Why you need a work from home schedule:
One of the attractions of working from home is the vision of freedom it conveys – no clocks, no timesheets, and no one to whom you are accountable for how you spend your time. Yes, it is an attractive proposition, but like so many attractive propositions, there is a big downside – you are probably wasting a lot of time.
My husband spends time every day filling out these large spreadsheets to record his day. He works for a large engineering firm and his day often includes working on a variety of projects for different clients. He hates activity and I have always dismissed it as a waste of time – that is, until my home business recently took off and I realized there just wasn’t enough hours in the day to achieve all of my goals.
I now have my own spreadsheet and planner for the day and have improved my productivity and reduced my stress immeasurably. If you don’t think you need a calendar for your home business, think again and read on.
After a series of relatively unproductive days where my to-do list seemed to grow exponentially every time I looked at it, I knew something had to change.
Certainly, I was going through a difficult period. My home business was struggling to grow and taking longer than usual, my four year old was only in kindergarten part time, my husband was not doing all he could on the house front and my extended family was going through a number of crises. But I’m also old enough to know that there is never a perfect time in life – you are just living the one you have. These are just the issues I am facing this year. Next year, these problems will be traded for new problems.
After studying my time and chatting with others working from home, I discovered five reasons to adopt the calendar:
1. It’s too easy to waste time on low priority tasks
2. It’s too easy to get sidetracked or distracted by your current task.
3. Unplanned working time can often overlap with your free time until you have no free time at all
4. Your free time may overlap your working time until you fall behind on important projects.
5. By focusing your time and effort on the highest priority projects, you get more done.
I’m not the only home-based businessman covering the schedule. I recently participated in an online forum where both men and women decided to adopt it – and found it more free than restrictive. After all, you’re still the one setting the schedule, so you’re free to schedule yourself for a 3-hour lunch, afternoon, or full day whenever you want.
If you are having trouble setting your schedule and priorities for the day and week, then maybe your partner or a friend can help you set your schedule.