How To Keep Track Of Your Time When Working From Home | Work From Home Site


How To Keep Track Of Your Time When Working From Home

How To Keep Track Of Your Time When Working From Home

How productive do you think you would really be working from home?  I’ve often  sat down and knocked out a solid eight-hour-day, only to feel like I have barely got anything done at the end of it. It can be hard making the most of your time when working from home. You might expect that your productivity would go up when, but unless you have extreme discipline and a particular system in place it is very easy to get distracted. No doubt you are ‘working’, but there’s a chance you are just doing ‘fluff work’. You know the tasks you seem to do on a loop until your day is gone. Check email, check orders, check on websites, check Facebook status, rinse and repeat.

The first step for me when working from home was to break up my day and write everything down. Once it is on paper it becomes reality. Don’t plan your day out in your head and then try and follow it. Trying to stick to a schedule in your head will have you floating all day. Get a day to a page diary and plan your start time and end time. If you have anything to do during that day outside work (like going to gym or getting lunch) dedicate it a start and finish time and block it out of your day. Now you know exactly how many hours you have in your day to get stuff done.

From here there are two approaches. You can either write the tasks out that need to be done in a list, or you can dedicate each task in your day a specific time slot and try to keep to that. There are advantages to either approach. If you are just writing them out in order, make sure you still log the time you start working on it and finish it. The advantages to this are your days planning is a bit more flexible. The disadvantages I have found however, is that I generally wouldn’t get as much done with this system. There is less of a sense of urgency with something when you don’t allocate it a specific time, and you might find yourself floating off still. Personally I like to estimate how long something will take, and then give it a start and finish time. The more regimented the better in my case. By knowing you only have that time to work on it, you seem to be more focused on getting the work done efficiently. It is best to decide which of these two planning techniques are best for you when working from home.

The last part to all of this is tracking and logging your time. For this I have a secret weapon for you. It’s called rescuetime and it’s a great tool for seeing how productive you are being when working from home. It tracks your computer usage, seeing how long you spend on particular sites, and where your time on your computer is going. You can check your daily and weekly logs to see how efficient you are being, and just how much time you may be wasting checking facebook, youtube etc. It also gives you a baseline for your productivity you can try and beat each week. Knowing you had a productivity score of 56 last week gives you a score to try and beat this week. While doing this you are training yourself to become more efficient and getting more work done than ever before. You can check it out at rescuetime.com here.

Let us know any more tips for being productive below.

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