Working from home can be a challenge. I work from home so I can be with my dogs full time, and accomplish the things I want to accomplish. Pretty much everything revolves around the house, yard and the people and dogs in it. This is my choice and what I want to do.
However, there is still the matter of making a living and getting everything done around the home. Certain things have to be done without exception, especially when you have dogs that need attention.
Following a schedule has never been something I could do. I never really understood how to stick to it. Inevitably, things come up during the day the derail the schedule. It took a LOT of trial and error to figure out what works but after so many years not being able to stick to a schedule (my entire life so far), I am happy to say that I’m able to do it without the stress I used to experience
The following is how I get the things I NEED to get done and the things I WANT to get done in that order.
The Most Important Thing You Can Do
Because I am managing my dogs all day long, there is always something that happens that I don’t expect that comes up during the day. This is why it is crucial to get my most important things done in the morning – EARLY.
In order to get your important tasks done, you need to bypass anything that is a distractions. Occasionally, this will require will power to just ignore anything to do with your cell phone or social media, but you MUST do it. Once you get those important tasks done first thing, you will be amazed how much you are able to accomplish over time.
How To Do This
Get up early. This may require you to change your sleeping schedule. Getting up early is the best way to accomplish these tasks. If you are not a morning person but do your best work at night then do that, only make sure you block out time to do that and stick to it. It really has to be at a time when there are no physical distractions such as people moving around and noise in the house. You can then manage your phone and/or social media (by turning it off) so that you can have complete focus on your work. At some point it will become a HABIT (you have trained yourself) and you won’t need to think about it anymore, you will just do it.
For some people getting up early will be difficult and might seem impossible. What I am finding is that because I am doing something I am interested in at this time of the morning, I don’t really have a problem getting up. It is both what I want and need to do. It is a time of the day when it is quiet, dark and I am able to concentrate for a certain block of time.
As a helpful aside, dogs love getting up early – or at least most do. This should help because then you can get them fed and toileted and then they can rest while you work.
All of the information I have been reading about being productive say that the brain can only really focus for a certain amount of time at once, that being 90 minutes. Also, four hours is the maximum amount of time the brain is able to function at top level during a day. This makes total sense and is why desk jobs are so difficult for many people – they have likely reached their limit of concentration for the day.
So, I write blog posts and study my second language during these 90 minute periods. During the morning there are several 90 minute periods that I can use for work. I just break them up with other tasks like letting the dogs out to pee, getting some tea, going to the bathroom, and feeding the rabbits. Sometimes I even do a quick floor sweep and make the bed.
This obviously doesn’t apply to physical labour jobs. We are talking about work that requires focus like writing, art, cooking, editing videos, reading or any kind of computer work where you have to concentrate on words or numbers.
The other thing I have set time aside for is training my dogs. When it comes down to it, it is only really about 30 minutes in total that I am training. I mean, how long can you really do one session? 10 minutes is mostly the maximum. When I do the training I film it at the same time so I have footage for my videos.
I simply have to stop everything else and do the training. Then it is done and then I don’t have to worry about getting it done by rushing later when other things are happening.
Getting up early to write and getting the training done are the two things that are the most important. When they are done, everything else gets done too. It’s quite amazing how it works.
7:00 – meditate, read motivational book, work on current book (writing) 30 minutes each.
8:30 am – toilet and feed dogs
9 am breakfast
9:30 – write blog posts, study language
11:30 am – let dogs out to pee, start lunch. Depending on the season, I may also shovel some snow, or do something with plants during this time.
NOON – lunch
1pm – edit video, read online class lesson (I’m always taking a class or two)
1:30 pm train dogs, exercise dogs
3:30 pm edit video, post on social media (have to do that on the computer as we have no good cell service in town).
4 pm start supper, do miscellaneous house/yard stuff that needs to get done but is not THAT important.
5 pm eat supper
6 pm – answer messages, make quick posts, finish editing and upload etc.
7 pm that’s it!
In the evening, I may do another short training session with someone if there is something specific we are working on, but it only lasts a few minutes. I also take this time to track my activities and write in a journal about what was done during the day.
It’s Your Job
Think of it this way. If something is your JOB, you do it. You go to work and do that job – you don’t mess around doing other things and not getting your work done (although some people do that too 😆).
The same thing applies at home, only it’s more important there because you are likely tempted to do many other things before work. It is easy to get sidetracked. I don’t take any calls during the morning for instance because I am working (writing). People can leave a message. If I’m tired or if it’s nice outside (and it’s tempting to go outside) these things can disrupt a schedule and stop you from working. So I get the important stuff done early and then I don’t have to worry about it later.
Get the important stuff done early. Don’t fall for distractions until you are done your work.