Working virtually for a variety of clients demands exceptional discipline in the area of time management.
I have had many people comment that there is no way they could ever work from home because they just wouldn’t be disciplined enough and would get too distracted by housework, the TV etc. However, when you’re building your own business, I think the opposite is often true, that is, you don’t have the discipline required to set sensible work hours, and you quickly find yourself working 12+ hours a day just because you can. The danger here is that you can end up totally burnt out – not a nice thing!
Here’s a few tips that might help you:
1. Set your regular office hours – and communicate them to your family and friends, so that they know when you’re available and when you’re working – and then stick to them!
2. Allocate time slots for different clients’ tasks. Although this will not always be possible to maintain, by setting a routine you will be on a path to managing where you spend your time during a work day.
3. One task at a time. Focus on one task/one client at a time. Don’t fall into the trap of jumping from one thing to another whenever the phone rings or an email arrives in your inbox. Set it up so that you don’t get interrupted, or work on ways to minimize interruptions. Communicate with your clients who regularly message you on Skype or by phone and let them know when you’ll be available for them. Manage your clients’ expectation and you will be way in front of the game!
4. Schedule in some ME time. You work for yourself, so allow yourself the luxury of going for a walk on a beautiful day, or to catch up with friends for a coffee when the opportunity arises. Providing you communicate effectively with your clients regarding your day to day availability, this should not cause any problems.
Working virtually from your own home office can be extremely liberating if you are able to manage your time and client expectations with aplomb! Not only that – they will LOVE you for it!