Take It from a Freelancer: Time Management Tips for Working from Home

U.S. Navy Clock by Sally Wiener GrottaWelcome to my world. Millions of folks are now working from home, whether they want to or not. While we strive to flatten the curve of Covid-19, many are discovering that having a home office requires a whole new way of functioning. Well, pull up a chair, and let me tell you about my daily time management routine. Maybe some of the techniques I have used during my decades-long freelance life will give you some ideas of how to maintain your usual level of productivity while living through this newfangled status quo.

I have been lucky. I’ve made my living as a freelance writer for my entire career.  Looking back, I realize that I have produced quite a large number of stories, reviews and essays, and several books. Yet at the end of many a day, I have lamented how much I didn’t get done. It’s the minutes that distract and can feel wasted. That’s what prompted me to develop one short morning routine that has helped me get some control over the minutes and hours that make up my life.

The centerpieces of this routine are my master task list and a digital calendar (such as Outlook’s or Google’s calendar).

My task list itemizes various things I must or want to do, organized along a loose time line, such as tomorrow, next Tuesday, next month on the 23rd. Before turning off my computer for the night, I look at the tasks listed for the next day (as well as what I failed to do today), and move things around (perhaps to later in the week or in the month) to try to make the list “doable” within the time available tomorrow. (Well, I try.)

Then, in the morning, after breakfast, I open the day’s calendar, and I make appointments with myself to work on specific tasks, according to the following criteria:Read More