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Those Who Work From Home - Time Management?

Gemma Rowlands

Gemma Rowlands

New Member
One of the main problems that I've had since I started working from home a lot of the time (saves a lot of office fees) is procrastination and time management. Although I always get everything done, and never miss a deadline, I often drag work out to fill the day when I could probably have got it done in four hours and had it finished by midday.

I have tried making a timetable, but the urge to do other things in the home is overwhelming! I mean, yes, okay, the washing DOES need to be done - but I couldn't come home and do it if I was in an office, so why do I feel as though I have to do it during my working day now! It doesn't help that I do NEED short breaks for productivity reasons. It's just that I tend to get distracted during the breaks..

How do you guys manage to solve the problem of time management? I have an office a couple of days a week for a few staff members, and when I'm there I work much better, but that's not always possible unfortunately.
 
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Pete Brindle

New Member
If you write everything down that needs to be done, and set yourself specific times to do them, you should find it works much better for you. If you know there's washing to do, put it in the machine, and work until it's done. Same with things like the dishwasher. Or hire a cleaner! You might find that you're able to be more productive if you don't think about things like that.
 
Gemma Rowlands

Gemma Rowlands

New Member
If you write everything down that needs to be done, and set yourself specific times to do them, you should find it works much better for you. If you know there's washing to do, put it in the machine, and work until it's done. Same with things like the dishwasher. Or hire a cleaner! You might find that you're able to be more productive if you don't think about things like that.
I have tried that, but ended up just taking more time over the list than doing anything actually on the list ha ha. But I know I have to sort myself out soon or my business will fail!! And I'm not letting that happen, the potential for an amazing work-life balance is just too high for that.
 
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Pete Brindle

New Member
I have tried that, but ended up just taking more time over the list than doing anything actually on the list ha ha. But I know I have to sort myself out soon or my business will fail!! And I'm not letting that happen, the potential for an amazing work-life balance is just too high for that.
Set alarms then. Rather than just looking at the clock, set hourly alarms and have something new to do at each one. Working with smaller periods of time can help you to be much more productive anyway.
 
Gemma Rowlands

Gemma Rowlands

New Member
Set alarms then. Rather than just looking at the clock, set hourly alarms and have something new to do at each one. Working with smaller periods of time can help you to be much more productive anyway.
That's not a bad idea. And I should write the list of things I have to do the day before, so I can't just waste time on them the day I am actually supposed to be doing the work itself!
 
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Pete Brindle

New Member
That's not a bad idea. And I should write the list of things I have to do the day before, so I can't just waste time on them the day I am actually supposed to be doing the work itself!
When you reach clock-off time, write it down then. Trust me, you won't waste as much time when you know you're going home as soon as you've finished with the list.
 
Gemma Rowlands

Gemma Rowlands

New Member
When you reach clock-off time, write it down then. Trust me, you won't waste as much time when you know you're going home as soon as you've finished with the list.
Sorry I didn't thank you for this earlier, but I just thought that I would let you know that this really works. Knowing what I need to do right from the moment I get at my desk is definitely the way forward, and it helps me to focus for the day. And you're right, I don't spend anywhere near as long on the list if I know I'm on my way home soon! (Well, I'm already home, but you know what I mean).
 
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Pete Brindle

New Member
Sorry I didn't thank you for this earlier, but I just thought that I would let you know that this really works. Knowing what I need to do right from the moment I get at my desk is definitely the way forward, and it helps me to focus for the day. And you're right, I don't spend anywhere near as long on the list if I know I'm on my way home soon! (Well, I'm already home, but you know what I mean).
You're welcome. Hopefully you're finding that you're able to be a little more productive now? Believe it or not, list making is one of the most common things that people do for procrastination. It's nothing new! But something that it's definitely worth sorting as it can obviously affect your wage a lot if you're self employed and not being paid by the hour.
 
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Mike Turner

New Member
I am a mechanic so don't work from home, however I am my own boss so still have similar types of struggles to those people who would work from home. Set times during the day that you have to do things. When you will be at your desk, when you will have lunch, when you will call it a day, and make sure you stick to those times. It's important.
 
Gemma Rowlands

Gemma Rowlands

New Member
I am a mechanic so don't work from home, however I am my own boss so still have similar types of struggles to those people who would work from home. Set times during the day that you have to do things. When you will be at your desk, when you will have lunch, when you will call it a day, and make sure you stick to those times. It's important.
A timetable is a great idea, I've learned that over the past couple of weeks. If I break for lunch at 11 instead of 12 it's so tempting to stay until I normally would have done, and that's cutting a whole hour from the working day which I can't really afford to lose. And I have to stop myself from working right into the evenings as well because it was getting so tempting to stay for an extra hour to finish something off. But I had to stop because I was having no time off and was getting quite grumpy because of it!
 
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Pete Brindle

New Member
A timetable is a great idea, I've learned that over the past couple of weeks. If I break for lunch at 11 instead of 12 it's so tempting to stay until I normally would have done, and that's cutting a whole hour from the working day which I can't really afford to lose. And I have to stop myself from working right into the evenings as well because it was getting so tempting to stay for an extra hour to finish something off. But I had to stop because I was having no time off and was getting quite grumpy because of it!
One of the main reasons that so many "work from home" types fail is because they're not able to get it into their heads that they do have to FINISH work at a certain time. Because their computer or whatever is in their house they might just assume that it's fair game, and that working into the evening is okay to do. But it's not. You need time to wind down and spend with the family, and that's just as important as it is to make sure that you're doing enough hours in the first place.
 
