Working from home brings its positive benefits along with some drawbacks. Poor time management is one of the reasons why working from home can be hectic for you.
Well if you are a seasoned pro in working from home just started, there are many ways for making your experience better and less stressful.
This means it’s important that you should experiment, test, and modify different approaches to manage time. To make it easier, here are some of the tricks for you.
- challenges of virtual teams
- Tips on How to Manage Your Time When Working Remotely
- Your Self-Care Is Equally Important
- Infuse Play To Workday
- Establish The Workday And What It Means For You
- Close Your Email When It’s Not Needed
- Block Out Optimum Time In Calendar For Work
- Invest In A Good Timer
- Use Music For Focusing
- Use Parkinson’s Law For Work And Meetings
- Be Ready For Meetings Before You Join
- Write To-Do List That Seems Realistic To You
- Ditch The Pajamas And Wear Like You Are Going Office
- No Matter What You Do, Give Undivided Attention
- Tell People When You Have Hard Stop
- Step Away From Your Desk And Computer
- Avoid Small Tasks Which You Can’t Finish
- Stop Switching Between Tasks
- Keep Notification Of Your Phone Off
- Keep A Morning Routine Ready
- Take Breaks More Regularly
- Use The Blocker For Shutting Off Sites
- Do Regular Journaling And Brainstorm
- Stop Guilting Yourself For Mishaps
- Choose The Nearest Best Option
- Have Dedicated Space For Your Work
- Pomodoro Technique Works For You Too
- Find And Remove The Challenges
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challenges of virtual teams
Before you jump to try the tricks, it’s important to have an understanding of the potential challenges that you can find in remote time management.
Working remotely means you are responsible for how you spend your time and where you are investing it.
So it becomes crucial to manage it and structure it, along with holding yourself accountable and focused.
Well, the responsibility is great, and it is why remote working attracts people.
But when you have a big mass of time understated on your hands, it can turn overwhelming, especially when you can’t use the office routine.
This is why working remote can be so challenging; some of the challenges include:
- You have no physical boundaries between what is your work and what is leisure.
- Your work is not visible immediately as you get in an office context.
- You feel pressure to be available immediately on Slack or email to counter the visibility lost.
- No one here is to structure your week, they will have the entitlement of where you are spending time so you need to set the boundaries.
- It’s hard to ascertain how well you are making sure of your time when you don’t get direct feedback.
- Working from home makes you work more as compared to the office, all it has fewer breaks and more hours to work.
Tips on How to Manage Your Time When Working Remotely
For different reasons people are working remotely, however after the pandemic happened a lot of people are forced to do it.
So even though some are thriving, a lot of people are suffering and barely surviving to get their work done. Since they are accustomed to the office setting, having all-time for themselves can cause confusion.
To know how you can improve your time meaning, here are some of the tricks for your help:
Your Self-Care Is Equally Important
Prioritize the time which is for your self-care. It includes sleeping for at least 7 to 9, having time to eat, and enjoying time on what you want to do.
When you are working from home, it gives you a lot of time but instead of getting obsessed over your work, make sure to find the time to take care of yourself so you can feel energetic and motivated throughout the day.
Infuse Play To Workday
Especially for the Leaders, you can influence the appropriate play in the workplace to make sure it’s spent well.
Not just that it will promote a positive culture and improve productivity along with stronger relationships.
Since everyone is working remotely, you can enjoy team-building fun.
Simply host the business meeting on Zoom with some theme, Or send care packages as it can be coffee and donuts.
You can host online holiday or birthday celebrations and happy hours; it will give the remote working employees time to bond, share their ideas, and feel less lonely.
Establish The Workday And What It Means For You
If you are an employee, it’s important that you have clear communication and that your boss knows what your workday means to you.
Since you might get calls or emails after your working hours are sent, it’s on you to choose when you are available.
But in any case, make sure your boss and coworkers know the workday limits, so everyone knows when to call you and when to not.
It gives you time to manage as you know after working hours, you don’t have to attend any calls or emails, and you are free to code your personal work.
Close Your Email When It’s Not Needed
Constantly checking the inbox can be distracting. Also it slows down your work as well as it gets difficult to get your attention back.
So make sure you designate times when you will check your emails. It can be hard to be tempted to check it right away, but this will help in the control of the schedule.
Also, close the tab when you are not using it.
Block Out Optimum Time In Calendar For Work
One of the most important parts of time management is knowing what tasks need and how much of your time.
So to make sure you have enough time for your work, you need to start blocking off the optimum hours in your calendar.
Choose the hours when you are most productive to work and let other hours for your other tasks that need less energy.
So if you are a morning person, you can get your work done before you hit the afternoon. Not just that, don’t let others interrupt your optimum time.
Make sure your boss and coworker know about this.
