If you work from home or mostly on your own, one of the reasons you've chosen this is because you're drawn to personal freedom.
You want to work exactly the way you want, you want the freedom and flexibility to take time off during the middle of the day, to start work when you want to, to take a day off when you want to.
It turns out that our desire for freedom can sometimes work against us...
Our work schedule becomes too loose. We start work too late. We work for 30 minutes and then take an hour break. We have unproductive mornings and then end up working every evening until 11pm to try to catch up. A friend invites us out for lunch which ends up taking up 3 hours. We accepted the invitation because we work "whenever" and we don't have a schedule.
In order to keep your freedom, you still need a certain amount of structure.
The structure is designed to support your productivity and allow freedom to flourish within some guidelines.
How to Create a Productive Work Schedule (and Keep Your Freedom)
1. Create a general work schedule that you will follow at least 90% of the time. You've still got some wiggle room in your schedule so that you can enjoy the freedom and flexibility you're looking for as a freelancer, entrepreneur or business owner.
2. Write down specific time blocks for work (ie: 9am-1pm and 2pm-5pm. ...or if early mornings are your creative, productive time when your family are still sleeping, then a schedule like 6am-8am, followed by 10am-3pm and 8pm-9pm might work better for you.). It's fine if your schedule is different depending on the day of the week but the idea is that you should pre-plan your schedule the day before.
3. Set a work start time and finish time, and stick to it at least 90% of the time.
4. Set predictable lunch and rest breaks.
5. Use a timer and track exactly how much time you spend working each day. This is an easy way to keep yourself accountable and to see if you were productive or not.
But...I want to just work when I want to! I work at home to avoid structure.
If you're already really disciplined, focused and productive, then it's probably ok for you to keep an open, flexible work schedule that varies quite a bit each day.
But if you're like most entrepreneurs and freelancers who work from home, then sticking to a general work schedule will help you immensely.
Working from home comes with numerous distractions and potential to procrastinate. Creating a work schedule helps you stay on track with your business (and ultimately revenue) goals.
Until next time!
Holding Your Feet to the Fire
PS: Want to reach your goals faster? Check out one of the online accountability coaching programs and book a free Coaching Call.