If you are new to the working from home gig, you may find that you are struggling to create and stick to a schedule. This makes sense considering that you probably have a lot of other responsibilities that you have to take care of now as well, including kids. You might also be feeling a bit anxious or worried about the state of the world.
If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed and unproductive, there are ways that you can create and stick to an at-home work schedule that will allow you to get things done. Here are some ways to achieve those goals:
1. Set Your Office Up in the Right Space
Putting your home office in the right space is imperative to being productive and getting things done. Even if it’s temporary, you still want to put your computer and other equipment in a room that has a door you can close. This will give you the opportunity to shut out distractions and focus.
It’s also beneficial to keep your computer on a table or desk and sit in a chair while you work. Having a laptop means you can lounge on the couch or in bed while you check emails or listen in on a meeting, but if you aren’t sitting up straight, it’s easy to lose focus. Whether you use a computer chair or a kitchen chair, make sure it’s comfortable to sit in throughout the day and allows you to have good posture.
2. Set Boundaries with Your Family
It can be incredibly difficult trying to have an online meeting or work on a project when you have kids or spouses asking you for things. While most companies are probably going to be understanding about a few distractions, it’s still a good idea to set some boundaries.
If you have meetings or need to focus on a particular task, make sure that you aren’t bothered during these times. This is when having a door that you can close and lock is beneficial, but you also need to communicate with your family that when the door is closed, you can’t be bothered. As soon as it’s open, you can help them with whatever they need.
3. Set a Schedule
Since most businesses want to retain some type of normalcy during these times, they may require that you are available during normal business hours. If that’s the case, then you’ll need to set up your schedule to get things accomplished during this time.
Daily Schedule – A5 & Happy Planner CompatibleDo you struggle to fit everything into one day? Me too! There are ways that you can start to manage your time in order to get all your important tasks done and still find time for some well earned "me time" too.
Should your company allow you a more open-ended schedule, then consider working at times when you are the most productive. If you have kids at home, then you might consider working first thing in the morning before they get up, during the afternoon while they nap, or in the evening after they’ve gone to bed. This gives you the opportunity to get your work done and still spend time with your family.
Weekly Time PlanYou can use this daily time planner to work out your daily schedule to keep track of important tasks and stay on track.
4. Determine Priorities
Knowing which projects are priorities and when they are due can help you set up a schedule to get things done. The things that need to be done within the next few days or by the end of the week should be on the top of your list. If you currently don’t have deadlines, then work on the projects that seem the most important.
5. Set Realistic Expectations
You may have visions of being able to accomplish every assignment given to you while working from home, but it’s important to realize that life can be unpredictable. Not only can your family, loss of internet or other issues impact your ability to get projects done, but you might also find that your priorities will change throughout the day or the week.
While all of these things can happen while in an office building, dealing with them at home can be challenging. To ensure that you don’t experience unnecessary stress, set realistic expectations of what you can actually accomplish. Don’t take on more than you can handle and communicate with coworkers and your boss if you are unable to get a project done on time.
Working from home can be both productive and challenging. With the current state of the world, many people don’t have a choice when it comes to staying inside. In addition to following the tips listed above, it’s also beneficial to remain flexible and open to new experiences to get things done.