Self-Employed Or Working From Home? Here’s How To Set A Schedule That Works
Nov. 1 2016, Published 3:30 a.m. ET
If you work from home, you will know that one of the most crucial decisions that you have to make is how to spend your time. Should you have a regular schedule or should you work with flexible hours? Here are the pros and cons of both to help you figure out what method works best for you.
Regular Schedule Pros
Provides structure and discipline
When entering the world of self-employment and working from home, the most important thing you need is structure and discipline. After all, with no real pressure to be in an office at 8 AM and having the freedom to choose your own hours, what is to stop you from lying in every day and getting nothing done? However, if you have a regular and detailed schedule and you stick to it, you will gain some much-needed discipline and be able to complete your tasks without fail.
Builds good habits
We are all creatures of habit, and if you consciously make the effort to opt for a regular schedule and set goals that affect you in a positive way, such as completing work on time and earning money, this builds one good habit that leads on to many other desired practices. If you decide to add more useful activities to your daily schedule and include regular exercise or teach yourself a new language, you essentially learn a new skill on the way.
When you form the habit of having a regular routine, your brain starts a process called automation and increases efficiency. You will be able to get things done without having to remind yourself, leaving you to get the most out of each day.
Regular Schedule Cons
A big problem with having a regular schedule is boredom. If you know exactly what you are going to do next and when you are going to do it, it can leave your mind to wander, slowing you down as well as making your content suffer.
Much like boredom, sticking to a regular schedule can lead to stagnation. If you complete the same tasks at the same times on the same days, you can begin to feel a little jaded and start to hate your work.
Flexible Hours Pros
Ability to meet personal needs
If you are more flexible with your hours, you will have the time to attend to personal matters. For example, if your child has a baseball game in the afternoon or you need to be at an appointment in the morning, you can attend both and still complete your work for the day.
Better quality of output
Working flexible hours also means that you decide when you want to work instead of feeling forced. We all know what it is like to get up and just not be in the right frame of mind to work. If you choose your hours you will stay fresh and improve the quality of your output.
Increased feeling of personal control
The feeling that you are trapped in a job often comes from having to stick to tight schedules. Having more flexibility, you will feel in control over your life and in charge of important decisions that mark the next steps of your professional journey.
Flexible Hours Cons
No clear distinction between work and home
A big problem with choosing when to work is being unable to tell the difference between time for work and time for home – especially when you have set up a cabinet in your house or, even worse, stay to work in your bedroom.
Laziness & Distractions
The most common problem with flexible hours is laziness and distractions. If you wake up and don’t start the process of work straight away, you risk putting it off until the afternoon, causing completing simple tasks become a mountain to climb.
Becoming your own boss comes with plenty of benefits, but also a handful of worries. One of the issues to tackle first is the choice between keeping a regular schedule or opting for a flexible working routine, both of which give you freedom in many areas but take it away in others. Make sure to think long and hard about your personal habits and personality traits, and then decide which version is best tailored to your individual needs.