Time management when working from home

27 May 2019

We all work from home for various reasons: Kids, health problems, the need to work in pajamas, not getting along with other people, etc. At the end of the day, it often boils down to the fact that we want to have more control over the hours that we work. For me it was the fact that I want to be able to work from anywhere.

The problem however, is that working a 9-6 job comes with a lot of structure. Lunch time might be optional, but people are going to start talking if you spend too much time on Pinterest.

You are now the boss of you and that means that you need to act like it. So here are some of my tips that ensures that I hit my deadlines.

  1. Block book your time: My weekly calendar is a kaleidoscope of colours, filled with work hours, meetings, ballet and pilates classes, study time, and yes, making dinner. This is so I know exactly what I’m doing when.
  2. Don’t feel guilty about your leisure time: Working from home means that you can do in 4 hours what normally would have taken the whole day in the office. What to do with all your extra time? Well, you could work some more and earn some extra money, or you could go to the gym. Just don’t spend that time on Facebook pretending to work. You’ll only be fooling yourself. I find the best thing to do under these circumstances is to block book my leisure time. That way it’s scheduled and I have no reason to feel guilty about being away from my desk.

  3. Use time tracking tools:My personal favorite is Freshbooks, as I can flag my time as billable or non-billable and translate my time into an invoice in about 30 seconds, but a lot of my friends use Toggl and love it to bits.
  4. Pomodoro method: Break your time up into 25 minute slots, set the timer (Tomato Timer is cool https://tomato-timer.com/) and once you’re done, take a break. It is very important that you take this break away from your desk. Take a walk, do a quick house chore before coming back and starting the next task.
  5. Don’t trip yourself: It’s lunchtime and you’ve been grafting hard all morning. You only have a few thing left to do, so you reward yourself with an episode of Younger on Netflix. Suddenly it’s 16:00, you have 20 emails in your inbox and you need to leave for yoga in an hour. Yes, this is something that has happened to me. Remember, if it’s not in your calendar, it doesn’t happen, that includes TV time. Add it to your calendar and set a timer. That way you remain in control of your time.
  6. Create fake deadlines: All of us have different drivers. I work better when I have a due date and someone that I’m accountable to. This means that when I’m working on a personal project (like the workshop that I’ll be launching soon) I need to set myself a deadline and book a meeting with a friend to review the work. This way I’m keeping myself accountable and ensuring that it’s not only my client work that gets done, I’m investing in myself as well.

Have questions about Project or Time Management? Contact me for a coffee or join my next workshop to learn more about using your time effectively.


ABOUT ME
ADRI LOUBSER

Adri's personal mantra is "get stuff done" and she's got a knack for converting big scary projects with looming deadlines into much more manageable and achievable bite-size chunks.