One of the latest professional trends is working from home, and here the Importance Of Time Management is more evident to ever. Every day millions of people commute to their work, losing valuable time in traffic jams and public transportation delays. It is an enormous loss for the economy, and every year economists seem to come with even higher estimates of loss to organizations due to this.
It is not really a big surprise then to see that society is looking for alternatives to the daily commute. Traffic seems to only be increasing, and governments are not keeping up with that pace. For many professions, working from home is a feasible solution. The work that many people do at their desk in the company, can very well be carried out at home for some of the time. If you are one of these (part time) home workers, then you need to understand that structuring your work, and putting up the required discipline and dealing with different kind of distractions are a necessity. Applying sound Time Management principles can be very beneficial.
Nowadays, many people work from home and the internet is a great asset for them to connect to the network of the organization, or process their emails. When you work from home, the daily routine you have at the office is different, and you are met with a lot of distractions. You need to maximize your efforts and to do so, you should minimize your distractions. You can do this by developing efficient time management.
1. You should take care of interruptions as soon as you can. Although some interruptions are undoubtedly out of your control, there are also those that you can stop simply by attending to them right away. As an example, when the phone rings, don’t let it continue ringing; pick up the phone after the first or second ring. Unless the call is important, tell the caller you will phone him back when you’re available to talk. You can even take advantage of your phone’s voicemail feature. Let telephone calls go straight to voicemail after the second ring. This is a great way to monitor your calls.
2. Lessen anxiety and frustration by taking regular breaks. You’re certain to face a lot of distractions that you just won’t be able to control. In such situations, most people tend to feel pressured or frustrated because they can’t do anything about these distractions, but these negative feelings will only reduce your productivity even more. Rather, just take a deep breath, recover from it, and keep working. Make sure you schedule quick breaks in your work day.
3. What times of the day do you have the least disruptions? Those are times when you should do your most important business tasks. There are some disruptions that can not be avoided or ignored, especially if you’re a parent. So, if you don’t wish to be interrupted and actually be able to work continually for a couple of hours or so, you need to schedule your work during those times when you’re least likely to get interrupted. For most home workers, this is during the middle of the day when the kids are at school or late at night when they’re already in bed.
4. Teach yourself to ignore disruptions. It’s in fact a lot easier said than done, but not impossible to accomplish. As an example, if your place is in a noisy neighborhood and the noise is just non-stop the whole day, you’re likely to have a tough time getting work completed. Nonetheless, if you learn to focus on your work instead of whining about the distracting sounds, you can actually increase your productivity.
5. If you wish to keep the distractions down to a minimum, work in a quiet section of your home. Your home office needs to be in a space or room that will not get a great deal of foot traffic in the daytime. Your family members should be aware of your work hours and they have to understand that you shouldn’t be interrupted during those hours unless there’s a crisis. During especially busy days, you may even want to lock the door to prevent unimportant disruptions.
On top of these five tips, it’s crucial that you develop discipline and focus on your work. If you do that, your productivity will remain high and you will be able to continue to work from home. Your boss will not see your output decrease and consequently will be more inclined to accept the new flexible work setup. And you will be more motivated to put in an extra hour or two if needed. The time you save by not having to commute every day and not losing valuable time in traffic jams, is time you can spend on other important things.
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