Invest In A Good Timer
Well, people have their phones with a timer, but it’s not as effective as you think. Having a physical timer can make an amazing difference.
Even though your phone has a fantastic timer, it’s a distraction too. There are high chances that you check text, see Instagram, or do shopping while you pick it for setting the timer.
So it can lead to floodgates of distractions. That’s why you need to invest in a good timer.
Simply set the specific time and reduce the distraction.
Use Music For Focusing
When you are working remotely, it’s really common to get distracted. Also, you have a wide range of voices going on, it can be your family talking, street, pets making noise, or kids playing.
You can’t shut everything off, but without this, it will be hard to focus. So you can use the music, and invest in good headphones which have features like noise canceling.
Use Parkinson’s Law For Work And Meetings
According to Parkinson’s Law, it states that the commonplace observation is that work expands, so it fills the time available for its completion.
So when you are hosting a meeting or doing regular work, be sure that you are not giving too much time.
Because when you do it, the activity will expand and take the entire time that could have been completed within less time.
Be clear about the tasks that you need to complete and make time to achieve those goals.
Be Ready For Meetings Before You Join
Meetings do not just take a lot of time, but it’s expensive. So don’t waste the hours; you need to be prepared for the meeting.
If you are not, then it can be a total time waster.
So when you are preparing for the meeting, make sure you follow these points :
- Read the agenda that you are getting along with meetings.
- If you are doing one on one meetings, make sure that you ask for clarification regarding what will be covered and what you need to be ready for.
- Know about what you are looking for in the meeting, and make sure you covered all of those points by the end of the meeting.
Write To-Do List That Seems Realistic To You
Make some time and put things on your to-do list, but make sure it’s not too overwhelming for you.
If your to-do list is making you jump from one work to another, it’s not an ideal one.
You need to manage an appropriate to-do list especially when you are working as a remote worker.
It’s crucial to be respectful about what potential distractions can happen and how you need to manage your to-do list according to that.
So when you are making the to-do list, consider these points :
- Put 3 to 5 items on your to-do list on a daily visit.
- Prioritize the items depending on what you need.
- Denote the stretch goal; it will help you in feeling less overwhelmed.
Ditch The Pajamas And Wear Like You Are Going Office
It’s important that you are ready for the day, and it starts by ditching the sweats and pajamas.
You need to get dressed as you are going to work and it’s an important trick to make yourself feel ready for the day.
Getting dressed helps you in making you feel good, and when you feel good it also reflects on the work.
Well, you don’t have to choose something formal but just add a bit of extra effort and it will make you alert too.
No Matter What You Do, Give Undivided Attention
Lack of focus will take more time than it actually needs, and also leads to a disturbance at work.
When you are in a meeting, make sure you are focusing on that particular thing/ Don’t let other works get your attention, so you won’t miss what happens during the meeting.
In order to focus better, you need to focus on how to reel the mind when it starts to drift. Since you can’t stop the mind from wandering around, you need to consider the points that make such a situation officer.
Focus on being in the moment, and block out things for that duration.
Tell People When You Have Hard Stop
Meetings require to be reeled in but do not always it will go as planned. So if you know that someone wants to have a meeting, it can be your friend, family, or someone else, but you have a deadline to get work done.
Tell them about it, and you can schedule it for later.
Step Away From Your Desk And Computer
While you need to get your work done, it is important to step back when your body needs it.
Sitting in front of your desktop will not get the work completed, so you should take the time to step away from it.
Finding those pockets of time away will help in reducing eye strain and more productivity.
If you are working in an office, you get time to go for a short walk, this can help but when you are working at home, so get some time to relax time.
Avoid Small Tasks Which You Can’t Finish
To manage your time well, don’t start the small tasks which you can’t finish.
It can be the email, you might have the reply in your head, but you haven’t gotten back to the sender.
This small task might be checking email and not responding to it back, which will take up your time and be hard to focus on.
If you can’t reply to the email or schedule the call, it’s better to not start it.
This can be a disturbance, and you need to have more energy and space to handle the small tasks.
Stop Switching Between Tasks
Task switching is a huge mistake you can make, and this will harm productivity.
Since it’s impossible to have one task, you might have a variety of different things to focus on and reasonable for the day.
It’s disjointed nature to make it challenging, but you need to stop jumping from one res[ssonablity to another.
This will cause ineffective working hours, which will waste time and effort.
So instead of that, you can do better with task batching. This requires grouping the tasks together which are similar in nature.
You don’t have to deal with different sets of work at once, just get them together based on their similarity and block the time for each of the tasks.
For example, if you are a marketer, the schedule might be similar to this :
- Schedule the time for social content on Monday morning of every week.
- Put writing emails to Tuesday afternoon.
