6.27.2012

A Working Schedule

A couple of weeks ago, I got a request from a reader (Hi, Virginia!) to share how I put myself in "work mode" during certain hours of the day, now that I'm working from home. What a great idea, eh? Ah, if only I had a good answer, something that was really working for me.

Considering that I've only been at this "work from home" thing for two months, I'm still on a steep learning curve when it comes to successfully managing my time. I do not, in fact, have it "all figured out", nor have I come up with some magic schedule that gives me "working" hours and "everything else" hours. There are times when I'm getting ready for bed and I find myself wondering, "What did I manage to get done today?"

However, I have learned three things over the last few weeks that are helping me find a working groove as I move forward with Weaving Influence, and so without further ado, I'm sharing them with you.

Lesson #1: Get yourself a timer

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I am not, by nature, a good steward of time. The hours can slip by me faster than you can say, "Hello Hulu!",  but as I have recognized this as one of my areas of weakness, I have attempted to find ways to keep myself on track. I already know the timer method works brilliantly, because I used it back in January to clean up the office. However, while a marvelously simple idea, the timer only works if I use it, right? Right. 

Lesson #2: Get Up Earlier

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You know the old saying, "Early to Bed, Early to Rise, Makes a Man Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise"? I think Mr. B. Franklin was onto something, and believe me when I say that I never thought those words would flow from these fingertips. However, having made the switch from night owl to early bird, I'm hooked. In the early hours, when the house is so quiet and the coffee is so freshly brewed, I find that my focus and energy levels are at their best. We didn't change overnight, but by setting the alarm clock 15 minutes earlier each week, it turned into a habit. The music now comes on at 4:45, after a snooze or two, Peter's off to work by 6:00, while I have a two hour head-start on the day

Lesson #3: Prioritize


{Image Source: The Small Object - and it's for SALE!}

This is, quite possibly, the hardest one for me, and the one that I'm still struggling to develop. Let me give you an example of what I'm talking about. Earlier this week, I created a short list of things that I needed to do for work (the job that actually pays me), but instead of working on my list, I spent five hours working on my own blog. While my blog is a fun, creative outlet, it doesn't pay the bills, and after lunch, I had to spend the afternoon working on a real project. However, by the time 3 o'clock rolled around, I was tired of sitting in front of the computer, yet the majority of my day was spent on non-paying projects. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. I haven't given up though, and am attempting to build the discipline to devote mornings to my paying job, and those lazy afternoons to writing blog posts, running errands, cleaning the house, or relaxing on the couch with a pile of books.

Do you work from home?
How do YOU stick to a schedule and remain productive?

5 comments:

  1. Hi Carrie, you lovely blog-writer you.

    I work from home, mostly. Be careful, once you get good at it the thing which becomes difficult is knowing when to stop! There is no natural end to the day, and work can so easily roll on into the evening. You'll soon need your timer to tell you when to stop, not start!!

    All the best with it!
    Ali, Geneva

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    Replies
    1. Ali - HAHA! I'm already there, which is why I'm trying even harder to set a schedule! I don't want to be on the computer during the few hours I have with Peter at night, but it seems like there is always something to check on or fix. Thanks for sharing!!

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  2. I don't work from home, but I have found budgeting my time to be very effective. If you would like to read more about how it works for me, I am including a link to a post I wrote. Using my time wisely is an ongoing lesson in my school of life. :) P.S. I love to use a timer too!
    http://www.joythroughreading.com/2012/06/12/make-the-most-of-every-minute-part-4/

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  3. Carrie again...
    There are those who CAN work at home, there are those that CANNOT. I don't think there are any in-between categories. Congrats on being someone who can. It means you can make yourself a hot meal in the middle of the day, work with bare feet, check the mail at lunch break, etc. It is a lovely freedom... as long as you know when to stop... as you've discovered!

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There are more than 400,000 words in the English language. My only request of you is this: Use them wisely.

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