Time Management is a skill, and practice is required. Don’t beat yourself up if you are still trying to get the hang of it. We have been given an exciting opportunity to work from home during this confinement period, so we understand that this experience is new to you and will require some adaptation. Let’s now focus on how you can manage your time effectively when you working remotely?
You are used to a morning routine, such as getting ready for work and commuting to the office. Now, when you wake up, you are already at the office. Therefore, a routine will be helpful – wake up, get ready and have breakfast. Try to start working at the same time everyday and schedule some breaks in between. Pretend like you are going into the office as this mental association will make you more productive.
Structure and organisation
You will be more productive if you actually have an ‘office’ at home. It does not have to be a designated room, but simply a table and comfortable chair. You can have a To-do list ready, similar to how you diarise your tasks at the office. This structure will help you maintain focus as you are getting the tasks out of your head and onto paper, where you can see and act upon them. From there, you can take better decisions and prioritise. These would be the goals that you are setting for the day or for the week. This is important for your time management when you are working from home. Do not try to do all at once and be realistic in your planning. You might prefer to have a digital To-do list and can pin a note on your desktop – whichever suits you best.
Time blocking and breaks
By blocking out your time, you can actually make space for work, life and family or friends. Block a time where you can communicate with your co-workers and supervisors. Some extroverts might feel a bit lonely when they work from home as the isolation can become a productivity killer. Since extroverts find their positive feelings from engaging with other people, these ‘check-ins’ with your co-workers or friends could give you back the boost that you need.
Since you are staying in the same place all day, frequent breaks are important. You can take a break after 60 to 90 minutes, depending on your task and attention. We are in confinement, but that does not stop you from walking in your garden to re-energise yourself.
Working from home can offer you with a lot of freedom as there is no supervision. It can be easy to start slacking. If you do not set boundaries, it might start getting too comfortable. You will want to avoid distractions. Turn off the TV or radio if you feel that these distract you. You can turn off notifications on some of your apps when you are working on a project and do not want to be disturbed. Taking time away from social media and your phone can increase well-being. It allows your brain to slow down.
Distractions do not only take the form of electronic devices, but having a cluttered desk can also be a source of distraction. Make your desk clutter free to bring back your focus.
Some people might prefer to listen to music or white noise to eliminate distractions.
BetterHelp has developed a teletherapy page that can assist you during this period. Access it here.
Time Management Course
Dave Crenshaw is an author and coach and you will find his advice on balancing your different responsibilities valuable. Click here to access the course.
We all have different personalities, and there is no exact formula for how to become an efficient remote worker. We all have different tips that are working well for us and perhaps we can share some best practices.