Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Time management tips for working from home

You're in luck -- my January 25th send-off show at the Bard's Town is SOLD OUT, so you don't have to listen to me ask you to come to the show. And when my head isn't stressed out with MusicianAnxiety (also known as HostAnxiety aka will anyone come tonight will anyone show up will it be a totally empty room after all my hard work), I can instead focus on delightful little blogs like this one.

In recent years, we've seen more and more people work remotely or become self-employed, whether it's a CTO working from home on a snow day or a LulaRoe rep tweeting from the toilet (and you can easily reverse those situations -- we've all done it, right?), but I somehow STILL find it difficult. I had finally figured out good time management, and then I went and had kids: FOILED!

I'm not someone who thrives under structure, in general, but I am someone who NEEDS structure in my life currently. Today I'm re-examining ideas of how to provide structure to my work-from-home days.

Also, if anyone is procrastinating on your work by reading this, why don't you just come over and plug in your laptop in my dining room and be my office-mate for the morning? There is a toddler tickling my toes at the moment, but I will probably give into screen time soon, or letting him put a thousand crayons down the heat register.

My favorite work-from-home tips that I am writing today mostly to REMIND MYSELF:

  1. Set a timer for small tasks. 
  2. Don't use a power cord on your laptop -- you won't have time to get distracted.
  3. If you have some real goals for the day, then don't check email until you've conquered at least 2 of them.
  4. If the house is dirty, then go to a coffeeshop. Otherwise you'll just get frustrated and spend all morning doing dishes. Alternatively, create an actual home office and shut yourself away from laundry.
  5. Schedule lunch. (This does not work for me because I am always hungry and the REFRIGERATOR IS ALWAYS THERE, but I'm working on it.)
  6. Make your ToDo list at the end of the workday. If you do it the night before (and you are me), you'll lie awake fretting about all you have to do. If you make it in the morning, you'll waste valuable time organizing and categorizing your list instead of actually doing things.
  7. Separate your To Do List by category, and choose 1-2 items from each category according to priority. If you finish those, then go back.
  8. Schedule your social media posts. This means you won't get sucked into a Twitter discussion or Facebook war, and you can plan your posts for the most effective time of day.
  9. Schedule a break or exercise or a walk. Also something I struggle with, mostly because I don't have reliable childcare, but also because when I'm good at guilt-tripping myself into working longer hours.

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