The Dilemma of Time and Money – How to Work Productively from Home
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To those who experience the daily monotony of a 9-5 job role, working from home is the embodiment of professional success and achievement. From the outside looking in, independent contractors and self-employed individuals have achieved a semblance of professional independence and been afforded the opportunity to create an ideal work-life balance.
Recent research suggests that this perception is not wholly accurate, however, as it is estimated that home-based workers in the U.S. toil for an average of seven hours a week longer than those in regular office jobs. While there are many assumptions that can be made from these findings, it would appear there are a growing number of independent contractors who are struggling to either work productively from home or earn the requisite amount of money within a standard day.
Managing Time and Finances: 3 Tips to Succeed as a Home-Based Worker
With this in mind, what practical steps can home-based workers take to maximize their productivity while maintaining a reasonable work-life balance? Consider the following:
Create a Viable Working Day
It is amazing to think that many self-employed individuals and contractors fail to optimize the freedom afforded to them through working at home. In essence, you have a 24 hour window in which to work and if the daytime hours provide too many distractions then you should consider working through the evenings. If this is impossible due to issues such as childcare, however, then it is important to evaluate the details of each working day and identify the best possible schedule to maximize your productivity. This may mean working in a focused manner when your child is at school, for example, and then adopting a more flexible approach when they return home.
While many may cite multi-tasking as key to the success of anyone who works at home, this ambitious approach can dilute your productivity and create longer working hours. Given this, there is an obvious need to create a stringent and well thought out structure for your day, and one that affords you separate segments of time to complete different tasks. This will enable you to focus intently on your work and operate entirely free of distraction, while still ensuring that you do everything that is required of you on a given day.
Manage Time as Effectively as you Manage your Money
If you are simply struggling to earn a required sum of money within a normal working day, then the issue may lie with your wider time management skills. While you may feel as though you spend the requisite 7-8 hours each day in front of your computer screen, for example, this means little unless you are being productive and maximizing each working moment. It is therefore important to adopt a stringent approach to your time management and establish viable working goals, while taking the time to calculate your precise hourly rate and establishing the volume of work required to ensure a profitable day.
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