Time management is often a challenge for those that work from home. It may not necessarily be intentional, but often others see the person who works at home as “available” just because they don’t have a “real job”. Don’t get me wrong – writing is a real job in my eyes (but not so much in the eyes of others).
It is often difficult to be productive when there are family members who just don’t “get it”. I have included 5 tips in this post (some of which I need to constantly remind myself of).
- Work set hours. I know this is often not the easiest thing to do, but it is necessary to ensure your success. It is too easy to put other things first. Working set hours doesn’t mean you have to work 9 to 5 (unless you want to); it just means you should work the same hours each day (and by all means, take weekends off).
- Let others know you are NOT available. Your success depends on how serious you are about being a writer. If you are only going to write “when you feel like it”, then chances are you will not be as successful as you envisioned yourself to be. It is okay to not answer the phone or jump every time someone requests your presence. That’s why call display was invented. On the flip side, sometimes we do have to leave at a moment’s notice due to an emergency. Put family first in that case, but otherwise request they leave their phone calls and visits to your “non work” time.
- Work with your productive times, not against them. As I said in the first tip, you don’t have to have a 9 to 5 schedule if it doesn’t work for you. I am most productive in the afternoon and late evening, so I leave my serious writing until then (hence the reason this is being posted after midnight). I utilize my mornings to do the marketing that every writer should do. I work from home, but also have livestock to care for so I time my writing around their schedule. I rarely write an article before noon, but I do spend that time planning them or updating my Twitter and Facebook feeds.
- Brainstorm. This is vital to your success if you write articles for revenue share sites or for sale. Take the time to jot down ideas for articles, then when you have your “writing time” get them done. I will often make a list, then work my way through it when the house is quiet. I also find that the “list” often gives me material for blog posts or client requests.
- Allow yourself to relax. If you are feeling stressed, take a break. Do something you enjoy, such as reading a book, going for a walk or playing with the children (if you have them). I go out and play with the dogs and cats, and visit with our alpacas. That alone will occasionally spark a whole new set of ideas for articles, and I can then return to my computer and get busy writing.
The tips above are not out of reach for anyone. It is purely a matter of making a schedule and sticking to it. It is your schedule, and you are in control of it. If modifications need to be made, then so be it. Just be sure to set one and stick to it once you find what works. Your bank balance will thank you once you are able to get your writing done and articles submitted on time.