Avoiding the Work-From-Home Time Trap
Just like in any job, one of the most important parts of work-from-home success is the ability to manage your time and tasks wisely. This is not something that the majority of people are naturally good at, so here are some important tips to help you do both.
Tasks vary. They can be overly simple or incredibly complicated. They can be short-term or long-term. But, one thing remains consistent: they have deadlines. In all jobs, meeting deadlines is a critical part of job performance and failing to do so is a great way to get reprimanded or fired. Never miss a deadline again by implementing these easy tips:
Divide larger tasks up into chunks and put a deadline on each section. It makes them more manageable and less intimidating. If you do this, you won’t be left with large amounts of work to complete at the last minute. This also helps you to feel accomplished instead of overwhelmed.
Have a general plan in mind of how and when you will accomplish any task. Think of possible obstacles or complications and how you will avoid or overcome them. Don’t allow yourself to make excuses for not completing a task on time. Sticking to your timeline and/or plan as closely as possible will help you not to get off track and to finish your task efficiently.
Do the Most Dreaded Task First
We’ve all heard this referred to as “eating the frog,” a phrase coined by Mark Twain. But, the idea is that if you accomplish the thing you don’t want to do first, everything else that day will be easy. Go straight to your most dreaded task first thing every morning and get it out of the way. You will spend less time worrying about getting it done and more time accomplishing the other things on your list.
We all feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. But, properly managing the hours you do have is important. Here is some helpful advice about developing good time-management habits:
Yes, you need to wake up at a decent hour, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Set alarms and reminders throughout the day to remind you of important repetitive tasks. Or, if you need to scroll through your Facebook feed for a break, that’s fine. But, set an alarm so you don’t get sucked into a black hole of likes, comments, and shares. Alarms will help you keep yourself in check when it comes to time-management.
Be productive even when you are in the pick-up line at school or waiting in the drive-through. Keep a running to-do list of things that you can do on-the-go so that when you have unexpected downtime, you can accomplish a task. You will be surprised at how much you can accomplish when you work in the small sections of downtime you have throughout your day.
Control Your Time
Don’t let time control you. Set aside dedicated work hours and stick to them. That way, you won’t find yourself working around the clock or feeling your desk calling during free time. Schedule work time will help you to feel less scattered and overworked.
Becoming an effective manager of your time and tasks is an important part of being successful in a work-from-home career. Once you learn to implement these tips, you will feel more confident and in control of your workload.