How to Manage Projects and Tasks Effectively from Home

Yeah... I'll have to work in the other room.

As an outsourcing expert and long-time project manager, I know how it feels to get stuck somewhere most people would crumble at – the midst of utter chaos regarding who to ask, what to do and how to do it. It’s probably a place where you don’t want to be.

Work can sometimes mean being dragged around by deadlines, headaches and demanding clients. Such is very true in the outsourcing industry and when things aren’t clear enough for both contractor and contractee, things go to the dumps easily.

In any case, if you want to stay away from confusion, you’d have to prevent it from happening. Here are a few things I do to save myself from the headache and ultimately keep my people and my clients happy. Check them out:

  • Do not take more than you can handle – If you’re hands are full, don’t take in another client unless you’ve got someone to help you out. I understand that sometimes you like to make as many connections as you can but you also have to pay attention to the kind of connection you have.

It’s like what they say in social media: “The number of followers you have doesn’t matter, it’s the relationship you create with each other.”

When you nurture your relationship with your clients in the form of quality work, you’re actually increasing your chances of being their go-to guy. They wouldn’t want to waste their time looking for some other person to outsource to and risk losing the awesome quality you provide.

  • Work in an appropriate environment – If you’re working in an office environment, the aura of corporate professionalism is everywhere. But if you’re working from home you’ve got to set things up in such a way where you can’t lose sight of your duties. I know it’s more of a mental conditioning kind of thing, but setting up your workplace can sure help you out.First off, get your PC in a room where you don’t sleep. I’ve experienced this before especially in those high-stress situations where you feel like resting your head. The bed literally calls you, tempting you to take a break. That’s why it’d help if you have a separate room where you do your work.Secondly, set that room up like a regular office. That essentially means less of the toys and more of the business stuff like papers, pens and maybe a few books. Keep video games away as much as possible. Remember, you’re trying to eliminate distractions too.Lastly, make sure that the place is a quiet one. One that’s not prone to outside noises that could affect client or team calls.
  • Create a working schedule – By that, I mean you ought to make a schedule that works for you and allows you to be able to fulfill all your roles in your life. To me, that’s effective time management. The ability to manage all the roles you play in life. So dedicate at least 8 hours for work and the rest to anything that you do.Now I know there will be times when you’ll have to spend a little extra to get something done. The key here is to set things in advanced. As much as possible though, stick to the schedule.
  • Employ the use of mind maps – Mind maps are what they are. They literally map out your mind and help you digest awesome bits and pieces of information effectively. They’re actually better than excel sheets or documents when outlining key concepts that your team needs to understand. This is why when you’re planning your campaigns or setting up schedules, it’s best to use mind maps. It organizes the anarchy.

These are but a few suggestions to help you avoid the chaos and get things a little more organized in an outsource-oriented setting. Remember, though, that confusion can hit at any time and the best thing to deal with it is to take a deep breath and face it head on!