Many of us have had to adjust to remote work over these last several months and remaining productive certainly presents a challenge. Adapting to such a drastic change requires a plan to properly manage your time. Here we take a look at ten time management tips for remote workers.
1. “Set boundaries with yourself and with your coworkers, boss, and clients. Establish set working hours that align with what you’re expected to do (such as 40 hours Monday through Friday), and stick to them.”
2. “Your to-do list can set the tone of your entire day. Try creating a manageable to-do list the night before, and follow it throughout the day. Include everything from a big project to a creating your grocery list on your lunch break and include how long you think each task will take. Check the items off or cross them out when you’re finished.”
3. “Before clocking off each day, check your schedule for the following day to ensure you’re ready for any early-morning meetings. If recurring events serially interrupt your productive patterns, try using a smart meeting scheduler – the most advanced can actually intelligently reschedule unproductive meetings carving up your week, to protect more space for undisturbed focused work.”
4. “Without regular breaks and clear boundaries between work and personal time, you’re setting yourself up for a pretty painful crash. In this environment, the fact that remote workers work more extended hours and take fewer sick days comes as little surprise. Treat your downtime just as you do your work time: structuring activities, breaks, and downtime into your day to protect time for them.”
5. “Lead with compassion. If you’re a manager, it’s easy to get obsessed on whether people are taking advantage of this time at home or actually working. As mentioned earlier, these are strange and stressful times. Now is the time to extend compassion, assumption of good intent and a culture of support. “Your employees are your best asset—whether they’re coming to work every day, working remotely, or unable to do their jobs,” says Miri Rodriguez, author of, “Brand Storytelling.” “Companies need to create a trusted space to acknowledge how team members may be feeling anxious or down during these times.”
6. “Take steps to ensure you're as focused as you can be when working from home. If possible, creating a personal office using a room in your home is a great way to start. Turn off unneeded electronics, such as the TV, and remove visual and audio distractions that easily steal your attention. Cell phones, while useful, are very tempting to look at periodically. Try turning off notifications to some of your apps or putting it on silent when you really need to buckle down on a project.”
7. “Following the “eat the frog” methodology, it’s actually better to start your day with the highest priority tasks you’re often tempted to push off to later in the day. Your focus wavers as the day goes on. This makes these tougher tasks even more of a challenge. In order to see your best outcomes, you want to tackle your Goliath first.”
8. “Tracking your time will help you to understand how much time it takes to complete different tasks, and it will help you to arrange the time for different pieces of works within a day or week or longer time frame. This is necessary to create an effective schedule of work and to understand what you have achieved according to your plan.”
9. “It’s important to create a boundary between your home life and your work life, even though the physical space might be the same. As Harvard Business Review argued, “Unless you are careful to maintain boundaries, you may start to feel like you’re always at work and losing a place to come home to.” The opposite is also true: When you work from bed, you run the risk of never shifting into a productive mindset needed to perform professionally.”
10. “Don’t just throw on a pair of sweats every day. This may not seem like a time management tip, but having a routine — getting up at the same time each day and wearing clothes you wouldn’t mind going out in public in — will help you get in a frame of mind to focus on your work projects. And when you’re focused, you manage your time more effectively.”
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