Thursday, January 16, 2014

Improving Time Management Skills for Work from Home Professionals

Organizational Skills & Project Management Tips

time management skills, small business, work from home
Working from home can be very appealing to many people. Not waiting in rush hour traffic or sitting in a cubicle all day can be a liberating feeling. The downside of this, however, is that this relaxed environment can lead to struggles with maintaining deadlines and staying organized. Here are some tips to help get organized and become a project management champion at home.

Organizational Skills Are Key

Whether working at home or in an office, staying organized is something that professionals struggle with. At home professionals find this even more difficult when work papers get mixed in with children’s homework or daily mail. The first step in bettering one’s time management skills is to get organized in a home office.

Beginning this organizational process starts with designating space in the home that is just for working. This could be a spare room, unused dining table, or a corner of the living room. Wherever the space, make sure everyone in the home knows this is a work space and it should not be cluttered with any school, personal, or other items.

Keeping designated workspace neat is the next step in this process. Being able to grab a document quickly when it is needed by a client or coworker is important for being efficient. When papers start to pile up, take time to organize them into folders or binders that have clear labels. This will help to locate anything that may be needed in an instant.

Prioritize for Successful Project Management

Prioritizing tasks is another key time management skill that professionals are challenged with regardless if they work at home or not. When a big project is on the table and deadlines are looming, it can be easy to throw a priority list out the window. This causes people to scramble and try to complete everything as quickly as possible without thinking about what is most important.

When a project is announced and deadlines are set, one of the first things to do is create a priority list. By using a spreadsheet, one can input all tasks that need to be completed along with their deadlines. This also gives the opportunity to create a timeline for work and mark down when different aspects of the project are complete, helping to keep duties on track.

Although this may seem like a full proof project management system, the most important aspect of creating this timeline is sticking to it. When tasks need to be completed, block out time on your email or personal calendar that is solely dedicated to that work. Posting deadlines in high traffic areas of the home office can help keep projects in the forefront of one’s mind.

Having a work at home job can seem like a luxury for many professionals. Although this working environment may be relaxing for those working in it, it can create problems with time and project management. Organization and outlining due dates on large projects can help many at home professionals stay on track!

*Photo Courtesy of RLHyde via Creative Commons License

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