How to be more productive as a homeworker
Working from home may at first seem like the dream scenario to many, but it does come with a few challenges and plenty of distractions. If you are used to being managed you will now need to learn to manage your own time effectively. Even if you were a manager, as I was before having children, managing employee time is very different to managing your own time with the distractions of your home environment.
The TV, housework, children and kitchen cupboard can all provide welcome excuses from any tricky task. Browsing a personal Facebook feed, because there are no work guidelines to say you can’t, is not the best way to spend your time when working from home!
Here are 5 ways to manage your time more effectively when working from home:
Create a manageable list
We all know the saying ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ and it rings true when working at home too. You cannot do everything today and will only stress yourself out if you try. This is one I need to remind myself quite often. I always have so many ideas and I want to do them all now. But it’s just not possible. Work out how many hours you have and how long each task will take, then make a manageable list. If you can’t do it all today, then start making a list for tomorrow.
Don’t put off the trickiest tasks. Get these out of the way first thing and then concentrate on the tasks you enjoy the most. If you have a deadline then of course this task must be prioritised. If something has high value, then this should be prioritised. Ensure your manageable day’s list is in order of the most important to least.
Turn the TV off! As lovely as it might be as background noise, what happens when something pops on that grabs your attention? You start to watch the TV and stop working. Concentrate your mind purely on the task at hand and reduce all other possible distractions.
Set yourself realistic breaks
It is important to have a break, so set yourself a reasonable quantity of breaks throughout the day. Take ten minutes to sit in the garden with a cup of tea and refresh your mind. Take five minutes to pop the washing on. If you schedule yourself allotted times throughout the day to do these tasks they will stop distracting you during the rest of the day when you should be working.
Try not to multitask (too much)
I’m terrible for multitasking. Even as I’m typing this I am stopping to read emails. There’s plenty of research to prove multitasking results in less productivity overall. If you give a task your full attention it’s bound to be a lot better than if you’re only giving it half or a third. Try to concentrate on one task at a time. You’ll complete each task quicker and with more satisfaction, then move onto the next.
Do you find it difficult to manage your time effectively working from home? Let me know your top tips in the comments.