Time Management is Key When Working From Home

April 26th, 2013

Time_MP900385402 (2)Working from home is considered by many to be the best of two worlds. After all, you can set your own hours, as well as your own dress code, and there is no commute. Sweats and a t-shirt is often the attire of choice. Shoes are optional.

The danger of this relaxed lifestyle is that as a work-from-home professional, your performance is expected to be at the same or higher level as your brick and mortar competition.

To maintain a certain level professionalism I’ve established guidelines that have help me manage my time.

  1.  Establish a specific starting and stopping time. My website lists my hours. This is as much for my benefit as it is for my client’s benefit. It establishes a guideline. As with many entrepreneurs, I am a workaholic. This is especially true if, like me, you’re fortunate enough to make a living doing what you love. Time has a way of getting away from me. Setting hours – and then adhering to those hours – reduces the possibility of burnout.
  2. Alert friends and family of your schedule. The downside of working from home is that you’re always home. Friends and family may want to take advantage of this convenience by dropping by unannounced or asking you to do errands for them during the day because they’re working and you’re home. Setting a firm schedule and adhering to it should send a message to friends and family that you’re serious about your business.
  3. Schedule your daily tasks in advance. Scheduling tasks in advance allows you to structure your day and it will allow you to stay focused. Scheduling in advance also ensures that your priorities are in order. A good process is to prepare the schedule for the next day at the end of each day.
  4. Schedule breaks during your day. It’s important to schedule breaks during the day. Schedule a lunch break just as you would if you were working in a traditional office. Breaks during the day relieve stress which should translate into improved productivity.
  5. Manage your activities. It’s easy to have the mindset that you can prepare meals, do the laundry, and a host of other activities during the day and take care of your clients in between. At the same time, it’s important to give your client what they’re paying for – your undivided time. The better alternative would be to schedule a specific time – for example from 1:00 to 3:00 to handle personal activities. This will give you time to focus on work and home responsibilities without neglecting either.

 Could you use some assistance managing your time? Lorraine Castle is a virtual assistant who works with authors, coaches, trainers, attorneys, and speakers to get speaking engagements, write their books, publish their books, and market their books. Contact Lorraine to find out what she can do to help you develop your gift.

Written by Lorraine Castle ©2013 www.castlevirtualsolutions.com