Tips on Time Management Especially for those Working at Home

I must admit that taking projects on oDesk can be a bit overwhelming because you would want to earn as much as you can. However, if you are working at home on a part time basis (like me), you should be able to efficiently assess how many projects you can do. This can help you build up a good track record that you can finish projects on time rather than take on several jobs which you cannot finish. It is both a frustration for you and for the client. When I was just new to oDesk, I tried to engage in several projects but it did not work out well because I was thinking that I had to work double time to submit on time. It was too late when I realized that I have taken too much work and neglected some projects already. Hence, I was unable to produce the expected output for one of my clients. There were times when I took one project after the other because I felt that I CAN STILL handle it but, unfortunately I can only do so much. From then on, I learned my lessons well. I took projects which are appropriate for my skills so, I can give the best for my clients. Luckily, many of my oDesk clients have been satisfied with what I submit to them.

But, one of the most important things that I realized too is time management. I am not an expert on the topic but, I must say that I have learned my lessons the hard way. As an independent contractor in oDesk, TIME MANAGEMENT is very important. It is not bad to take on several projects all at the same time as long as you know how to prioritize your time. In this way, you will not sacrifice the quality of your work and at the same time, satisfy your clients by submitting quality work right on schedule. 

If you are still struggling with time management, here are a few tips that I can share with you (especially for those working at home/oDesk):

1. Make a list of your "Things to do"
 The typical employee always have a list of the things to accomplish for the day. Even if you are working at home, maintaining a line up of tasks that needs to be done will be helpful to identify what projects are needed ASAP and which ones can wait. By doing this, you save yourself from the stress of thinking about the projects all at the same time. 

2. Avoid the feeling of panic. Just focus on one task at a time.
When you have enlisted what task needs priority, then put all your concentration on that job alone. Do not be anxious that there are numerous works waiting. Yes, there are multiple projects to be accomplished but you have to stick with what you have on hand --- the one that needs to be done ASAP.

3. Set a time frame for each project.
Think of how much time you need to finish one project and stick to the set schedule. This will enable you to make use of the time properly.  You know yourself well, so only you can tell how much time is needed or how quick of a worker you are.

4. Always aim to finish ahead of the deadline.
There will always be demanding clients especially for those working at home (oDesk, in my case). Whether you are working by the hour or working at a fixed-price contract, always aim to finish ahead of the deadline. This will provide opportunity for you to have spare time relaxing for a while and then, take on additional tasks which means more income.

5. Do not procrastinate.
This is usually the problem for those working at home. You have a lot of temptation to delay the job. Your bed is easily accessible for a quick nap (which ends up extending your sleeping hours); internet is just in front of you to check what's new on facebook; magazines and newspapers at your home to read; the television can be easily turned on and tune in to your favorite tv show. There are plenty of reasons to procrastinate and delay the accomplishment of your projects. So, try to be strong and well-disciplined as possible in getting things done (especially the most important ones).

I am glad to share with you my personal struggles ever since I started working on oDesk. I know I have a long way to go before I can make it my full time job. But, time management especially for those working at home, is one key to be successful in this unique career path.


  1. Nice One..Thanks for the Tips..

  2. ケラン コティワン8/31/12, 6:25 PM

    Great post!

    After i finished my first job which was a fixed-price contract, I was then hired for another which was hourly. I didn't apply to other jobs just yet so that I can focus on it. I got overwhelmed with my first job (due to the tight deadline) that I promised myself to take it slow (and familiarize myself first with how things work for hourly jobs) lest I might get overwhelmed by taking on several projects. I'm proud of myself because I didn't get that distracted by facebook while I was working LOL. Instead, I made checking facebook a reward, after I finished several hours of work.

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog. In my case, I still find it difficult to say no to tv and facebook. But, I'm getting there... hehehe. Good that you have self-discipline and focus on the task on hand. :)


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