Working from home and trying to manage your time effectively can be extremely difficult. For one, when you are working from home, you have to deal with loads of distractions, especially if you have other family members inside your house. If you are used to staying accountable and finishing tasks on time because your boss is in the same room as yours, it will be even more difficult to manage time.
Time management is incredibly important. If you do not manage your time properly, you can work incredibly long hours without achieving much. Bad time management can also create problems in other situations. These can lead to unfinished results or worse. Needless to say, time flies when you are doing something that you enjoy.
While on the other hand, time slows down when you have to complete a task that you are not interested in. Taking this into account, you can incorporate habits, tips, and ideas that can help you manage your time and have a much more productive working day from home. Below, the article will discuss some of these tips.
1. Set Boundaries
Putting boundaries around your day can be most effective when trying to manage time. This ultimately means dedicating your work hours to completing specific tasks. These can vary depending on your line of work. Once you divide your working shift into multiple different slots, there will be a sense of urgency to finish your daily tasks within those slots.
This does not have to include a strict schedule, and you can have some flexibility in your start and end times. You have to, nonetheless, have some consistency with how you manage your time. To help with that, you can take on some measures. For instance, you can set alarms to indicate when you are due to start and end work.
Setting alarms will help prevent you from getting drawn into different activities between your work or task completion time. Alarms and reminders can help you maintain boundaries and time slots. You can also set them for your lunchtime so that the day does not fly by without lunch.
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2. Turn Off Notifications
Focus is a big deal when trying to manage time, and the biggest obstacle when working from home is a result of your own doings. For instance, your captivating and attention-grabbing social media feed is usually the culprit for not managing your time. The algorithms of these applications are designed to keep you engaged, and they are often very successful at doing so.
Every sound of that notification alarm is a distraction to remote workers. Therefore, the best thing that you can do in this instance is to shut the notification off. If you are never notified, you can focus on the task ahead without deviating into a stream of comments or posts. Only look at your social media during your break periods and lunchtime. Remember that one single notification can lead to endless scrolling through applications and jumping around different feeds. Thus, shutting down your notifications can help you manage your time going forward.
This also applies to refraining from TV. Make sure that you do not turn the TV off. Once you turn the TV on, then it isn’t easy to turn it back off. Unlike music, the TV requires you to solidify your attention to the screen and not look anywhere else. This means that your 10-minute work assignment will turn out to become an hour-long project.
3. Get Visual
Aside from ridding all distractions and staying focused, it is also very important that you are visual if you want to manage time effectively. What this means is that you make a complete layout for all blocks of your time. These blocks of time can translate to each of your tasks regardless of how big or they are. You can put these blocks on a plain sheet of paper, a register, or even a calendar.
This is better than making a to-do list, where you have everything to check off. This incorporates a time frame to all of your tasks. These item frames not only have to account for tasks, but can also accommodate time for distractions as well. When crafting a visual time frame and blocks, make sure that you set realistic goals and not set yourself up for disaster.
4. Don’t Get Trapped
Many people that transition to the remote work environment; they tend to become more relaxed and lazy. Far too many people lose all their structure, composure, and productivity once they are enforced to work from home. If you can keep a structure of itemizing your tasks and creating a work environment inside your house, then you can prevent this from happening.
This is why it is essential to have a house space dedicated to your work. Having an office space can have a subconscious impact on your mind and make you more productive. Creating an environment will require you to install a workstation in your house.
This will include a work desk, chair and maybe a whiteboard. Ultimately, replicating the workspace in your office to your home will be the best thing that you can do. If you live in a small apartment and do not have an extra room for productive hours, then you have to find your spot. This will be a corner in your room where the desktop and chair fit amazingly. It is best if that spot is turned towards a wall and not into the sight of the bed or TV.
5. Look at what you Spend Your Time On
When managing time, make sure that your focus is on results and the outcomes you want to achieve. Setting weekly or even monthly goals can, therefore, be vital for managing time. For instance, you can write the top things that you need to achieve for the week ahead. For some people, these things will be similar each week, and for others, they will vary.
The idea is to note down the bigger goal and formulate smaller goals that can help you achieve them. Once you start aligning those goals in view of the bigger goal, it will help you stay more motivated and determined to complete your daily tasks on time.
This should not include every little task, but instead, they should consist of the more important ones. When you have these weekly tasks ready, you can use them as a guide to track your progress and find out how close you are getting to your goals each day.
6. Be Specific
When writing down your To-Do list, make sure that you are specific, and not arbitrary. For example, are you going to run 1 or 2 reports? Are you going to make phone calls, or 4 total phone calls? This is important as it gives you a clear idea and direction of what needs to be done and how.
7. Be Consistent
Being consistent not only means that you have to be productive each day, but it also pertains to not working extra as well. Only work as much as you have planned to, not more and not less. The harm in working extra is that it can become a habit and you can burn out. You will then not give back the value that you potentially could.
8. Know what you Are Suppose to Do
Time is precious, and you must not waste it. If you are set to work, make sure that you focus on the things that matter. If you are working remotely and your work does not require you to constantly check-in and check out and keep track of the hours and your boss only wants you to get your job done in the given work shift, it is a different story.
Imagine working an eight-hour shift, and you shrink it down to six but get the same things done. This means that you are more efficient and you have bought yourself some time. If you are your own boss, you can accomplish a wide range of tasks with the right mindset.
This means that you end up doing more things sooner and especially if you are just starting. Overall, there is too much to accomplish sometimes, with very little time. Usually, when you finish up with doing the most urgent things, you move forward to completing the easiest and most comfortable tasks.
Keep in mind that these are not the things that will benefit you in the long run. They will only move you forward incrementally and make you feel busy. However, the tasks that will move you forward are the most uncomfortable ones. Therefore, make sure to strive towards the more uncomfortable and difficult tasks.
Overall, by setting boundaries, fixating on results, and staying consistent, you can not only manage time but also manage your well-being while working from home. Therefore, remote working can be possible and effective if you do it right.
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