Sometimes, working from home can be misunderstood. It could seem to some that with the temptations of sleeping in and pajamas close at hand, how could anything get done? Without super-human self control and discipline, how can someone actually structure their day at home in a way that things get done?
Speaking as a professional that works remotely from home, I can tell you that I have my good days and my bad days. I’m sure my work at home colleagues understand what I mean. You can plan and much of the time, your schedule comes together beautifully. But as we know, life is not perfect.
Here are some things I’ve learned about working from home that help me keep life in balance. Working from home requires exceptional time management skills and lots of patience. Strategically planning your routine is paramount, and one of the only ways to be successful when working independently.
From my experience working remotely, there are some things that should be in place to help you support your routine. First, if you have kids, make sure you carve out their schedule and add any of their extracurricular activities to your calendar. As much as we want to be Supermom or Superdad and remember everything, we just can’t. Using a calendar app or paper calendar will help prevent things from slipping through the cracks.
Once the kids’ schedules are figured out (if you have any), create a daily routine to incorporate your fitness and health needs. Setting aside time for, eating, break schedules, yoga etc. can help you remember to put yourself first. Routines are proven to gear professionals up for success versus just going with the flow. With that routine in place, it will be easier for you to schedule meetings, or doctor appointments. The structured schedule also allows for better preparation each day.
I have listed my typical schedule below so you can see what has worked for me in the past. I sometimes make adjustments as needed, but the foundation is there for me to come back to. When I need to make adjustments, and as things come up, as they always do in this thing called life, it makes it that much easier for me to adjust my calendar accordingly. As crazy as it sounds, even planning your lunch hour or snack hours will help tremendously.
Monday, January 25th
6:00AM-6:20AM Wake up and feed my daughter breakfast
6:25AM-7:15AM Get daughter dressed and take her to daycare
7:30AM-8:00AM Come back home and eat a light breakfast and do my workout
8:15AM-8:45AM Following workout I carve out about 30 min to check my calendar and to prep for the day
9:00AM -12:00PM Regular work day
12:00PM-1:00PM Lunch time/down time
1:00PM – 4:00PM Regular work day
4:05PM-4:30PM Close out work day
4:45PM – Leave to pick daughter up from daycare
5:15PM-7:30PM – Eat dinner and playtime with my daughter
7:30PM – 8:00 PM – Put my daughter to sleep
8:00PM – 9:30PM – Down time (read a book, exercise, catch up on any personal stuff)
10:00PM – Head to bed
This schedule is a typical day for me and is very detailed, but it has helped me personally and professionally to keep a schedule like this. You may be thinking, “I’m not doing all of that, that is insane” or “I don’t have time”, but I will tell you, if you really want to be organized, successful, and manage your time wisely, then I definitely recommend creating a routine and schedule to set yourself up for success.
You may ask, Jasmine, what are some good time management tools to help? Well here are my favorites...
Bullet point and write special notes for the week or grab the whiteboard that has a monthly calendar and keep track of everything there
Pin your calendar to the corkboard or pin your sticky notes with things to remember
Google calendar or any calendar
Put the smallest items on there such as pick-up/drop-off times, meetings, doctor appointments, workout schedule, etc.
Notes section on smartphone
Keep track of everything there
Download a fillable calendar online –
Fill it out – print and post on wall or board or on desk
A big clock on wall