How To Set A Schedule For A Perfect Work From Home Routine
Having trouble maintaining a set schedule for work? Here are some helpful time-management and productivity tips for self-employed and freelance bookkeepers.
In this article:
Tips to Have a Set Schedule When You Work From Home
1. Create a Morning Routine
Never underestimate the power of a morning routine. It’s important to set aside a few hours every day to just warm up and prepare for the coming day.
Some things you can do to create a solid morning routine include:
Fixing Your Bed
One of the biggest mistakes freelancers and self-employed individuals make is staying in bed for too long.
They automatically open their favorite social media app and mindlessly scroll for hours on end. Does this sound like you?
To stop this bad habit, get up and fix your bed right away. By doing so, you’re stimulating productivity by accomplishing your first task.
Meditating and Contemplating
Meditating in the morning is another great way to prepare your brain for the coming workday. It improves focus, reduces stress, and calms the senses.
To get started, find a quiet place where you can meditate, preferably somewhere where you won’t be disturbed for the next 10 minutes.
Next, sit down on a chair, couch, stool, or even the floor. Just make sure you’re comfortable and won’t feel irritated halfway through the session.
Once you’re ready, start taking long, deep breaths. Focus on how your chest expands and contracts as you breathe, feel the blood flowing through your body, and survey your body from bottom to top.
As you’re meditating, you may notice some thoughts arising. This is perfectly normal, don’t worry.
Instead of fighting them, observe your thoughts and let them naturally fade away. Once your concentration returns, slowly focus on your breathing again.
Continue for 5 to 10 minutes.
One of the perks of working from home is you get to dress however you want. You can be scheduling appointments on your calendar, mobile app, or phone in your pajamas and no one would mind.
But this setup doesn’t always work for everyone. Some people find it hard to focus on work when they’re wearing their at-home clothes.
If you feel the same way, try getting dressed in a corporate outfit. By doing so, you’re establishing a sense of professionalism and tricking your mind into shifting to work mode.
2. Change Gears Midday
Working by yourself can be quite tiring and lonesome. These emotions lead to distractions, which eventually make it more difficult to stick to your set schedule.
What you can do is to shift gears midday by scheduling a non-work-related activity. For example, you can:
Let’s face it, working out in the morning is such a drag. Both our brain and body are too tired to even think about exercising. Heck, you probably used up a lot of your energy already just by fixing your bedsheets!
The great thing about being self-employed is you have the freedom of creating a routine for yourself. That means there’s really no need to force yourself to exercise first thing in the morning.
One way you can shift gears midday is by squeezing in a quick workout. You can opt to go for a quick run or bust out some bodyweight exercises on the floor.
Whatever the case, your goal should be to get your blood pumping after sitting the entire morning.
Take a Shower
Another ritual many you might find tedious is the morning shower. A lot of people would rather just wash their face, brush their teeth, and get to work.
If it’s already midday and you haven’t showered yet, take a break and jump into the shower. It’ll stimulate your senses, refresh your mind, and most importantly, get rid of all the accumulated dirt and oil on your body.
Sure, the idea of eating some makeshift meal at your desk sounds efficient, but it doesn’t really give you the break you need.
You need to distance yourself from your workstation for at least one hour so you can refresh and restart your system. Otherwise, you’ll end up burning yourself out and the quality of your work will suffer.
One of the best ways to do so is by eating a proper lunch. You can either cook for yourself or go to a nearby restaurant.
If you choose to cook for yourself, try to prepare a menu beforehand. Cooking is much easier when you already have options to choose from.
Meanwhile, those who choose to eat out can invite their nearby team or account members. Scheduling a weekly or bi-weekly lunch will promote camaraderie and teamwork.
3. End Your Day Properly
Having a small ritual to end your day is just as important as having one in the morning.
You need to establish what time your business hours start and when they end. Otherwise, you might end up dragging your work all the way to bedtime.
Some cool ways to end your day include:
Spending Time with the Family
Spend time with your family and loved ones. They’re the reason you’re trying to make a living, after all.
Tip: Make sure they’re aware of your daily work schedule. That way, they don’t disturb you with random chores while you’re working.
Scheduling an After-Work Activity
Scheduling an after-work activity limits your business hours to a set schedule. Not only does this give you a change of pace, but your mind is also forced to work properly knowing there’s a time limit.
Some fun activities include drinking with your buddies, going on a date, and exercising — some people feel stronger at night.
Note: There are some bookkeepers who prefer to work at night, most probably because they have clients from another time zone.
If you’re a nocturnal worker as well, don’t worry. It’s not completely wrong to go straight to bed at the end of your business day — just make sure you do so out of choice and not because you failed to manage your time properly.
Discipline, commitment, and structure are the most important elements in creating a set schedule. During your business hours, perform tasks related only to your business. Try not to get distracted by notifications from social media sites.
Don’t forget to rest! Setting a couple of hours every day to just relax and focus on personal matters can benefit you greatly. You may have a work-from-home job, but that doesn’t mean your life should be limited to work.
Do you have a set schedule for your bookkeeping business? Share your productivity and time management tips in the comments section below!