Working from home most definitely has its advantages. You can stay in your pajamas if you wish, you don’t have to deal with traffic jams and bad weather and you have all your comforts around you. However, if you do not follow some basic time management tips, then you could find that your levels of productivity decrease. Here are some ways to ensure you manage your time properly when working from home.
Work around your family
If you have a family and they leave home at a certain time in the morning, returning in the late afternoon/early evening, then make sure you fit in your work around them. If you decide to have a lie-in, start working around lunch-time and then work through to the evening, you are going to be distracted when everyone starts to come home.
Stick to a timetable
Work out the best hours for you to work. This may be decided by your family, or, if you live alone, you may be able to choose hours to suit you. If you work best in the morning, then make sure you are up by a certain time. If you’re a night owl, then set your working hours to be later. However, try and be consistent – you will get more done if you can’t procrastinate.
Have regular breaks
Part of the timetable should factor in regular breaks. How strict you choose to be about the timing for breaks is up to you – you may decide to forgo a morning break, for example, because you want to go shopping in the afternoon. However, do take breaks to avoid burnout – just don’t become side-tracked by the television or housework.
Have all the information you need to hand
If you work between your home and the office, then you will need to ensure that you have everything you need with you while you are at home. If you need to make phone calls, but don’t have the numbers to hand, for example, you are going to end up wasting time tracking them down. The same goes for files that you may need to do your job.
Have a set place to work
As well as having a timetable, you will need to ensure that you have a set place to work. This could be an office or the dining room table – just make sure that it is the same place and that you have all the information you need to hand. If you need to keep getting up and fetching something from another room, you won’t be able to concentrate properly.
Cut down on distractions
Once you have decided on your working hours, then let everyone know what they are. This should stop friends and family from popping round for a chat or calling when you are supposed to be working. Once you open the door or answer the phone to someone, even if for a couple of minutes, your train of thought will be interrupted and you will lose momentum.
Working at home is not necessarily as easy as you might think, but if you put some time into preparation, you should soon be just as productive, if not more so, than when you work in the office.