When you work from home, having a set schedule can save you from insanity. It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the things that you need to do for the day and let that overwhelm you.
When you work for a company, you often have a schedule, and the things you have to get done are delegated to you without much need to worry about that side of things yourself. But at home, you control the hours you work, and you are the boss over your own productivity and efficiency during that time.
Here are some tips we’ve found helpful for creating an efficient work-from-home schedule.
Identify your daily needs.
What’s required of you on a day-to-day basis? Identify the things you need to get done everyday and organize those into a schedule. These should be the things that are not likely to change that you see yourself doing daily for quite some time.
You can leave variable tasks out, such as things you do once or twice a week. This way, you have a clear understanding of your job and what you need to be doing. Now you can create a schedule that caters to those needs.
Some things are more important than others. The most important things should be the things you get done first. This way, you aren’t going through your day worrying about what’s to come or how you’re going to get things done in time. Instead, you’ll have already completed your most important tasks and will feel confident and ready to take on more.
Include showering and getting dressed.
You’re most productive when you feel focused and in the mood to work. What better way to encourage this than to make sure you start off your day with a shower and some confidence-building clothes on? Also, don’t forget to make your bed each morning. Studies have shown that just completing even just this one task helps us feel more organized throughout the day.
Make sure your schedule includes some of the things outside of work that are going to contribute to a better work environment and help you be more productive.
Set working hours.
Make sure you have certain hours of the day designated to your work schedule. If you try to work an hour on, an hour off, and then back on, you’ll find yourself struggling to stay focused. Instead, set working hours and make sure you stick to them on a day-to-day basis.
Just as with a regular job, you wouldn’t be able to take time off from work at a moment’s notice, and you shouldn’t expect to do this when you work from home either.
Don’t allow friends to “stop by.”
Part of the problem when friends want to stop by for lunch or just to hangout or even call you on the phone is that they are there mostly because they are bored. They didn’t have much else going on, that’s why they are stopping by.
If you allow your friends to come by while you’re working, it will start to become a regular occurrence and a major distraction from your work. Create some clear boundaries and let it be known you’re unavailable during certain hours of each day.
Include exercise and nutrition.
Two of the most important things to us as individuals are exercise and nutrition. Try to include these in your schedule so that it’s a regular occurrence for you. Exercising and eating right will help you stay focused and get more done while you’re working. Plus, be sure to keep drinking water throughout the day. It’s too easy to become dehydrated otherwise.
Working from home will become a transitional phase of toning your body and staying in optimal shape. Try not to eat at your desk and instead, have set times where you cook and cater to your nutritional needs.
Take notes, don’t memorize.
Don’t expect yourself to remember something. Instead, take notes. It’s not easy to have a million thoughts buzzing through your head and be able to hold onto specific ideas and remember them later. Notes serve as helpful reminders and will keep you on pace and focused.
Find what works best for you. Some people prefer software such as Trello or Asana to help manage their projects and to-do lists, while others prefer simple pen and paper in a notebook.
Sticking to a schedule when you work from home can be challenging, but the benefits of being your own boss are just too great to pass up! If you’re interested in starting a work-from-home career, consider transcription. You can learn all about this exciting field in our ebook!