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How To Create An Effective Work From Home Schedule

While working from home might be more common than ever, it’s not easy for everyone to adjust to this new routine. You’ll be faced with new obstacles, like balancing personal commitments and work obligations, and you’ll need a solid schedule to be successful.

Follow this system to work from home with maximum effectiveness.

Block Out Time For Personal Commitments

Before you can start your work-from-home schedule, you have to account for personal commitments to your family, friends, and community. If you try to squeeze events into your typical 9-5 schedule, you find difficulty managing both work and personal duties and feel way more stressed as a result.

In the morning or the night before, list all personal commitments so you can visualize them and figure out how to schedule them in conjunction with your work responsibilities. Don’t plan to work from 9-5 and expect to have time for everything else; block out personal time in your calendar first. You can use a physical planner for this or a digital calendar.

This tactic also has a strong psychological effect that prevents you from overworking and overlooking the need for time spent with loved ones, which is easy for many people with hours outside of the typical 9-5. When you block out time for these commitments, you are more likely to honor commitments and achieve a healthier work/life balance.

Evaluate Time Spent On Work

Next is managing time spent on tasks and assignments for work. As someone who works from home, you have greater flexibility to work whenever is most convenient for you, and those hours can change every day. However, you still have to carefully consider how much time it will take to complete each task, so you get an accurate estimation of how much you can accomplish by the end of the day. 

Once you have outlined your essential personal commitments, create time blocks for each segment of work. Depending on how much you have to do that day, you may have a much longer workday than the typical 9-5. For example, it’s possible to wake

up at 6 AM, work until noon, take breaks for personal commitments, and then resume work until 10 PM. All that matters is that you have planned your day based on how long each task will realistically take.

If you underestimate how long each takes will take or don’t think about this at all, you’ll feel constantly behind.

Organize Your Workspace

You’re only as organized as your workspace. If paperwork is piling up, it’s time for a better filing system. 

We recommend organizing your workspace with the 5S principles in mind:

Sort

Set in Order

Shine

Standardize

Sustain

However, focus first on sorting and setting in order. If your desk is cluttered and your data is disorganized, you will take longer to find essential work supplies, eating up your productivity. Watch your productivity increase after you clear your desk and invest in a filing cabinet or digital cloud-based software. If you’d like more info on how 5S can transform your work-from-home schedule, take a look at this blog post.

Create A System With Breaks

When you work from home, it’s important to schedule breaks for yourself. Every hour you work, allow yourself a small break to stretch your legs, reply to messages from friends and family, or sit back for a minute. 

These breaks give you the motivation you need to keep going without the risk of burning out before the end of the day. An office job has downtime to let you reset, so why shouldn’t your remote work?

Conclusion

Just because you work from home, doesn’t mean that planning your work schedule is easy. It takes effort to stay on target. By following these steps, you can set yourself up for success next time you sit down in your workspace.

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