People are very much fascinated by your job when you tell them that you are a home based entrepreneur or a work from home parent. In fact, working from home is a blessing, but, it’s not as easy many people idealize. Working from home is more challenging than a full-time office job because you have to so many responsibilities to fulfill.
Yes, you have all of the flexibility of setting your own hours and spending time with your children, but on the other hand, you have to meet the official deadlines too and at times there can be an urgency as well.
The challenges faced by working from home population are numerous and the intensity varies depending upon the nature of the job, however, time management is a challenge which is equally tough for all single home-based entrepreneurs and work from home parents.
Here are five time management tips for working from home professionals to strike a happy balance between being the best parent and running a successful business.
1- Set Realistic Goals:
To grow your business to the next level, you will always want to push yourself to do more, but doing so will eat up the time slot specified for your family and other household chores. So, the first and most important point to consider is to be realistic about how much time you have and what amount of work you can accomplish in that time frame.
To set realistic expectations, consider everything around and:
- Try under-promising the amount of work, so you should always deliver on time.
- Add buffer time in your plan to allow for interruptions, like family needs and other small chores.
- Set daily goals and evaluate your daily performance in five minutes at the day end and it will keep you on track.
2- Prioritize the Tasks:
Start off your each day with a list of prioritized tasks and you will witness a significant increase in productivity. Prioritizing household and work related task separately works better as this way you can ensure that all of the essentials of both areas of your life are done.
If your kids are old enough to understand and carry out instructions properly, get them involved in small chores. It will keep them busy and at the same time you get your work done. And, if you can afford to hire help, must do it.
3- Work when you are Most Productive:
Some of us find it more productive time when children are in school or during their nap time and after bedtime. But, as you have to wrap up a lot of household stuff along with office and yet you must spend some quality time with family, you need extra hours.
- If you are an early bird who rises before or right at the dawn, grab a cup of coffee and get to work immediately,
- If you’re more active after lunch, better is to schedule the most difficult tasks for the afternoon.
4- Track Your Time & Race the Clock:
For a work from home parent, it’s very normal to feel that the days end far too quickly, but you must also track where that time is going. Setting a timer for specific task and racing the clock is a great way to work within a specific time frame.
Whether you are working while your child takes a nap or when he is awake (and you don’t have a help to watch him), then think of ways to engage your kids for reasonable amount of time and then utilize those chunks of time to knock out small tasks.
For instance, if your baby has just started standing, buying a good baby walker can make him pretty much independent and you can utilize the same time for finishing other important tasks. You may find these best baby walker reviews useful to buy the right one for your baby.
And yes, limiting your personal social media use to once or twice a day when you’re relaxing can save you a big chunk of time.
5- Take Advantage of Productivity Apps:
There are tons of productivity apps and most of them are free. These apps are designed to make your work and home life easier, so you must consider using these apps. Some of the most popular productivity apps are Google Keep, Harvest App, Time Tracker, Buffer, Slack, 1Password, Google Drive etc.
The Bottom Line:
Working from home is a wonderful blessing, but it comes with a lot of challenges. Working while staying full time with your family is an awesome opportunity, but it’s easier to be distracted at home and harder to stay focused and disciplined.
Finding more and more ways to stay focused is the only way to succeed as a working from home parent or a home based entrepreneur and I am sure the above five points will help you stay focused.