- Sending the marketing updates to the company on Wednesday morning.
- Write blog content on Friday morning.
- Work on quarter projects on Thursday afternoon.
Keep Notification Of Your Phone Off
There is no doubt that phones are a welcome distraction, but when you are working remotely you need to be aware of this. If you let it pass by, this will end up wasting hours and affect productivity.
The phone is filled with a lot of things that cause a distraction if. Also, any app can send a notification regarding the updates, and when you do not want to, but curiously gets the best of you.
So instead of being held, simply turn off the notification. You won’t get the disturbance while you are working; also, you can put the do not disturb mode.
Keep A Morning Routine Ready
It’s really simple to let your morning time go to waste, but you need to be ready before you start the day.
This goes for both your body and mind. To be productive, make sure you have a morning routine.
Figure out steps that can help in making you feel the day more refreshed and do what helps in improving your docs.
Also, make sure you are consistent with that; it will make your morning interesting and help you to be more ready.
Take Breaks More Regularly
When you are working in an office setting, you take breaks more naturally as compared to working remotely.
You might see your co-worker going for a snack or taking short walks and want to go with them.
However, when you are working at home, you need to be more aware and take frequent breaks.
It includes :
- Step away from your computer and all tasks you are working on.
- Go outside to take a walk and get fresh air
- Cook a meal for yourself or start the dinner.
- Turn off the notification while you are on breaks.
- Keep the breaks more frequent and divided as you need.
Use The Blocker For Shutting Off Sites
Sometimes you might want to see your Twitter and Facebook, you don’t want to pass up, and if it’s too hard for you to close the sites on your own, then you can use the site blocker for help.
Site blockers can help in blocking out what is distracting you. Most site blockers can help keep you away from sites that are causing you to distract yourself.
Not only can you block the site, you can keep yourself away from distraction, but you can help in tailoring the usefulness.
Do Regular Journaling And Brainstorm
Starting a screen that is blank can suck, so it’s best to do the journaling and brainstorming; it will help you in tapping into your creativity.
Not just that, it can help you be productive, whether you are writing sales emails or reaching out to the customer.
Since the brain is not trained to remember everything, it will leave out information.
The brain continues to dump the information, and it deems the work which is not important and details.
Unfortunately, you need to train the mind to remember what is important.
However, you need to do journaling and brainstorming, so you can improve your chances of being more productive.
This will help invaluable information and save more time.
Stop Guilting Yourself For Mishaps
Guilt is a powerful emotion, and this can ruin your mental energy. There is always something you might end up getting worse, mishaps will happen, and you can handle it with something different.
So instead of element guilty about it, let it go and move forward.
Choose The Nearest Best Option
When you are working at home, there will be chances of starting late on a project or not following the exact schedule.
So instead of dropping the whole thing. It’s better to start with the nearest best potion.
For example, if you are a bit late on a project, start with where you are, and you can inform the management about it; since you will complete half of the walk, it’s still better than doing nothing.
Have Dedicated Space For Your Work
Stop working on the web or couch; get a space where you can work. And it should be dedicated to working only.
When you are working from the office, you have the space which is for work, and it can help.
But for remote working people, you have space; you don’t need a lot of stuff like a huge desk or a lot of room.
Just have space for work with things you need the items for.
Pomodoro Technique Works For You Too
There are some variations in Pomodoro, like you can put flowtime instead of a 25-minute session; flowtime means you let yourself work as long as you are in flow and then take a break.
However, if you are starting out and need a balance, you can use the Pomodoro technique, Break down the work into 15-minute chunks and put 5 minutes of intervals after each session.
Also with that, you need to follow the basic three rules :
- Break Down Your Complex Projects: If a specific task needs to get more work, you can use Pomodoro, which includes 25-minute intervals. And you can divide it into smaller as well as much more manageable steps/
- Group Smaller Tasks Together: If a task is taking much less time and you can put it in Pomodoro, group it together and do it.
- Don’t Get Distracted Until Timer Rings: Take note of the ideas, requests, and tasks that will go and come back later; it’s crucial to be on tasks and 25-minute sessions.
Find And Remove The Challenges
Switching the work onsite to working from home can help in causing the challenges. So you need to be ready for it and manage according to it.
You can identify the problems which might turn challenging, so pinpoint them and have your best solution ready for it.
It can include the work that is going to be less visible, so you have to find the time to promote yourself.
You might feel guilty as you have far more hours in hand, so it’s okay to waste it but keep it scheduled/
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Carol T. Mahaffey is a certified American Author And a creator of Theleaderboy. Carol is a Self-Taught Marketer with 10+ Years of Experience. She brings her decade of experience to her current role, where she is dedicated to writing books, blogs, and articles, inspiring the world on how to become a better Leader.