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How do you not waste time if you’re working from home?

(8 Posts)
Booksandpens Wed 13-Mar-19 16:40:43

I’m (very slowly) starting to look into working from home after being a SAHM for (too many) years, but I only have 2 hours a day on a good day to dedicate to working, as I have no clients yet (so no set deadlines) I’m finding it really hard to use those hours to the max, and end up with not much to show by the end of the week —year—.
I know what business I hope to work in, and have taken online courses to keep myself current, but when left to my own devices I just stall.

I can’t seem to go from my to-do list to actual actionable steps.

What works for you?

OP’s posts: |
Lancelottie Fri 15-Mar-19 19:12:08

Turn the internet connection off.

Set a timer (I do either 20 mins or 45 minutes, then a off-screen break for the sake of my eyes.)

Booksandpens Fri 15-Mar-19 20:49:46

Yes, I really need to switch the internet off, I waste hours every day on it.
I’ll try the timer approach, it might just be what I need. Thanks.

OP’s posts: |
Closetlibrarian Fri 15-Mar-19 20:56:09

the timer thing really works. Look up pomodoros

Alabasterangel6 Fri 15-Mar-19 21:05:08

I work from home. I have two approaches!! The first is the 50 minutes on it, 10 off one. Focus wholly for 50, set a timer for 10 and either totally remove/chill/rest or do domestic stuff at pace, depending on what will make me feel better in the long run.

The other approach is rather more situation dependent. In my role I am on many (many) conference calls. Lots of which I’m needed to focus and absorb but not necessarily be speaking. I used to be chained to the desk, chewing a pen lid and getting distracted by other email. Now I pace, dig weeds, dust or crochet. My attention and focus is far better.

Find what works for you depending on your output!

IWouldPreferNotTo Fri 15-Mar-19 21:09:23

I've been working from home for over ten years and this is what I've learned.

1. Task lists are essential. Despite working in IT I use a notebook for this. Each day is a new page and any uncompleted items are copied over. I then add in actions from meetings and any actions generated by my work

2. I don't respond to email instantly. I have set points in the day for responding to email so you avoid task switching

3. Don't have TV on in the background

4. If anyone else is in the house be really clear you're in work and not available to help, chat etc.

5. Get up, shower, dress for work. You might be working from home but you need to be in a work mindset

6. Take breaks at the same schedule you would in an office.

7. Track your time against tasks so you know where you're spending your time. Not working is a task and should be tracked so you can work out how much time you spend not being productive

8. Prioritise yours tasks, set deadlines and measure whether or not you are hitting your deadlines. This also means starting each day with a plan of what you are going to achieve that day

9. Keep on top of your invoicing/accounts. It's no good spending three hours preparing an invoice because you weren't accurate in time keeping if it's only for 5 days work as you're spending 10% of your time on unbillable admin

10. Do your accounts weekly, go through your accounting package explaining line items, making sure invoices have been paid and keeping your expenses up to date.

11. Skype is the devil for destroying productivity as you can type back and forth for ages. If it can be dealt with in under 10 minutes call, otherwise arrange a proper meeting.

12. Any email chain that pings back and forth is a sign a call is needed. It might seem efficient but it wastes time when working on a shared document is faster.

AnnettePrice Fri 15-Mar-19 21:12:01

Go agile. It’s how to get focused and get things done. Things get broken down into manageable chunks.

Booksandpens Sat 16-Mar-19 07:52:52

Thank you for all the tips! I definitely need to up my list making game, and start a daily/weekly Kanban board, and switch off the Internet- Netflix has been a real time suck.

OP’s posts: |

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