Struggling to get a single thing done when you’re working from home? Or maybe you’re having the opposite problem, where it’s difficult to turn your work brain off at the end of each day. An organized work from home schedule can help!
No matter your age, work style, or job, working from home serves up a unique set of challenges—and coping with them takes more than just willpower! Set yourself up for daily success by creating a WFH schedule that works for you.
What to Consider for Your WFH Schedule
There are ALL kinds of schedules and planners out there, and the secret to making one stick is finding the style that best fits your needs. Some of us are type A organizers all the way, while others are more “broad strokes” kind of people. Both organizational styles are totally fine—it just depends on what suits you.
Before you start designing your WFH schedule, ask yourself these questions to make sure the end result works for you:
- What time interval do you want to display per page? For example: AM, PM, full day, multi-day, full week, full month?
- Are you more of a digital planner or a paper-and-pen person? It’s easy to create both types. The main difference is whether you should size your planner for printing or not.
- How much space do you need per time interval? Will you be penciling in a single meeting or multiple to-dos in each block?
- What time do you start and end your work day? The old 9-to-5 isn’t a given anymore, so make sure your work time reflects your normal day.
With these questions answered, ready to make the perfect WFH schedule? Let’s do it!
How to Create Your Work from Home Schedule
Hop over to Create to start and finish your WFH schedule in just a few minutes. No graphic design experience needed.
1. Pick a Template
For even more recs, check out our list of popular planner templates just after these instructions.
2. Customize It
With the WFH schedule template open in the editor, you can make tons of easy customizations:
- Edit the placeholder text (or add new text)
- Add or delete rows and/or columns
- Change the existing colors
- Upload your own photos (or choose from stock photos, illustrations, and free icons)
For a more decorative touch, try adding some effects like filters, textures, or patterns! Just click any element and then click Effects from the top menu.
3. Add More Pages (Optional)
Depending on how you plan to use your WFH schedule, it may be helpful to create multiple pages at the same time—either duplicates of the exact same page or slightly customized versions for different days/weeks/months.
To do this, simply click Pages in the bottom-right corner of the Create editor. Then choose whether you’d like to duplicate the current page or add a new blank page.
Any new pages will be added to your layers panel, which you can reveal by clicking the stacked paper icon in the far-right bottom corner. Click on any page to customize it, just like you did in Step 2.
4. Download It
When you’ve finished customizing your schedule, click Download from the top menu and choose your preferred file type.
If you plan to print out your schedule and write on it with pen or pencil, then any file type will work fine: PNG, JPG, or PDF. If you’re planning to import your design into a digital planner or annotation app, then you’ll likely need the PDF version.
5 Schedule Templates Perfect for Working from Home
In addition to the WFH scheduling template suggested above, below are five more! Each one is suited to a different style and scope of organization.
1. For “Big Picture” Planners
If you prefer the 1,000-foot view of your upcoming month, this planner template is perfect. There’s just enough space for key tasks and notes without getting bogged down in dates or hours.
2. Daily View with Hourly Slots
This daily calendar is ideal for those who want a more granular look at their upcoming day. Half-hour increments provide space to write in meetings, events, or tasks.
3. Full Week at a Glance
When a single day of hourly scheduling isn’t enough, this template adds one more layer of organizational detail. Schedule and view your entire week at a glance.
If you’re a SMM working from home, this schedule can greatly simplify your client work. Create one per brand you work with to stay on top of what’s going out on various channels.
5. Multi-Week View
This simple planner gives you just enough space to document the highlights of each week without getting too cluttered with information.
6 Tips for Effectively Scheduling Your WFH Day
Having a WFH schedule is the first step to taking control of your time—but it’s not the only step that matters. Ultimately, any work from home schedule or planner is simply a tool. What matters more is how you use it.
These tips will help.
1. Understand Your Productivity Trends
We all have different habits and preferences when it comes to work. Some of us do our best work before 8 AM, and some of us aren’t really even awake until 10 or 10:30.
To make your day more manageable, it’s important to recognize when you’re most and least productive. Then you can schedule the lighter-load stuff—like simple emails or repetitive admin tasks—for those time blocks in which you’re typically less motivated or your concentration is lagging.
2. Know What’s Expected of You
If you’re a solopreneur, then you have the power to set your own schedule. But, if you’re a remote employee for a company, you’ll likely have a little less freedom for your WFH schedule.
Avoid any frustration or miscommunication among your team by making sure it’s clear when you have to be on the clock and when you’re free to step away from all the Slack, Teams, and Zoom. Clear boundaries are essential for a satisfying day.
3. Categorize Items by Importance and Urgency
Have you ever heard of the Eisenhower Matrix? It’s a handy tool for prioritizing tasks, not only on a day-to-day basis but also over a longer-term period.
Take what’s currently on your plate and then ask yourself two simple questions:
- Is this important?
- Is this urgent?
Based on both answers, you’ll be able to rank tasks more efficiently—giving top priority to anything that’s both urgent and important.
4. Map Out Your Day
Most productivity experts agree: Having a pre-planned schedule is key to balancing complex tasks and effectively moving between multiple projects every day.
Each morning, spend 15–30 minutes mapping out the rest of your day. Evaluate each task individually, asking yourself:
- Where does this fall on the urgency vs. importance spectrum?
- How much time do I expect this to take?
- How much mental energy do I need for this task?
- Will I require input from others to accomplish this task?
- Are there any blockers or smaller milestones that must be done first?
This practice may feel like a waste of time, but it’s absolutely not! By taking the time to consider each task, you’ll know what to expect out of the day ahead and can create a schedule that’s realistic and achievable.
5. Schedule Formal Breaks
It may sound counterintuitive, but many of us are less likely to take breaks when working from home. After all, there’s no shared coffee room, no chatting with colleagues on the way to the restroom, and no staff amenities like lunch or games.
That makes it all the more important to work formal breaks into your daily routine. Give yourself a few minutes each hour to look away from the screen.
You could try:
- Quick meditations
- A short walk outside your workspace
- Some love for your pet
- Deep breathing
- A cat nap
- A WFH stretching routine, a.k.a. “deskercise”
- A quick coffee or water refill
6. Create Routines
One of the universal challenges of working from home is the lack of separation between work and home. This can make it difficult to transition between the different parts of our days (and our lives!).
To help yourself out, create a little mini routine to start and end your day. It doesn’t really matter what it entails—checking emails, tidying up your desk, or writing a to-do list for the next day.
All that matters is getting into the habit of some routine, giving your body and mind a cue that your professional day is either about to begin or has ended.
Working from home can be an adjustment, so give yourself some grace as you figure things out.
Try making your own WFH schedule and incorporating it into your daily routine. If your first version doesn’t work for any reason, jump back into Create and make another! With tons of free templates, you can keep tweaking your planner until it’s perfect for you.