Working from home may seem like a dream come true, but just like any workplace it comes with its own set of problems. Unlike working in an office where you have set hours, there is often added pressure working from home trying to stick to a schedule and complete all your daily tasks. At CGD we know how difficult it is to try and get work done at home when you are surrounded by distractions. Here are our top three ways to stick to your schedule:
1. Write it down:
One of the best ways to stick to your schedule is to write it down. If you keep everything in your head and try to remember what you are supposed to be doing, then you will undoubtedly forget something. Especially if you are juggling lots of different tasks, it is easy for something to be missed. You wouldn’t want it to be an important meeting or deadline.
Spend ten minutes in the morning writing a simple list on a notepad each day, then mark each task off as you complete them. Buy a wall planner, use a diary to write down important appointments, or even download an app to help you stay organised – Todoist is one of our favourites. Find what works for you, and stick to it.
2. Work in short bursts and take regular breaks.
Becoming distracted is a major issue when working from home, because it’s so easy to lose focus and click on Facebook, or go and make yet another cup of coffee. Try to schedule each task for no more than an hour. 50 minutes is ideal as it gives you ten minutes before the next task to go and put the kettle on, and look at any notes you need.
Having that short window of time to work makes you much more focused, and you’re less likely to get distracted. Plus even if it’s a task you hate, you will only be doing it for 50 minutes, which doesn’t really seem that bad.
3. Maintain a morning routine.
One of the myths of working from home is that you can lie in bed until lunchtime then work for the rest of the day in your pyjamas. Wrong! While you can set your own hours, it’s still important to maintain a morning routine, no matter what time you sit down to work.
Try and set the same hours each day, wherever possible. Always shower, get dressed, put on your makeup and eat a good breakfast. If you sit around in your onesie, you just won’t be in the right frame of mind to sit down and work, and your productivity will be minimal. Obviously you don’t have to wear a business suit or anything like that, but sticking to a routine definitely helps when it comes to your work schedule. Plus, you wouldn’t want to Skype a client in your pyjamas, would you?
What techniques do you use to stick to your schedule when working from home? Tell us in the comments below.
Written by Ailie Wallace.