I'm very lucky to have the opportunity to work from home and I appreciate it tenfold. But I will admit it was hard and is still hard making the switch from a structured work schedule to working in my home on my own motivation. I'm still not great at it but I'm learning and I'm making improvements. I still go ride the horse during lunch and I still struggle to focus during Grey's Anatomy on lifetime but some progress is still progress.
A great tool is time management and I normally use a post it to handle it. I start on Monday morning with a general idea of what I want to accomplish. The hard part for me is I work for a small start up and generally my responsibilities change from day to day and on my boss's whim. Which can be frustrating. But I start Monday's with a medium post it - I plot out what I should be doing from 9-11 11-2 2-4 and 4-5 in very generic bullet points. Generally it looks like this:
- 9am - 11am: Email marketing/email replies/ invoice follow ups
- 11am - 1pm: Business development calls/Business Development emails
- 1pm - 2pm: Lunch/errands/close the computer
- 2pm - 4pm: Return emails & voicemails/ Follow up phone calls
- 4pm - 5pm: Book keeping/ administrative work/data entry
This kind of structure that is vague but has a purpose allows me to make changes but still keep a focus throughout the workday. Obviously if I'm out at meetings or the schedule needs to be adjusted some I can because the schedule is more of a guideline than a strict timetable.
I hope this helps you handle some of your time management struggles whether you work at home or in the office!