Since the start of the pandemic, many people have had to adjust to remote working. They no longer have in-person contact with colleagues, watercooler breaks, or cubicles. Instead, their workspace is now their home.
When you work from home, you need self-discipline to finish your tasks, meet deadlines, and be successful. Something many remote workers struggle with is time management.
Managing your time can be challenging if you’re new to the remote lifestyle or simply don’t know the techniques required to succeed at it. There are always ways to improve your efficiency and productivity while working remotely. It can bring you better results in a shorter time so you can increase your return on investment.
If you want to improve your time management while working from home, here are some tips to get started.
Track Your Time
It’s important to know how you’re spending your time to accurately gauge where you’re wasting it versus using it wisely. You may think you know where your time goes, but you realize you aren’t as productive when you analyze it.
By using different remote tools, such as an online time tracker, you can find ways to maximize your productivity. It helps to specify what tasks you’re working on and how much time each one took. That way, you can create a plan to work smarter so you accomplish more tasks in less time.
Follow a Routine
Without a routine, it’s difficult to stick to healthy habits that encourage productivity and allow you to perform at your best. When you run your workdays without a schedule, it can lead to wasted time. It’s easier to give in to your distractions when you work as you go without a real plan.
To complete tasks in a timely fashion, it’s important to follow a routine. Routines give your days structure and help you follow a timeline so you know you’re accomplishing what’s on your to-do list. When you haphazardly go through your workday, it’s difficult to understand how much you’re achieving and how much time you’re wasting.
Your workdays should be mapped out so you know what each hour of the day entails. It’s harder to create excuses to check your phone or do something other than work when it’s part of your schedule.
Most people are used to checking their phones out of habit. But when you constantly do it while working, it leads you to accidentally spend more time browsing through social media and listening to podcasts. You may not intend to do those things, but you can’t help it once your phone is in your hand.
To improve your time management skills, make your life easier by eliminating all distractions. If you’re usually glued to your phone, put it in another room until it’s time for a break. If you like to watch television and work simultaneously, try to work in a room without a TV or keep it turned off. If family members are home, let them know it’s your focus time and you need to be left alone.
It’s important to declutter your workspace and make room for better habits. Something as simple as organizing your supplies for five minutes each week can make a huge difference.
Psychologically, it may be difficult for your brain to adjust to working from home at first. When you have to step into the office and interact face-to-face with coworkers, it puts you in the mindset to work. Mentally, you’re ready to take on the tasks in front of you and take advantage of your time.
But this is challenging if you wear pajamas and a robe while working all day. Your brain won’t be able to make the distinction between work and play, which will further hinder your time management. If you don’t actively decide you’re in work mode, it’ll be harder to get things done.
Treat your workdays like any other day at the office. You may be at home, but you can trick your mind into work mode. Getting dressed, combing your hair, and putting on a pair of shoes help you focus on your tasks and get more done.
Avoid Unnecessary Meetings
Working remotely means communicating solely through technology, and that includes video calls. Meetings are a necessary strategy for most companies to improve communication and streamline processes. They keep everyone on the same page so the business can grow and succeed.
However, that doesn’t mean every meeting a company holds needs to happen. If it doesn’t have a specific purpose or send a message, then a meeting most likely isn’t going to solve much. Likewise, if it can be said in an email, a meeting isn’t necessary.
Analyze your work meetings and see what value they offer to its participants. You may find that your company spends more time scheduling and holding meetings than it does to improve its strategies.
Over to You
If you struggle with time management while working from home, you aren’t the only one. It can be challenging to stay productive and efficient when you don’t leave the house to do so. But it’s important to learn how to adjust to new circumstances so you’re prepared and make the best of it. How will you improve your time management while working remotely?