Gemma Rowlands

Gemma Rowlands

New Member
One of the main reasons that so many "work from home" types fail is because they're not able to get it into their heads that they do have to FINISH work at a certain time. Because their computer or whatever is in their house they might just assume that it's fair game, and that working into the evening is okay to do. But it's not. You need time to wind down and spend with the family, and that's just as important as it is to make sure that you're doing enough hours in the first place.
This is so true for me. I have got better at it, although I was working until 8pm last night because it was so so tempting to finish a proofreading job that I had (I managed to finish it, and got a great sense of satisfaction from it, as it happens). But my partner always gets annoyed at me because he works too, and likes to spend quality time with me where possible - and I very often disappear into my office, and then get annoyed myself when he comes in and tries to chat to me. It's really not his fault, but I can't help being annoyed, because a lot of the time, all I want to focus on is my work. As soon as we own this house we're trying to get, I promise I will cut back on the hours. I have to, or I'm not going to survive without going mad!
 
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Lauren Turner

New Member
I don't manage my time at all. I do a lot of work, all the time. I lock myself in my study during the day, sell at weekends, and even work in front of the TV in the evening. It's a good job my husband is so understanding. But the thing is, I genuinely love my job, so I don't feel as though it's taking over my life, or anything like that.
 
Gemma Rowlands

Gemma Rowlands

New Member
I don't manage my time at all. I do a lot of work, all the time. I lock myself in my study during the day, sell at weekends, and even work in front of the TV in the evening. It's a good job my husband is so understanding. But the thing is, I genuinely love my job, so I don't feel as though it's taking over my life, or anything like that.
I find that when I work from home ALL of my relationships suffer because either I can't be bothered doing work and I get grumpy, or I throw myself into it and become uncontactable even though I'm only in the next room. There's a lot to be said for working somewhere else I have to say. At least your home life and time off are your own then. But of course there are great things about working from home too. Swings and roundabouts, as they say.
 
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Pete Brindle

New Member
This is so true for me. I have got better at it, although I was working until 8pm last night because it was so so tempting to finish a proofreading job that I had (I managed to finish it, and got a great sense of satisfaction from it, as it happens). But my partner always gets annoyed at me because he works too, and likes to spend quality time with me where possible - and I very often disappear into my office, and then get annoyed myself when he comes in and tries to chat to me. It's really not his fault, but I can't help being annoyed, because a lot of the time, all I want to focus on is my work. As soon as we own this house we're trying to get, I promise I will cut back on the hours. I have to, or I'm not going to survive without going mad!
You need to try and find ways to relax. Work shouldn't really affect your mood when you're at home, and things need to change if it becomes the case that it is affecting it. I've learned the hard way really that work is only enjoyable when it's bringing something positive to you, and you need to make sure that you're in that headspace.
 
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Mike Turner

New Member
I find that when I work from home ALL of my relationships suffer because either I can't be bothered doing work and I get grumpy, or I throw myself into it and become uncontactable even though I'm only in the next room. There's a lot to be said for working somewhere else I have to say. At least your home life and time off are your own then. But of course there are great things about working from home too. Swings and roundabouts, as they say.
I genuinely think that the only reason Lauren and I work is because I force her to take time off every now and again. It's way too easy to spend lots of time working when it's there for you to do, and if you like it it's even worse in a way, but you just have to make sure that you're giving yourself time to yourself and that will help your family as much as anything else.
 
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Lauren Turner

New Member
I genuinely think that the only reason Lauren and I work is because I force her to take time off every now and again. It's way too easy to spend lots of time working when it's there for you to do, and if you like it it's even worse in a way, but you just have to make sure that you're giving yourself time to yourself and that will help your family as much as anything else.
Yes you're so right with this. Getting carried away with working is definitely a problem that I'm trying to address but I just can't stop thinking of the money that I could be making by doing these things, and that's what keeps me working even though I should almost certainly be doing something different with my time, particularly when it gets to the evening.
 
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Mike Turner

New Member
Yes you're so right with this. Getting carried away with working is definitely a problem that I'm trying to address but I just can't stop thinking of the money that I could be making by doing these things, and that's what keeps me working even though I should almost certainly be doing something different with my time, particularly when it gets to the evening.
Well I will admit the money you earn definitely comes in handy when we're planning holidays etc, and you definitely know what you're doing work-wise now, some of the things you make are absolutely stunning.

Actually your work/life balance is a lot better recently, we seem to be doing much more together, but I think that's down to us both trying more to think about what's important in life.
 
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Pete Brindle

New Member
Yes you're so right with this. Getting carried away with working is definitely a problem that I'm trying to address but I just can't stop thinking of the money that I could be making by doing these things, and that's what keeps me working even though I should almost certainly be doing something different with my time, particularly when it gets to the evening.
But you enjoy your work, which in a way makes it even harder I imagine, because it isn't just about the money for you, as it would be for a lot of people who are working from home. You should just have your set working hours, and only work into the evening if either you have a deadline that you're struggling with, or perhaps if you're home alone and have nothing else that you need to do anyway.
 
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