Work-At-Home Expert Tips: Managing Your Workflow
One of the key ingredients to success for anyone that works from home, is being able to manage your workflow. If you can’t stay on top of your tasks, you will lose money! No one wants that, right? So this edition of Expert Tips is chock-full of amazing advice on staying organized and managing your workflow! Enjoy!
Sarah Cantu from Tech Talent South shares these awesome tips!
My top tip is to have a visual guide to your current tasks. I do a pretty lo-fi version of a Trello board with some old-fashioned sticky notes. This gives me a summary of what I need to do but also what I’ve accomplished, which always contributes to my daily motivation!
My second tip is to focus as much as possible on preparing for a single task, even in the smallest of ways. For example, I have a certain number of outreach emails that I aim send out every week and if I try to source, edit, and compose say, 50 emails at once I can get distracted by flipping through different web pages, editing emails, etc. To maximize my productivity, I focus on one small part of that task at a time, like sourcing all of my contacts’ email addresses, before I ever actually open Gmail. The more that I repeat a single task, the more efficiently I work, so I try to break things down as much as possible.
Finally, I recommend allotting time to answer your emails, even if you’re one to open them as you receive them. I’m a little too anxious to not open an email as soon as I see it, but I do my best to resist the urge to reply right away. Composing emails can be a bit of a time suck, so I will typically use the “create task” feature on Gmail or set a reminder via Boomerang to reply to an email that’s not quite as pressing.
Alex Novkov from Kanbanize has these tips to help you out!
1. Visualize every step of the process. In order to maintain a steady and well-paced flow, the team needs to know who is doing what and how long is it taking. Using a Kanban board is a simple solution that can be applied in practically every industry. The board will show the bottlenecks of the process and the team can take action to alleviate them.
2. Limit the work in progress. Stop starting and start finishing. A person doing one thing at a time is far more efficient than one multitasking. Not only the tempo is faster, but the quality of work is increased significantly this way.
3. Adopt daily stand-up meetings. Each team should meet once a day at the beginning of the work shift or at any convenient time, for a brief stand-up meeting. Every person has to share what she or he did during the previous day and what she or he intends to do today. The meeting should not last more than fifteen minutes and the idea is to keep everyone in the loop about existing and potential problems that are troubling some of the team members.
Beth Beutler from HOPE Unlimited has these great and easy to do, tips for you!
1. Interval timer apps can help you stay on track with a series of
timed segments you can apply to a project for ongoing progress.
2. A small dry erase board is a great tool…jot quick notes that can
be erased and avoid piles of sticky notes on your desk
3. When scheduling appointments, make sure to allow cushion. If you are
just returning from a trip on Sunday, you may not want appointments first
thing Monday morning.
Lena Requist, President of ONTRAPORT manages her workflow with these tips:
Tip #1: Establish ground rules for yourself, including a promise that you won’t let your work life seep over into your home life. At the end of the day, turn off your computer and phone and resist the temptation to check your work email on your device. By giving your mind a break at the end of each work day, you’re investing in your future focus and productivity.
Tip #2: Build repeatable processes. Rather than constantly building a job by the sweat of your brow, create systems. By building systems you are able to offer consistency in the products or services you deliver, even after the system is delegated.
Tip #3: Learn to delegate – and train employees. Knowing when to hand off a project or task is vital to managing your workflow long-term. Human potential is truly remarkable, and by effectively delegating, you will be able to streamline redundant tasks, in turn, freeing you to focus on more creative and engaging initiatives that will propel your business forward.
Tips from Leslie:
As someone who juggles multiple “jobs,” managing the work is crucial. Although much of my work and tools are online, I still seem to do best with a paper planner. Each Sunday, I go through and right down my daily to-dos for the week, and schedule in tasks on long-term projects, appointments and other things that are going on during the week. Because my schedule doesn’t fit traditional planners, I like using the Happy Planner.
As far as the work, although my day can be flexible, I can move through it quicker if I have a routine, so each day I write first, then work on whatever blog is scheduled for that day, do client work, and then move on to marketing tasks such as scheduling social media, pitching media for guest posts or interviews.
Finally, I do have a virtual assistant to help me take care of tasks and I’m slowly adding more to her list. Right now she finds, prepares and posts several blog features a week. All I have to do is check them and add my two-bits if I feel it’s needed. Delegating busy work or tasks I don’t like to do has been great in letting me focus on the tasks that make money.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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