Working from home - how do you plan your day/projects?

(14 Posts)
debmo83 Thu 18-Jul-13 12:02:19

Whiteboard idea... stolen been inspired! I'm just setting up my home business, and I'm having the same problems with focus/scheduling. Sooooo relieved to find it's not just me. Thanks ladies smile

I have a whiteboard and each day I write a list of 10-20 things I want to achieve. Some of them are small things (add a transaction to the budget spreadsheet), some are huuuuge (write 1000 words on my book), some are housework related (washing up etc). Most things on the list take around 20 minutes to an hour, so the list is achievable but challenging.
I enjoy ticking items off the list, and get a lot done each day.
It also helps DH understand why I'm tired by the end of the day, so he doesn't feel he did all the work and can cop out of DCs dinnertime/bedtime duties.

Suzietwo Mon 15-Jul-13 21:12:24

How are you getting on?

I find the best thing to kick start myself into action if im finding t are is to make a all to a client. Once that's done my brain switches into work mode and I'm much more productive

Of course the real trick is to be able to recognise and accept when you're not ring productive and walk away. Do something else. I'm not quite ther yet, after 3 years of working from home.

becscertainstar Tue 02-Jul-13 12:51:51

Thank you! I'm installing 'Pomodoro' WilsonFrickett that looks very useful.

I'm pretty much the same pattern harryhausen in that I can take time out to go to school play, sports day etc. but will need to make up that time by working in the evening. I'm a freelancer so I don't need to account for my time to a boss but I do need to invoice enough to make it worthwhile. If I'm productive I have enough work with my current clients for at least the next year. I do have a good long working day as DS does lots of after school sport etc. so it's a shame to spend that working day piddling about and then have to work late in the evening just because of lack of focus during the day.

So I've made a resolution to stay off MN apart from during my lunch break (which is why I'm here now!) and after working hours have finished. Damn. I'll miss the company and the banter here but it's too addictive, and I'm too all-or-nothing in terms of my personality type. So I've written a list of things to do during breaks that I know are good for my productivity (eg doing some yoga stretches, going for a walk, making some good coffee) and a list of things that are banned during the working day (message boards, personal email, games, cooking) and a few 'admissable' things (music on in the background, tennis on with the sound down, short housework tasks during breaks).

Right that's the end of my lunch break. See that determined look on my face? I'm pressing that pomodoro right now...

Thanks so much for your advice all - hugely appreciated. I'll pop back to this thread when I've finished my work for the day smile

harryhausen Tue 02-Jul-13 07:51:43

I've worked from home for 18 yrs.

It's been great/boring/stressful/lonely/liberating all in one go. I'm a freelancer in a creative industry though. I get given a date for delivery of work and work to it. Frequently time is short and my work spills into the evenings ( last night it was 1amhmm).

I don't have a set pattern. I drop the kids at school and am sat at my desk by 9.30am. That's kind of it, coffee breaks aside. Patterns get interrupted by meetings in London, but also things like school sports day. I find that as I'm at home I have the luxury of attending school things - however the hours have to be made up elsewhere.

Sometimes I wish I worked with a team. I have formed an Internet group from my industry (who are all at home too) and we meet up every month for our 'water cooler' moments.

Not sure that's any helpgrin I suppose its a case of what kind of job you'll be doing and what the expectations are of you.

WilsonFrickett Tue 02-Jul-13 00:03:38

Pomodoro app. Basically, a 25 minute timer (because that's the optimim concentration span, apparently). So I get back from the school run, MN check my emails and social media platforms, then crack on with my work in pmodoro size chunks, with a small reward MN after each block.

becscertainstar Mon 01-Jul-13 22:15:00

That's a good idea Trills - especially breaking work down and rewarding myself... I had SUCH an unproductive day. Tomorrow will be better. It'd better be, I'm only paid by the hour - with the work I did itemised within the hour - so hours spent not working are hours I'm not paid for!

It's harder than I remember it being. I think I got used to faffing around in an office - I definitely 'slowed down' gradually while working in an office 'til I was going at the same speed as everyone else.

Trills Mon 01-Jul-13 17:02:12

I will have a cup of tea after I send this email

Break down your work into small manageable chunks and reward yourself for each one.

Or do a non-work thing after each one.

I will hang up the washing after I write this piece

Anything that is a break from staring at your computer is a kind of break even if it's not actively fun.

Trills Mon 01-Jul-13 17:01:09

I will put the tennis on but I will have the sound turned down quite low

becscertainstar Mon 01-Jul-13 16:32:15

Yes I DEFINITELY need to get some of those sort of limits set Trills - but who MNs for just 5 minutes? Are these the same people who eat half a bar of chocolate and save the rest for later? For me it might have to be - no MN until all of the work is done for the day... <sobs>

Trills Mon 01-Jul-13 16:15:28

When I have finished making this graph I am allowed to go on MN for 5 minutes.

That sort of thing? smile

becscertainstar Mon 01-Jul-13 16:13:26

Glad I'm not alone wonkylegs. It seems that those people who have their system all sorted are currently ploughing through their workload and not on MN during the working day... That's one tip to take away with me wink

wonkylegs Mon 01-Jul-13 12:48:15

Watching with interest.... I'm in the process of setting up my own practice following the one I worked for going bust. The hardest thing for me so far has been going from a studio full of people to being on my own.

becscertainstar Mon 01-Jul-13 12:37:49

I was working from home for a couple of years, then just had two years of being self-employed but working on contract in clients' offices. I'm back to working from home but I feel like I've lost the knack of it. I had a pretty good rhythm down before where I took breaks and knew how much work to plan in for the day. But I feel a bit lost and disorganised this time around.

I'm being nosey looking for inspiration - do you plan your day at the beginning of each day, or on the previous day? Or do you plan the whole week ahead? How do you structure your day? Do you put breaks in? What does your plan look like - is it by time, or just a tick list of 'To Dos'? Do you use any kind of productivity system to keep your work organised and keep yourself on track? My systems definitely aren't working this time around and it's partly because I'm doing a different type of work so the old system isn't quite right (I was doing one long project at home last time, whereas this time I'm juggling one very long project with short term projects for other clients). I'd love to hear how other people do it?

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