The internet loves to highlight the benefits of remote work but it isn’t just something you can slip into easily. One of its benefits is you are completely alone in how you structure and manage your time. However, effective time management is one of the most common issues for remote workers.
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Here are 7 of our best time management tips for remote workers like you. Visit onlineaccelerator.com, if you’re having trouble managing your time at home.
- Minimize distractions
You may have a screen tracker that will allow employers to see what you were doing at a certain time but we know we have other ways to entertain ourselves when working, with no one watching over you, remote workers can just sit around all day watching Netflix on your smart tv or your smartphone. You are also available to check your phone anytime.
There are other factors as well that contribute to your distractions such as family members or your cute little dog waiting for you to pet them. If you know you are easily distracted by these things, understand that you can’t possibly avoid distractions completely no matter where you work but you can reduce them. For example, you can turn off your notifications on your phone so you’re not tempted to check them during your shift. You have your breaks for that.
Let your family know or anyone you live with what time your shift starts and ends so they can also try not to distract you while working. Also, it’s not so bad to pet your adorable dog sometimes but do it after an important task. Take it as a reward for both of you.
- Create a list of your must-do tasks
Employees feel that this isn’t necessary because they may have repetitive tasks but this does not only require you to list your work tasks but as well as your tasks. Once you are done with a task, refer back to your list during the day, marking off items as they’re completed.
This will make sure that you have done what you’re supposed to do on that day or if you have a task you missed doing, you can set up a time for the next day to complete it. Review the list at the end of your day, and set priorities for the next day. The goal of developing this habit is for you to focus on the right things at the right times.
- Strictly follow deadlines and timelines
Now that you have set your priorities on your day-to-day to-do lists, the next thing is to set the deadlines for each task, whether it’s work or personal. This can be a powerful tool to help you manage your time and stay on task. To do this, start with the list you made for the day, then, include estimates of how long various items should take.
As you move through your workday, track your time and see which ones need more time spent and the ones that are not supposed to eat into your workday. Time tracking helps you understand how long different tasks take, so you can spend the right amount of time for different pieces of work across your week.
- Determine When You’re Most Productive
For example, if you’re a morning person and feel focused as you start your day, consider tackling your hardest tasks first. Working on challenging tasks when you’re at mental best likely means you can carry out the task faster, leaving you more time for other tasks later in the day.
On the contrary, if you feel like you are most awake and alive during the later part of your shift, starting with an easier activity or one that requires less mental energy is recommended. Starting with a hefty task first may not inspire you the rest of the day. It’s better to spend your energy on easier tasks at the beginning of your shift so you can perform even better as you tackle the next item.
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- Try time blocking tasks – Plan your breaks
Time blocking is a highly effective time management method that schedules your day into the set, controlled units. This method makes sure that you have a time limit on small easy tasks like responding to emails, reading announcements and updates, and attending to phone calls and follow-up calls.
In addition, plan your breaks ahead of time. Employees at home can grab lunch and eat at their desk anytime during a busy day, but this habit can be harmful as you can be prolonging a task that can only be done in a small amount of time for every bite you take, it makes you lose focus as well which can result to low quality of work.
Instead, try to set specific hours for your lunch breaks and quick breaks. Use these hours to eat, check your electronics, meditate or spend time with your dog. Let everyone know what you are doing with your to-do list and the time set for each task and also knowing when you are most active during the day to work on difficult tasks.
Remember that working remotely does not require a lot of communication but just an update about what you are working on to let everyone in the team know will suffice. By doing this, you are practicing being consistent with your core hours for your work, including dedicated availability hours so colleagues know when to contact you and expect a response.
- Stop Multitasking
This is where most employees are wrong to think about, “multitasking saves you time”, it doesn’t. The truth is, as you multitask on two or more things, your mind has to shift focus continuously, and it can hurt your productivity. What happens is whenever you switch tasks, your brain can take at least 15 minutes to refocus which results in the same amount of time spent doing it one by one, or you might spend more time than expected.
We have highlighted the importance of setting up a time for every task, no matter how easy it is, focusing on one task at a time and switching focus only when you finish will less likely for you to get distracted, and chances are your get to finish your tasks quicker than if you tried to do them all at once.
- Pretend Like You’re Going to the Office
Yes, you can get away with not taking a shower or wearing whatever you wear when working but one can agree that waking up and getting into a routine like you’re going to the office makes a big difference in your productivity. Setting your alarm, preparing yourself a coffee, and dressing up neatly can help you get into a productive mindset. Just because you have the opportunity to look lazy, you will do it.
Show up as you would in an office-based setup and watch yourself do things differently. Setting up your workplace is essential as well. Your bed and couch should be your place for leisure not work. Alternatively, design a specific area in your home designated for work.
By having this space dedicated for work, you limit interruptions. This technique also sparks creativity and productivity. Once you have found your space, organize the things needed during work hours and keep this area tidy and free of clutter.
Make your work from home experience better with These tips that will help you in making the most of your time working from home.
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