One of the many joys of working from home is that you get to set your own schedule. Yes, it’s the best perk for many of us. We can sleep when we want, take a break when we want, etc. But before you decide what that means for you, remember that your work is still working. The attire and location might have changed, but the responsibilities and deadlines won’t.

You need to create a schedule, regardless of what it looks like because it’s one of the keys to success. It’s also a crucial part of maintaining a work-life balance. You want success but you don’t want to give up what’s important to you outside of work, either. A key thing to remember is that every day, you have a total of 24 hours. How you choose to arrange those 24 hours is up to you, and during that time, how productive you are (or aren’t) will fall on your shoulders.

If you create the kind of schedule that works great for you, you’ll end up with a workday that you enjoy. There are no 100% right or wrong ways to set up a schedule. Don’t try to get it perfect right from the start. You might put something in place for a schedule and then decide that you don’t like it. No big deal, just change it. You might end up changing your schedule a few times before you settle into one that feels right for you.

Keep in mind that everyone has what’s known as peak hours. These are the times that you feel the most alert. It’s also when you seem to get the most accomplished from your to-do list. This is when you need to work on what’s the most imperative for your business. Handle the most pressing project during this time rather than spending the time on non-essentials, such as answering emails that aren’t a top priority.

You can work all day if you want to. But the opposite is true as well. You can work as little as you want to. It doesn’t matter which one you choose as your schedule. What does matter is that you make sure that you’ve arranged your schedule so that you’re working the hours you need to have enough income to be able to pay your bills.

There’s no need to work eight, six or less hours straight through if you don’t like to do it that way. You can work on and off throughout the day. Being at home allows you to start a project in the morning, then put it aside until the evening or you can start it at night and complete it the next day. To make it easier to set your own schedule, there a few tips you might want to consider. Getting into the right mindset can make it easier to accomplish work related tasks.

For that reason, you may want to create a mental division between work and home to keep that balance. In order to do that, have a specific “going to work” area set aside that you use every time you get ready to work. Having this lets your mind switch gears and focus. Decide the days the week that you’re going to work and the hours during those days. Look at the entire week and decide what kind of overall hours you want. If you want to work a full forty hours, then draft a schedule based on that.

Establish what’s allowed when you’re setting your own schedule. These boundaries are what will help you have a separation of work and home. This is one of the biggest problems that comes from working at home.
It’s too easy for work to creep into home life and the next thing you know, you’ve let go of the defining line between the two. This can have a negative impact on your relationships as well as your health.

It’s important write-down everything you have to accomplish, then number those tasks according the order of importance. That way, when you work, you’ll know what you need to be focusing on. There’s something that a lot of people forget to do when they’re making a schedule. They forget to build in time off for lunch or breaks. Studies have shown that taking a short break actually improves productivity as well as focus.

One of the biggest issues that derails a schedule is social media. One “quick second” to check what’s trending or to scroll through your timeline can turn into an hour later easily. If you’re a social media junkie and you enjoy pausing to pop online to see what’s going on, you don’t have to change that. Just add those times to your schedule and then get back to work when your time is up.

By scheduling your time wasters, you’ll be able to get everything done that you need to accomplish. You also want to watch out for things that go wrong because something often does whether you work at the office or at home. So give yourself a few minutes of slack time. If you know a project is going to take one hour to complete, don’t schedule one hour. Give yourself an hour and ten minutes. Setting a work-at-home schedule sometimes gets overrun by the responsibilities of the home.

For last, just because you’re at home doesn’t mean that you’re suddenly available to run errands or start doing all the chores around the house. Remember that you can adjust your schedule as needed for the unexpected or when you just feel like taking some time off.

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