Work at Home. Time management is a skill but it requires practice like any skill. And it’s never going to be mastered for most of us, particularly when you’re working at home in the chaos of family life. Upon actually getting one big time waster in order, something else eventually comes up.
But don’t be dismayed. These time management tips, which are for telecommuters and home business owners alike, will help you recognize the time management problems before they get out of hand.
Set a Schedule
Start scheduling time management. Set your working hours in advance, if possible, so that both you and your family know when you will be working. That may be relatively simple for telecommuters, but it may take some discipline to work for home business owners when you decide you want to.
If you’re dealing with children at home, scheduling your work hours around nap time is an age-old time management technique; however, there are things to keep in mind about nap time, namely that nap schedules change — sometimes day-to-day but also over time. When children grow out of the naps, work after bedtime can make sense instead.
Who knows what? Yet it is just a fact of life that time management requires some multitasking while you are employed at home. Understanding that multitasking is a double-edged sword is essential: it can streamline your day, or leave you with half a dozen half-done tasks in a day. Part of time management is effectively handling multitasking.
The trick to finding greater balance in your work and home life is learning how to multitask and when to multitask. And how much childcare she hires is a significant factor in how much a work-at-home parent wants to multitask.
Embrace Routine but Stay Creative
If you’re trying to balance a job-at-home career with children in a busy household, the routine is your mate. Routines smooth transitions for children of all ages which can be difficult for them. Having a successful morning school routine is a significant step in beginning the right day for everyone.
But routines also aid in other areas of the day, such as naptime, bedtime, dinner, after school, homework, and so on. But routine isn’t just for kids, it can be a vital part of keeping the home-based worker on track. Choosing to check email at all times, make phone calls, or perform other activities at different times means these jobs are completed.
Both children and adults can, however, become too attached to routines. Place yourself versatile. As the children grow, the routines alter. Naps are gone; children are becoming more professional in chores; child care schedules are shifting. Be prepared to change the habits if need be.
Know Yourself (and Your Family)
No time management tips work for everyone and when it comes to managing our time we all have different types and weaknesses. Some of us will need to learn to avoid procrastinating, whereas others will have to carve out a distraction-free workspace to do something. A strong to-do list is a must for many.
And it is a first step in recognizing and correcting your deficiencies to determine if it is a healthy work-at-home personality. Establish a set of ground rules for work-at-home that factor in the needs of your personality and family.
Use Tools Effectively
So many resources are available that can now keep the telecommuter connected. Tools such as the internet, computers, email, and phone are what make it possible for most of us to operate from home. But if these tools are not used correctly these tools will potentially impede our time management efforts.
Email management is probably one of the most valuable skills we can learn because if we allow it, an email will become a full-time job in itself. Tracking our time will lead to greater productivity by exposing our biggest wasters in time. It can also help us decide which tools — which could range from free online applications to new phone apps — can help us more effectively run our work and live in our home.