My weekly schedule as a work from home entrepreneur.
Working from home has a lot of great benefits. Think control of your schedule, the ability to create an environment where you can thrive, and unlimited coffee refills. But you may be wondering how it all works. How do you get things done without being distracted by home tasks? How do you prioritize? In this article, I’m going to share with you how I do it.
Time Management Tip #1: Determine Tasks by Day of the Week
Not sure what this means? I plan my work week in a Monday-Friday kind of way. That means that on Monday, I am focusing on blogging and writing articles. Tuesdays, I pitch and send out applications. Wednesdays are for writing and editing again, and so forth.
Each day has specific tasks that don’t change regardless of the week. I decided on these by breaking down my work into the largest four categories – the ones where most of my time goes when working.
I’m a writer who runs a blog, so my tasks are a lot about article research and social media. But if you run an online shop, your day will look different.
So what’s the secret? Allow for two days of product or service work (editing, creating courses, etc.), one day for scoping out new client possibilities, one day for social media and marketing, and another day for finance and overflow work. (For me, that’s usually Fridays because whatever didn’t get done during the week can now be finished by the weekend.)
You can, of course, modify this any way you want. Each business is unique. You know what yours needs to succeed.
Time Management Tip #2: Give Yourself Set Hours
Yes, flexibility is a massive benefit to working from home. But if you want your business to be a business and not an expensive hobby, you have to prioritize it. That means either setting certain hours each day (example: 9 am-4 pm) or determining to focus on the business for a specific number of hours each day.
I also work a full-time job, so my current set up is to work at least 2 hours per weekday on my blog and business, and usually more hours on the weekends.
It may seem strange to be so strict with yourself, but this does help. If something comes up, like an errand or a household chore, work around your business schedule. Just like with a regular job.
Be prepared to have to turn some invitations down or schedule them for a different time. It may seem like you’re overdoing it at first, but it helps when it comes to taking your work seriously. Plus, it also allows others to understand your boundaries within your business.
Time Management Tip #3: Eliminate Distractions
As both the owner of your business and manager of the schedule, it’s your job to make sure that you create an environment that helps you be productive.
That means being honest with yourself about what distracts you and what doesn’t. Some people prefer to work without any music or noise, and others don’t mind a little bit of sound in the background. Or perhaps there are certain times of day when you’re more alert and productive.
For example, I like Netflix. But I know that my work is either sub-par or takes much longer to accomplish if Netflix is on. So now, I work with ambient music in the background or no noise at all. I also make sure the room I’m in is tidy (it distracts me when it isn’t) and that I minimize interruptions by silencing my phone.
You know what makes it difficult or easy for you to accomplish things, so make sure your environment reflects that. You might have an office or only a kitchen table. It doesn’t matter; what matters is that your mind can focus. You can get started using the following ideas:
- Tidy Room (Gather up clutter in a basket, or take five minutes to clean up).
- Tidy Desk or Table (This helps by giving you space to focus on the current project).
- Ambient Noise or Silence (Decide if you can concentrate with music on or without, and look into noise-canceling headphones if it helps eliminate distracting sounds).
- Time of Day (As much as possible, work when you are most alert).
Time Management Tip #4: Ignore Most Other Advice
There’s a lot of ideas about how best to work from home. These range from sticking to an unchangeable schedule to dressing like you would at the office. Depending on your personality, this advice may or may not work for you.
I’ve found that I work best in sweatpants, regardless of what is said to the contrary. And sometimes, flexibility in your calendar is what makes working from home fun. (Please know I write this as a Type A person who likes to have everything organized. But it does help to have a little bit of room in your calendar for creativity.)
Find out what makes sense for you. For me, a loose structure that allows me to choose the hours I work is best. With all my other responsibilities, I can commit to a few hours per day of work, but it might be different times every day.
Feel free to try different ways of working until you find the right thing. It took me around a year to figure out my best work from home method. The important thing is to accomplish your essential tasks and prioritize your business (without going crazy).
Hopefully, these thoughts will start conversations about working from home more effectively. Especially in recent times, like 2020, this way of working has become more popular than ever. Although this method has initially been a precaution for health reasons, many people may find that they enjoy working from the comfort of their living room, even when working from an office becomes normal again.
Remember, your schedule doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. As long as you prioritize and know your goals, you can figure out the rest of it to create a great way of accomplishing things. How do you work best from home? Feel free to comment and share!