your time to assess it again. Tracking your activities helps you eliminate stuff that adds no value to your goal and also tells you when you are more productive during the day.

I use a simple excel with formulas to track my time. There are few apps that you can use for the same.

Today, I am able to review my activities against my goals and plan better.

2. Prioritize Your To-Do List

I made the mistake of cramming too much stuff on my weekly and monthly to-do list. Then I sat about assigning time for each activity to be completed. I quickly realized I would have to spend at least 15 hrs a day for the full month to meet even 90% of the target.

Here is an instance of my over-ambitious to-do list for one month. Everything on the list is important. But I would have done better focussing on the more important tasks first rather than trying to do everything and finally completing nothing.

The best way to prioritize your activities is by writing them all down first. Then you can divide them into larger categories and further break them down by numbering them. Color coding your prioritized activities works wonders too. That way, they simply scream for your attention.

3. Set Time For Every Activity

Few tasks that we do on a daily basis like checking up on emails or following up on calls are so built into our routine that we hardly set any time aside for these. But believe me, together they do add up to a significant amount of time in a month.

When you plan your day, it is highly recommended that you set time for each activity including these small tasks which you believe takes up very less time. Batch these types of similar activities together and focus on them, one by one.

Identify the time you are most productive. Focus on the toughest/biggest task at that time. This reduces a lot of stress and builds motivation to tackle your list effectively.

4. Give Yourself Plenty Of Buffers

Once I started tracking my time, I realized I had this weird tendency to walk around my house after I complete each activity. I was mentally preparing myself for the next task.

This is where tracking your time helps to understand how much time can you remain focused at one stretch. Learn at what point your concentration wavers. Plan your activities within that time period so that you have that extra buffer time to prepare yourself for the next productive session.

I highly recommend taking short breaks after each activity, to stretch your legs and move around a bit. But be aware of the time as it is very easy to over do the buffer break if you are not careful.

Be kind to yourself and don’t burn yourself out.

5. Wire Your Brain To Be Productive

It always helps to “get in the flow”. You may have noticed that it is easier to complete a goal than to start it. Once you get started, you have a higher level of motivation to see it through. But the starting point is still the toughest.

How can you overcome this time-consuming barrier?

By building a simple and consistent ritual.

It can be as simple as starting your day with a walk around the block or having a cup of coffee to seeing your kids off to school before settling down in your chair.

Being consistent is key here. Build a simple ritual early in the day and between breaks so that your brain recognizes that repetitive habit as a pre-work strategy to crush your productivity goals.

Developing habits maximizes productivity.

6. Limit Distractions For Better Time Management

This is a no-brainer. If you watch TV out of the corner of your eye or check your Facebook messages every 5 minutes, then you may as well forget about managing time.

Distractions come in all sizes when you are building a work at home career. The best way to deal with them is not to eliminate them completely. Those, blessed with an iron-will may certainly be able to remove them completely.

For others, like me, these distractions will hold lesser temptation if you add them to your schedule in limited amounts. For example, 30-45 min of TV time or a set amount of time to check back on your friends.

These are a couple of things you can try out to optimize your time when you work at home. Once you have crushed your new routine, I recommend making few schedule changes now and then so that you do not fall into a rut and finally fall off the wagon.

Tools That Help With Time Management

Technology can be a distraction but also a blessing as there are numerous productivity apps that help us in managing tasks with minimal effort on our part.

Evernote – Note down your ideas and organize your work. Manage your lists with ease on multiple devices

Wunderlist – A popular tool to organize both your personal and professional events

30 Boxes – This is a very popular calendar tool that lets you add activities with ease

Google Calendar – Another popular tool used by millions to schedule and execute their tasks

Google Keep – Add notes, lists, photos, and audio

Rescue Time – Brings attention to the time spent on activities by tracking time spent on apps and websites

 

Managing Time When You Work From Home

Creating a strict schedule will not make sense as several unaccounted activities may come up at the last second. Hence, it is more important to create a flexible schedule that allows minor tweaks according to your convenience.

I am sure a couple of these tips may help you improve your time management and bring about that cool work-life balance we all aim to achieve.

Are there other time management tricks that work for you? Let’s discuss it in the comments.

2 Responses to “How To Rock Time Management When You Work At Home

  • Amazing ! this post as always and the format for time management while working at home and am also applied this format in their life. Thanks for sharing !

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