How To Manage Time While Working From Home?
Working from home is an amazing concept. Globally, almost all companies-to varying degrees-have created work at home programs to boost their operational efficiencies. However, for this concept to bear its intended effects, the vital tool of “time” has to be factored in successfully. Effectively managing time while working at home is no “child’s play””. Most remote workers do not know how to easily go about this. To a large extent, this may make them feel more stressed. However, good time management will enable remote working to thrive. This then makes us think about “How to manage time while working from home”.
Creating a good schedule, minimizing social media interactions, and setting “healthy” boundaries are some great tips to try out. This gives you the desired control to manage your time more efficiently.
Managing time more effectively will enable you to meet almost all, if not all your deadlines. You will also be more productive and give your employer high-quality work. In addition, effective time management will allow the seamless integration and execution of your activities. This will go a long way in minimizing the chances that you will suffer from stress or burnout.
In this post, we shall explore some of the pointers that you need to try to manage your time more efficiently. We shall share the benefits of effective time management. At the same time, we shall touch on the negative effects of poor time management when working remotely. Generally, managing your time well will not only boost your productivity but also your health. This is because you are less likely to strain and are more likely to fend off fatigue.
10 PRACTICAL TIPS TO BETTER MANAGE YOUR TIME
- Create a Great Schedule
A good work schedule is a very important tool to have. It breaks your work into small and manageable bits. In addition, it helps to prevent aspects of your personal life from intruding into your work. But what does it mean when we say we should create a good schedule?
You should settle on the number of hours you want your working day to have. A wise idea would be to come up with a schedule that resembles a normal working day for an in-office setting. You can settle on a schedule that has an 8-hour working day with short breaks in between your sessions.
Another great tip here is to communicate to your colleagues and clients the hours that you will be working and hours set aside for your activities. This will ensure you can effectively cater to your work and your personal life. A clash of these two important facets of your life is therefore avoided.
- Minimize Social Media Distractions
Social Media is one of the most distracting things that have ever been created! Now, do not get me wrong, Social Media is a very important tool that can be leveraged by businesses and companies to achieve growth. However, the “social” aspect of it is what is proving particularly addictive.
Those working in an in-office setting find themselves occasionally logging in and out of their social media accounts even during working hours. Therefore, how about those working remotely? This bunch may end up being unproductive if the appropriate caution is not observed.
One great way to handle this issue is to always log out of all your social media accounts when you are working. This will minimize the chances that you will be tempted to log in and use them. You can also remove your social media accounts from your web browser shortcuts. This will make the entire process of logging seem like a big hassle. Therefore you will be discouraged to use your accounts.
- Schedule Regular Breaks In Between Your Working Sessions
The main purpose of taking breaks is to help you feel refreshed and motivated. This is important in helping you to maintain the desired level of focus and concentration to get a lot of work done. One would ask what this has to do with effective time management. If you take breaks, you will stay refreshed and motivated to take in more work.
This then means you will put more time into your work and be more productive. Therefore, taking breaks is not wasting time. You can take walks during your breaks with your dog and stretch those legs while having a breath of fresh air outside. You can even get a snack during break time. That will be important in giving you the energy to soldier on.
These breaks in between your work sessions will also help you reflect on the progress of your work. This may allow you to see and establish whether you are on track. Consequently, you can take the necessary measures such as tweaking the strategies you have been using to handle your work. Here, you can drop the techniques that do not work and adopt the more effective ones.
- Set Clear And Well-Defined Boundaries
Boundaries go a long way in allowing you to manage your time well and achieve the desired productivity. Working remotely has its perks. However, it has its fair share of challenges. One such challenge is placing unwavering focus and concentration on your work.
This can easily occur when you do not set clear boundaries with your colleagues, family members, and even your clients. You will find yourself in a situation where your family members intrude into your working space and you waste much-needed time tending to them. Their frequent distractions eats into your working hours leaving you with less time to handle your job duties.
When you do not set and communicate boundaries, even the breaks that you set for yourself will be non-existent. This is because your colleagues and clients will not allow you to rest. You will be bombarded with emails and phone calls while on that walk or “snack break”.
