When I became a freelancer, I never thought I would have a hard time managing my time and getting everything done I needed to. I was used to working a full time job and maintaining a household. I never had a problem getting everything accomplished, I was the person everyone looked at and said how does she do it. Then I learned that working from home presented a whole new world of challenges to me.
It started off with me setting a few goals saying I would get so much accomplished in a day, that didn’t happen. I would end up working 12 hours a day and not getting much done. I began thinking I was not going to every be able to get all of the work done I needed done, take care of all of my household duties, and be able to spend time with my children. This made me very sad, I really wanted to succeed as a freelancer, but I could not get myself to focus. I continually was distracted by things someone messaging me on Facebook, or a text, or phone call coming in. I felt like I could not stay on task no matter what I tried.
My house started to suffer, I am a neat freak and the laundry was piling up, this distracted me even more. All I could think about was I have to clean the house, I have to get the laundry done. I was working seven days a week and not getting the work done I should be in three days. I wasn’t spending time with my children, which was the main reason I decided to freelance, something had to change.
I sat down one night, after not taking a break for weeks and decided I had to figure out how to do this better. I had to make this work. I came up with a few simple steps that have helped me tremendously.
Step 1: Buy a notebook, a day calendar, anything that you can keep close buy you at all times.
Step 2: Write a list of all of the things you have to get done in one day. This can range from your work to doing laundry to even taking a shower.
Step 3: Consider the amount of time it will take you to get them done, and write it next to the task. For instance, if you want to exercise every day for 30 minutes, you must write this on your list. If you need 20 minutes to fold and put laundry away write it down also.
Step 4: Begin writing a schedule. Start from the time you get up, write down everything that needs to be done such as at 7:00 AM -make my bed, and go from there.
Step 5: Schedule down time for yourself. You are allowed to have time to relax, watch a TV show, read a book, or go for a run. Make sure you allow yourself that time so you will be refreshed to start working again.
You will complete this task every day, writing up a list of items to be completed for the following day, allowing yourself enough time to complete them. It is easiest if you start slow and allow yourself a little more time than you think you will need to complete the task. Not allowing yourself enough time will only stress you out and make you feel bad about not getting it done.
Using these steps, I have been able to complete all of my goals on a daily basis. Finish all the work I need to complete, take care of my home the way I want to, and spend time with my children. Try following these steps and see if they work for you, or sit down and work out your own program for managing your time well.