So many of us choose to work from home but now many of us are finding ourselves in an unexpected work from home situation. While I love the perks of working from home, there are major downsides too. The balance between work and life is not always easy, especially when you are trying to stay productive and meet deadlines. This is why it is very important to create a work at home schedule that works for you and save your sanity.
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For a very long time, the freedom from the walls of an office space and the flexibility of hours called my name. That is until I actually started working from home. BAM! That’s when the stress of the balancing act of work, home, and life set in. Yes, the balancing act is stressful for so many reasons.
I can’t write about working from home without addressing that this is a REAL job. Although I get to sit here in shorts, sweatpants, or my PJs doesn’t mean I am not working. I still have deadlines and oh so many distractions pulling at me. Finding a balance and staying sane at the same time is a struggle I never knew existed in my new work environment.
Working from home definitely offers incredible flexibility. But keeping your sanity balancing work and home life can prove to be quite difficult and at some points, downright impossible.
Juggling the plates of work, home, kids, life, and sneaking in a little time for yourself seems like a circus act at times. Where do you find the time for everything when there are days that you can’t even find your left shoe let alone uninterrupted minutes to dedicate to work?
But it is possible! All it takes is creating a work at home schedule that works for you.
Tips to Create a Work at Home Schedule
Creating your own work from home routine will take some trial and error. But I’m confident using these tips and some patience, you will create a work at home daily schedule that keeps you productive and sane.
Grab your free weekly schedule and planner to help you organize your week and keep you on track.
Set Your Hours and Don’t Waiver!
Here’s the thing, no matter how you look at it, we all ONLY have 24 hours in a day. Let that sink in. Even Wonder Woman can’t make more hours happen in a day…I say as I tuck my cape under my collar.
If you don’t make the most of your hours, your productivity will suffer.
Sit down and really think about your time and how you plan to use it for maximum productivity.
You need to clearly define your work hours as well as chore hours and family time if you plan on having a successful work from home schedule.
It’s best to not let your times bleed into each other.
Trying to double up and “maximize” your time will actually hamper your productivity. Keep your work hours as work hours and your chore time as chore time.
This may be a little harder if you have infants or toddlers, but planning your day around naps will give you a good idea of how your day should go even when it’s chaotic. Life happens to all of us, especially those of us with little unpredictable tiny humans, so being flexible is a must even when you are scheduling your time.
It’s all about what works for you and your family. Maybe it’s waking an hour before anyone else to have uninterrupted computer time or even tagging in your spouse to handle bath time to give you 30 minutes to address emails.
Finding that perfect balance isn’t easy and might not happen in your first attempt, but with dedication and planning, you will find it.
Tackle Your Most Important Tasks When Your Energy is Up!
Have you noticed the times in the day where you get so much more accomplished than others? For me, it’s the beginning of the day, but this might not be the same for you. Identify and make the most of this time by jumping on your important tasks.
Notice that I said focus on important tasks during your most productive times in your day.
Focusing on the tasks that count when you are productive will ensure you tackle and complete what matters most to you. These tasks are a wise investment of your time and will keep your productive momentum moving forward.
When scheduling your time, take note of these times and plan your work time accordingly.
Hate it? Check It Off Your List First!
If you are like me, you put off the things you hate to do. Let’s turn that around and do these tasks first!
Jumping right in and getting these unwanted tasks out of the way first thing will stop that lingering feeling of dread throughout the day. Whether it’s home or work, once you tackle these tasks, you will have a huge sense of accomplishment.
Set a block in your work from home schedule at the beginning of the day to get these tasks out of the way.
Say Goodbye to Productivity Killers!
Being highly productive is key, but we all have bad habits that kill productivity.
Do you ever pick up your phone to check your email and decide to do a quick scroll through Facebook and before you know it an hour has passed? I know I can easily get sucked into that social media black hole. But when you are trying to maximize your time, that hour could have been used for something more productive.
I’m not saying to give up checking email and social media. Dedicate time for these activities and hold yourself accountable. Setting boundaries and time limits will keep you on task and keep your schedule working for you.
Technology and social media are not the only time-wasters in life. The need to please others and perfectionism are two other productivity killers that grab me.
What are some of your productivity killers? Is one not planning ahead (I’m guilty of this one at times) or focusing on tasks that aren’t important in the grand scheme of things (my hand is going up again)? Whatever pulls you away from your daily routine is a time-waster.
Identifying and eliminating (at least during work hours) your bad habits will go a long way in establishing your new work at home mom schedule.
You Can’t Do It All!
Being born female means you have that inner Wonder Woman that wants to accomplish it all! But even Wonder Woman relied on help from time to time.
Don’t try to do it all yourself. Do you hear me? Don’t try to do it all yourself…DELEGATE! We can’t do it all!
If your children are older, assign chores. Split the household duties with your spouse. If you are able, hire a lawn service or a virtual assistant. Delegating a few tasks will help you maximize the time you have available for your work at home schedule.
Working from home does not mean you have to do it all yourself. You are still WORKING…your commute has just shortened.
Two Bonus Tips to Help You Set a Strong Work at Home Schedule
I feel the need to add two more tips that actually have nothing to do with scheduling your time, but are things I use to keep me in my work mode and focused.
- Establish a designated work area. Dedicate a space in your home that is your work area. Having a designated space allows my brain to process that it is work time, not home time.
- Get dressed for work. Ok…I’m not saying to put on business attire. But I am saying that I seem to work better if I dress for the day. This is a mind trick I learned when taking an online class to finish my degree. Just as above, my mind processes that it is work time when I am dressed for the day…even though that attire now consists of shorts, T-shirts, and flip-flops.
Setting your own work at home schedule is not going to happen overnight. But with trial and error (because we grow from our mistakes) and a whole lot of patience, you will keep your sanity in balancing your work and home life.