Working from home can be great. There are so many pros, but the cons can be huge if you don’t develop a work schedule to get your work done. Without it, you’ll find yourself behind and highly stressed. That will not do.
You need to develop a work schedule.
Importance of a Schedule
I’m not one that has to have everything down pat, but I quickly found out working from home that a schedule was important if for nothing else than to keep me on the right path and to let others know when they could interrupt. Without it, I found myself easily distracted and going about doing things that were low on my priority list. The result? I got so far behind in my work that I was in big trouble.
You need a schedule to help remind you of what needs to be done and when you have to do it all. You don’t have follow it to the letter, but use it as a guideline to keep you on the path of working from home success. Without it, you are guaranteed to meet failure head on.
Just because you write out a schedule, doesn’t mean you’ll follow it to the letter. Trust me, it will never happen. Why? Murphy’s Law. If you make plans, the world will turn against you to destroy them. Okay, it is not quite that bad. But it can feel that way.
Also, don’t expect to get everything done you need. At one time, I would put about thirty things on my list and get discouraged when I didn’t get them all done. It wasn’t possible to get them all done. No human could have. I wasn’t being realistic.
You’re not Wonder Woman though we don’t have to tell everyone that. Put down the things you need to get done today and work from that.
In making your schedule, start with what has to be done or else you’ll die. Okay, slight exaggeration there, but you get my point. If there is something that has to be done, list it first. That includes deadlines. If a bill has to be paid today, then that goes on top. If the deadline for a submissions to an account is due today, then it does on top. Start with what is due today. Not tomorrow. Today. Work from there.
Why start today only? Because that is the most important. What has to get done today will get lost in the shuffle of everything else you have to do. Believe me, I’ve been there. I have about a million things that need to get done at any given time. Yes, that is an exaggeration but not by much. My list grows by two each time I cross one thing off. If I get bogged down in everything that has to get done, I’ll never get done what really needs to get done. Yes, I’d like to get the assignment due on Friday done today but then I’d forget about the one that needs to be done today. See what I mean?
Start with what is most important.
Okay, I’ve said a lot. The point is that you need a schedule if you are going to work from home. It will help keep you on track and get your work done. Here is a sample schedule for a writer working from home.
5–5:30 Walk Dog
6–7 Breakfast and get kids out door to school
11–1 Run errands
3–5 Family time
Notice how family and life needs are worked in. Why? Because when you work from home, it can be easy to be so absorbed by work that you forget the other responsibilities. It takes work to balance the two, and a schedule can help you do just that. This could be a schedule you use every day and adjust as you need to.
Have a doctor’s appointment at one o’clock? Make your writing time for that day two to three. You can move it around, but have a schedule that keeps you on track.