One of the appeals of working from home is the sense of liberation it evokes — no time clock, no timesheets, and no one to answer to about how you spend your time. Yes, it is an enticing proposal, but as with many enticing propositions, there is a significant disadvantage — you will almost certainly waste a lot of time.
Every day, my spouse spends hours filling up these massive spreadsheets to keep track of his day. He works for a huge engineering firm, and his typical day entails working on a number of projects for a range of customers. He despises the pastime, and I’ve always disregarded it as a waste of time — that is, until my home business suddenly took off and I discovered there just weren’t enough hours in the day to achieve all I wanted to accomplish.
I now have my own spreadsheet and daily plan, which has significantly increased my productivity and decreased my stress. If you believe that you do not need a timetable for your home company, think again — and continue reading.
After a string of very unproductive days during which my “To Do” list appeared to increase dramatically with each glance, I realized something needed to change.
To be fair, I was going through a difficult time. My home business was going through growth spurts and using more time than normal, my four-year-old was only attending preschool part-time, my husband wasn’t carrying his weight at home, and my extended family was going through a lot of problems. But I’m also old enough to understand that there is no such thing as a perfect period in life; you just live the one you have. These are the issues I’m confronted with this year. Next year, these issues will be exchanged by new ones.
After examining my time management and speaking with several other work-at-home professionals, I identified five reasons to love the schedule:
1. It is much too simple to squander time on low-priority chores.
2. It is all too simple to get diverted or distracted from the work at hand.
3. Unscheduled work time often overlaps with your free time to the point where you have no free time at all.
4. Your leisure time frequently overlaps with your work-time to the point where you fall behind on critical assignments.
5. By focusing your time and effort on the highest-priority tasks, you can accomplish more.
I’m not the only work-at-home company owner that works around the clock. I recently participated in an online discussion where men and women discussed how they had come to love it and found it to be more liberating than limiting. After all, you are still in control of the calendar, which means you can schedule yourself off for a three-hour lunch, an afternoon, or a whole day anytime you choose.
If you’re having difficulty establishing your daily and weekly schedules, your significant other or a friend may be able to assist you.