There is a notion that remote workers have more time than those who work in a more traditional setting, and it’s partially true. People who work from home don’t need to allocate minutes or hours for commuting to and from the office, and there’s also no need to spend time getting ready for work.
However, time management is a skill that all employees—remote workers and otherwise—will greatly benefit from. Just because you’re working from home, it doesn’t always mean that you have more time than others. Here are some key tips for managing your time better while remote working.
Make clear distinctions between spaces
There’s one thing that we need to know about how our brains work: We tend to associate spaces with certain activities. This is why experts discourage people from working on their beds—when we work from our bed or bedroom, we associate the pace with wakefulness, energy, and productivity.
If you want to improve your time management, let your environment influence your day-to-day activities. If you must work, make sure to do it from your home office, or if you don’t have one, on the kitchen counter. Avoid the temptation of working from your bed. If the only free space you have to work is in your bedroom, at least arrange it so that your back is turned away from the bed so that you’re not tempted to lay down throughout the day.
Outsource other household tasks
Believe it or not, you don’t have to take on all the tasks by yourself. If you don’t live alone, you can ask your partner, children, or roommates to help around the house by creating a schedule and having everyone agree to it. You can also hire professionals to do some home maintenance tasks, like employing the help of plumbers, professional cleaners, residential mowers, and others.
Entrusting the work to professionals can help you ensure that it’s done right, and it will help you save some precious time too. It will also allow you to focus on items on your to-do list that you never want to compromise on, like quality time with your partner and children.
Plot a schedule and stick to it
Creating a schedule and sticking to it is so much easier when you’re single and live alone, but when you have a partner and/or children, it becomes more of a challenge because then you would have to collaborate on a schedule that works for all of you. Here are some tips for coming up with a schedule that helps all of you achieve your goals and don’t cause you to get in each other’s way:
- Have everyone sit down and plan your schedule for an entire month.
- Identify who will be working or studying from when and from where, and who will be in charge of certain household tasks and even childcare.
- Writing all this down will help you have a visual representation of how the calendar will look. Make sure to use colored papers and label makers if necessary.
- A shared calendar app like TimeTree or Google Calendar is also incredibly convenient because your family members can access it from anywhere, and you can also set certain alarms.
Get ready in the morning like you’re going to work
Throwing on a pair of sweats and calling it a day will not help you get into the mindset of work. Preparing in the morning like you’re actually leaving to go to the office will help you build a routine, especially if you’re the type who has to move around in the morning to get your energy up.
Set proper boundaries by knowing when to stop
Studies show that resting can actually do more for your productivity than working yourself to the bone non-stop, so stopping at just the right time can help you achieve more in a shorter period. Consider using the Pomodoro Technique, which is the process of breaking down all your work into 25-minute focus tasks, resting for five minutes, working for another 25 minutes, then resting for another five minutes, and so on. Knowing that you will be resting and taking leisure time soon is a good incentive to start working as early as possible.
Now that the Delta variant is sweeping the nation and many companies might be going back to the work-from-home setup again soon, it will be good to build healthier remote working time management habits to keep you productive and energetic. Give yourself a fighting chance by following these tips.