i have always considered myself to be an organized individual but I found out quickly I had to step up my game when I began working from home. Just making a TO DO list and checking off items was not cutting it.
First, there are quite a few distractions that can get you off track quickly if you let them. The telephone was my enemy. If it rang, I picked it up. I didn't care if I was in the middle of a project, I still picked it up. Telling myself I would only be on the phone for a few minutes, the conversation always took a lot longer than I allotted. By the time I finished, I was off track and playing catch up for the remainder of the day (or worse, into the night). Anyone who knows me well knows that I am not a night person!
So, I had to put some procedures into place to make working from home successful.
1. I created a schedule that included work, housework and homeschooling. Creating the schedule was the easy part - sticking to it took work but I think I have it down pat. I dedicate the morning hours to the children and their lessons and the afternoon to my work. I emailed the schedule to family and friends so they would know when it is best to reach me by phone and they have been wonderful about this. I return calls in the afternoon or respond via email during the day.
2. Eliminating time wasters was next. I research topics for articles and can find myself easily drifting over to Facebook to see what my friends are doing. That had to stop - I check into Facebook certain times of the day and leave it at that.
3. I do not buy fast food (it is too expensive and not very healthy) so I prepare my meals. The crockpot is my friend! I usually have my dinner in the crockpot before 9am and by 4pm (when we have dinner), it is done. I love that! No running into the kitchen at the last minute trying to figure out what to fix. Plus the house smells pretty good during the day while I am working! Which leads me to meal planning...
4. I only go the grocery store every 2 weeks, with an occasional run to the convenience store for milk. How? Every 2 weeks, I plan our meals for the next 2 weeks. From this planning, I create my grocery list, add my coupons, note the sales and voila! Done! I place the meal planner on the refrigerator so everyone knows what is on tap for the day. The boys make their own breakfast and lunch.
5. I sort and load laundry the night before, put it in the washer and just turn on the washer in the morning. While the boys are eating lunch, the clothes get transferred to the dryer and the boys fold in the evening.
So far, so good - the schedule is holding up. It has also made the boys quite independent and they adhere to the schedule as well as I do. With cooperation, planning and perseverance, working from home is a blessing.
Further Resources You May Find Helpful:
Work Pays At Home
How To Get Things Done: Living Stress Free While Still Being Productive!
Time Warrior: How to defeat procrastination, people-pleasing, self-doubt, over-commitment, broken promises and chaos