Time Management Tips for Your Work-at-Home Job

Good time management is an essential skill for a successful work-at-home job. The work-at-home job usually creates extra time for your work, but it can also create blowouts in your time usage.

Time Management Issues

A work-at-home job offers a range of potential time management problems:

  • Task-based jobs: These are jobs where you have a series of tasks to complete in a given time frame, either one created by yourself or by the employer. These are deadlines, both in a functional sense and in a contractual sense. The time frames are supposed to manage the workload, and if you fail to maintain your deadline structure, you’ll find a lot of work piling up. You could ultimately end up with a less-than-impressed employer.
  • Real-time jobs: Administration, data entry and customer service are based on turnover times and sometimes key performance indicators which directly impact your job. Time management is a key indicator, and cumulative time management problems, whatever the reasons, can negatively affect your employment. 
  • Client-based jobs: Sales, consultancies and professional services like accounting are very much time-based, and the time demands come from paying clients. Your workload affects their time frames, and repeatedly blowing your deadlines will cost you clients and return business.

Creating a Schedule for Your Work-at-Home Job

Staying ahead of your deadlines is the key to both good time management and good work quality.

Observe some basic rules:

  • Set your own realistic deadlines 2 days inside the required time. This practice gives you time to review your work, deal with any new issues and creates more time for other work. Start on the work as early as you can. Try to stay ahead of your own deadlines as much as possible. Break up bigger jobs into easily manageable segments, so a job due in 5 days can be done in 3. This also allows for much better quality control.  
  • Never do anything at the last minute. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the fatal trap of last-minute rush jobs. You will lower your work quality and reduce your chances to correct mistakes. Nothing is achieved in a situation where you may have to redo the entire job and give the impression you’re doing shoddy work.
  • Don’t be inflexible about your time management. An hourly schedule often crams larger jobs into timeframes which they simply can’t fit. Use the actual work being done as the real measure of achievement and progression of your tasks.
  • Try for a “clean desk” scenario. Get as much work as you can on its way out ASAP. Do any bulk work which can be done instantly; finalize it so you can concentrate on the heavy time-users. This technique also prevents backlogs and reduces distractions.

These basic approaches help you make the most of your time, so you can cope with any additional workloads your work-at-home job requires. These techniques ensure you’re managing time, not having time manage you.