What this does is that it can distort your entire work schedule. At this point, you are rendered unable to manage your time as effectively as you would have wished.
- Selecting a Designated and Secluded Spot as Your Workstation
This is one of the most relied upon strategies that support the effective management of time during remote working. A private and secluded workstation is essential in helping you to achieve maximum focus. It ensures the hours you have set aside for working are put to maximum use.
If you have a guest room, you can convert that into your home office. A basement is another great spot. The trick is to settle for a room that is free from external distractions. And what do fewer distractions mean?
More focus, more concentration, and the possibility to get as much work done as is possible! You have a higher possibility to use your time more efficiently when you are working in such isolated spots around your house. Set up the room accordingly to give it a “professional feel”. Stock it with the required tools and equipment; your computer, laptop, stationery, and all your tools of the trade.
A good ergonomic chair will also enable you to be comfortable when working. This will allow you to maintain focus, be more productive, and therefore manage your working hours according to your schedule.
- Use Time Management Tools
Oftentimes, effective time management is not just down to you. You need all the help you can get to achieve it. The calendar is a great place to start! Working remotely will require that you hold meetings with your clients, colleagues, and employers once in a while. You will be needed to come up with meeting times that are convenient to all parties involved.
In this context, a calendar will help you to first select an appropriate day of the week or month. The said day should be one where your work schedule can allow you to take a few hours off to honor the appointment. Thereafter, you can partition your day to include your work sessions, short breaks, and even the meeting and appointment. This will essentially ensure that you have given each item on your to-do list ample time.
- You Can “Appoint” Someone to Hold You Accountable
Accountability breeds responsibility. Effective time management can also be realized if you are held accountable by someone close to you. You can select your partner, friend, colleague, or a close family member to keep you in check.
This can go a long way in assisting you to use your time well. For example, you can share your work schedule with them so that they are aware of the work you want to complete on a given day. Then, they can constantly keep checking on you to establish whether you are on course to meet your deadline.
This strategy can prove to be extremely effective because you will tend to waste less time. In addition, you are less likely to “suffer” from distractions. In this way, you are more likely to use your time more productively.
- Establish the Time of Day When You are Most Productive
Different people are productive during different times of the day. Some feel more energetic and refreshed during the early morning hours. Other people find the tranquility of the late-night hours to be super conducive for their work. This is especially crucial when it comes to the pertinent issue of productivity.
It is common knowledge that you would want to handle most of your work when you feel most motivated. Handle the most challenging aspects of your job when you feel most “fresh”. Then later on, when you start feeling a bit drained out, you can use this time to handle calls and emails.
- Eat that Frog and “Play” to Your Strengths
This essentially means that you should handle your tasks starting from the ones you consider the most difficult and slowly work your way into the easy ones. This can be very convenient for people who feel more productive during the early hours of the morning.
Clearing the more challenging tasks from your to-do list will allow you to create enough time to handle other tasks later in the day when your body starts succumbing to fatigue.
On the other hand, other people feel less motivated during the early hours of the morning. It is therefore important for them to start dealing with tasks or aspects of their work that they deem easier.
- Create a Morning Routine
It has always been said that you can gauge how your day will pan out just by how it begins. Therefore, it is essential to start it in the best way possible. If your day begins with a lot of confusion and a lack of intention and purpose, you are bound to waste a lot of time during the day and be less productive as a result.
Therefore, you can begin your day by engaging in an early morning exercise. This can take the form of a jog, weight training, or even a light workout session in your living room. These are some of the best suggested early morning routines that will enable you to start your day feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day’s challenges.
Now, why is this important for good time management? When you begin your day with the right mindset and attitude, you put yourself in a great position to handle as much work as you possible. This is because you will be more alert and in control of your day increasing your levels of productivity.
In conclusion, remote working in itself is a great opportunity to have work life balance. However, it is associated with several challenges such as effective time management. When you manage your time well, you will be able to get a lot of work done.
Working from home would not be a tough task anymore. You will be able to achieve your goals and meet all your deadlines. Therefore, I strongly recommend you to try out the above tips to manage your time more efficiently while working from home.