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I truly love working from home and can’t image going back to an office setting. Working from home has its challenges, but I’m sharing some of the things that I do to ensure my success in completing the hours I need to put in so I can get all those tasks done!
I have kids so I can only work while they are at daycare or if they are sleeping. I make sure they are dropped off to daycare at a certain time in the morning and picked up at a set time at the end of the day. This structure alone has set up my work schedule and a routine for myself and children.
I have created a start time of 8:30 AM at the latest so if I don’t start at this time I consider myself running late for work! I set lunch a break if I decide to take one and then I have a set time to leave “work” which is when I go to pick up the kids 4-4: 30 pm. I personally like to use my kid’s early bedtime for some “me time “vs “work time.”
Making lists of tasks, or setting project schedules into my week, really helps keep me focused. This helps me make sure tasks are getting completed and hours are also getting put in. Every day of the week is scheduled whether it be weekly ongoing tasks like blogs and newsletters or daily hours I need to put in for client projects. An example is scheduling out spending an hour each day doing work for a specific client to achieve their monthly hours.
When I set up client calls or meetings I like to schedule those for late morning or early afternoon. I find client calls take much longer than scheduled and they take away from task priorities. I like to start my workday by checking emails, working on my most important tasks first, then prepare for my call or meeting. I find that I am most present for meetings in the afternoon because I have already taken care of my top priority tasks so if the meeting goes longer than expected that’s okay! I set myself up for success and already accomplished what needed to get done at the beginning of the day.
I find that I am most present for meetings in the afternoon because I have already taken care of my top priority tasks so if the meeting goes longer than expected that’s okay!
If I need to set up personal appointments I try to make them outside my set work hours. When I can’t (for example; doctor appointments) I like to set up the appointments for either first thing in the morning (doctors are typically on time more so in the mornings than afternoons). This way I can get my hours in by asking my husband to pick up the kids and I can work a little later.
Set up a workspace that makes you feel comfortable and help you focus on your work. Creating a workspace or office will encourage you to be more productive. Also, depending on your line of work, make sure you have a big enough workspace where you can have all your essentials close by so you are not distracted by leaving your “desk”.
When working from home there is no one there to watch over you to make you accountable. No one knows what time you start, finish or even what you are wearing (hello, leggings all day every day!).
Having a program with a timer has really helped me stay motivated to get my hours in. It makes me feel accountable for how many hours I get in and how long it takes me to do tasks. If you are a type of person that needs accountability I would highly recommend this. There are a lot of free programs you can use to help keep track of your hours– Toggl is what I use.
I think the biggest misconception from working from home is that people around you assume you work whenever you feel like it, you have so much flexibility to do anything you want and your house is always clean. In reality, my house still looks the same as it did when I worked in an office and my hours are pretty similar to when I worked in the office, too.
I think the biggest misconception from working from home is that people around you assume you work whenever you feel like it, you have so much flexibility to do anything you want and your house is always clean.
People will ask to do all sorts of things while you work from home– they have the day off so let’s meet for coffee/lunch, can you watch my kids or can you pick/drop me off at the airport? Sometimes people will call midday to chat and I often need to remind them that even though I work from home I still have set working hours.
I hope these tips help you get your hours in! It can be tricky when you’re first starting out as a freelancer or working from home but by trying out my tips you’re at least trying something out that works! I would love to hear what you do at home to make sure your hours get in. Comment below and let me know!
yah, I get it, that sounds cheesy but I have helped dozens DOZENS of photographers make piles of money- yep it's true! I help photographers create passive income, launch their courses, plan their workshops, book more clients and more!