I am surrounded by clocks. They all tell different times. Of course, the cell phone and laptop clocks are all on a universal time, so they’re the ones we consider “accurate.”
But the rest of the clocks in my life do their own thing. The living room clock is a few minutes fast. The kitchen clock runs about a minute behind. The appliances all have different times. (The microwave has to be reset every week!) One of our car clocks is always slow.
Honestly, I have no idea what time it is. And I don’t care.
When you work from home, you set your own schedule, and it doesn’t have to be 9-5 like everyone who drives to a job. You have 24 hours in the day to do what you want, so why do you adhere to old office hours?
I’m all about schedules and routines, and I kinda sorta have one. But I don’t have to stick to it. I can work at 8pm, 3am, 1pm - whenever. I still have a schedule, but I’m not scheduling myself around a clock, rather I’m scheduling around the times I feel best apt to complete the tasks at hand.
It’s a matter of changing your perception when you work from home. When you go to a job, you get there at a certain hour, you have your routine of tasks, coffee, lunch, meetings, etc, and you leave. At home, you have tasks, but you’re never required to do them in any particular order. Yes, priority tasks are first, but everything else gets planned in a way that works to your strengths, your environment and your personal energy.
For me, I have tons of early morning energy. I know I do my best work before 9am. (This, coming from the person who scheduled all her college courses to start at 11am or later!) I’ll do my hardest - or at least my most mentally challenging tasks - early when I’m fresh and energized.
After lunch? Don’t expect much. But that’s okay. I’m mentally tired, so that’s a great time for me to get out, run errands, get some physical movement and not be tied to the computer.
The longer you work from home, the more you’ll understand the best and worst times you do work, the times you want to leave the house, the times to just goof off (yes, that’s all part of it, too!). If late afternoon is your mental down time, don’t work. Come back after dinner and attack your workload. (It’s 8:30pm as I write this blog.)
Don’t worry so much about what the actual time it is. Just focus on the portions of the day you feel energized to do your best. That’s when you need to plan your work schedule.
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25+ years of business experience. 12+ years of virtual experience.