I have heard people say that the main reason that they want to work at home is because they can work only when they want to work. It IS true that you can set your own work hours when you work at home but it does NOT mean that you don’t have to have set work hours.
A ‘hit or miss’ work schedule…or rather, the lack of any work schedule at all, simply will not work. Time is of the Essence! YOUR time!
Working at home can be a very, very good thing. You can be at home to see the kids off to school and be at home when they get home. You can put a load of laundry in and it can run through the cycles while you are working.
You can have dinner cooked before a hungry family descends like a flock of hungry buzzards. All of those things are real perks that you automatically get when you work at home.
Working at home can also be a very, very bad thing if you do not plan your time well and if you do not set up a work schedule that you and your family can live with. When you work at home, time really is of the essence.
You must make very good use of the time that you spend working. If you are not efficient in accomplishing the tasks that must be done, you will either spend too much time working or you will fail miserably at your work at home job or business.
You must set up a work schedule for yourself when you work at home and then you must enforce that work schedule for yourself and insist that you family and friends also adhere to your work schedule.
A job out in the brick and mortar world does two things;
(1) It provides a structure for your day and
(2) it tells your family and friends that your time is spoken for during your working hours.
You will notice that both of these things that a regular job provides, relate to your TIME.
First let’s discuss the structure that a regular job provides and how you can apply that structure to your work at home job or business. When you have a job that you go to outside your home, you are required to be at that job at a specified time on specified days of the week.
When you have a work at home job or business, you need that same kind of structure. You need to set regular working hours. The freedom that a work at home job provides is that you can choose the hours…but you do have to choose!
Now let’s talk about your family and friends and how they are going to view your work at home job. It is a strange but very true fact that your dear mother would not DREAM of calling you at your ‘real’ job and asking you to drive Aunt Rosie to the beauty shop and wait for her….after all….you are WORKING and can’t be expected to leave your job to run errands. Right?
That very same considerate mother WILL call you and ask you to take Aunt Rosie to the beauty shop and wait for her when you are working at home. Why? Because you are at home and available, that’s why.
You can see the problem. If YOU do not schedule your time and abide by your schedule yourself, others will not. Unless you see your work at home job as a REAL job with REAL working hours, your time will be eaten up. You will not accomplish the tasks that you need to accomplish.
You will fail and find yourself out looking for a REAL job unless you see your work at home job as the REAL THING with regular working hours that make you unavailable for other activities.
The best way to accomplish using your time to your own best advantage with your work at home job or business is to make a schedule and tell your family and friends what that schedule is.
You don’t have to be rude but you do have to be firm. Make it clear to all. “I will be working between 9 AM and 3 PM Monday through Friday. On those days and during those hours, I am NOT available to run errands or take personal phone calls or entertain company.” Then stick to it!
Here is a good read for helping you get a handle on time management so you can learn to work at home more efficiently and still have time for your friends and family.
Time Management from the Inside Out, Second Edition: The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule — and Your Life
by: Julie Morgenstern
publisher: Holt Paperbacks, published: 2004-09-01
sales rank: 18630
price: $6.87 (new), $1.20 (used)
Applying the groundbreaking from-the-inside-out approach that made Organizing from the Inside Out a New York Times bestseller, Julie Morgenstern set a new standard for the time- management category. Her system has helped countless readers uncover their psychological stumbling blocks and strengths, and develop a time-management system that suits their individual needs.
By applying her proven three-step program-Analyze, Strategize, Attack-and following her effective guidelines, readers will find more time for work, family, self-improvement, or whatever is most important to them. Time management is a learnable skill, and in this completely revised edition, Morgenstern provides the ultimate tools to combine, delegate, and eliminate unnecessary tasks; put technology to work; and stop procrastinating once and for all.
This revised edition delivers
– a new chapter about the WADE formula for getting started
– new time maps for people with irregular schedules
– new four-, eight-, and twelve-week program guides for improving time-management skills
– a fully updated resource guide