Developing Time-Management Skills
A large part of managing your time consists of taking a step back and managing your life. When you work from home, it is important to deliver projects and complete your work within deadlines, to be on time for appointments, and to give yourself enough time to get from one place to another. But there is also a deeper aspect of managing not only your time; it involves managing your life as a whole.
- “Is my time dictated by urgent matters rather than governed by a proper sense of priorities?”
- “Do I try to accomplish too much at any given time, and fail to do a complete and professional job in many of my tasks?”
- “Do I procrastinate doing larger or more unpleasant tasks, and busy myself with smaller or easier jobs, even though they are not as important?”
- “Do I over-schedule and try to accomplish too much, and then crowd out my time with the unexpected or tasks that take longer than expected?”
If you realize that your answers to the above questions were mainly affirmative, here are a few tried and tested time-management tips.
1. Plan your day the night before.
Try to be one step ahead of your day by planning your work the night before. Write it down; don’t depend on your memory.
2. Maintain a daily schedule.
Schedules help you determine what you should be doing at any given time during your day. You don’t have to spend time worrying about the things you need to do or wondering if you’ve forgotten to do something important (like pick up your kids from school, for instance).
3. List your goals and plan to meet them.
Once you have your goals listed out, all you need to do is set definite priorities toward reaching those goals. Then focus on them.
Start your day with your most important activities. Saving them for later often means the unexpected will crowd them out.
4. Allow for the unexpected.
Speaking of the unexpected, give yourself small gaps in your schedule to allow these interruptions to take place without ruining the plan you made for your day. Also, give yourself adequate time for meetings and phone calls; they often tend to take longer than you anticipate.
5. Own your time.
Don’t just “manage” your time. Own it. Treat it as the most precious commodity you possess, because it really is.
6. Make a list.
List the things you need to do each day – such as laundry or meal preparation or yard work. Make sure you slot time for them in your daily schedule.
Also create a second list of the things you wish you could do if you had time. If certain items on this second list are important, schedule them into your day.
7. Estimate your commitments realistically.
Determine how much time each item on your schedule will take. If you have regular activities, write down how much time they really take.
This post is an excerpt from Work from Home: Find a Passion. Forge a Path. Fulfill a Purpose. by R. J. Santiago, available to purchase on Amazon.
Learn how to start a new career or earn needed income on the side by working from home. Author and freelancer R. J. Santiago shares tried (and proven) tips and step-by-step instructions to help you launch a work-from-home career. This book covers various avenues of online earning, the process of defining your area of expertise, and using it to fill a need in the market. You’ll also learn tips on finding clients and customers, practical strategies for working from home, and essential factors that will help determine your success.
Also included in the book:
- A Self-Discovery Quiz
- Pros and Cons to Working from Home
- Signs of Online Scams and Schemes
- Over 25 Work-from-Home Opportunities
- Start-up Costs and Other Money Matters
- Legalities and Creating a Business Plan
- Time-Management and Efficiency Tips
Most importantly, discover the satisfaction that comes from finding your passion, forging a path, and fulfilling a purpose as you work from home.