7 Time Management Tips While Working Remotely
Time management can oftentimes be an issue when working from home. Since you’re faced with household chores and regular visitations from neighbors and relatives, among other activities usually done in the household, there may be times that you won’t be able to finish your tasks for the day. Prevent avoidable delays with these 7 time management tips to help you manage your work from home schedule:
1. Turn off your phone and other devices
Smartphones and other electronics are the main sources of distractions when working remotely. They are even distractions for people working in the office. That is the reason why turning off all your devices is very helpful so that you can be able to finish your tasks quickly and even have extra time to do other things during the rest of your shift.
If your hands are itchy and still turn on your phone every now and then, it is advisable to hide it in a separate location such as in another room where you can’t easily access it. For example, if you plan to place it in your sibling’s bedroom tell him/her that you’ll be getting your phone after your shift. Be strict with yourself and remember that the time you use up while browsing your phone can easily be used to finish work tasks.
2. Finish your chores before/after your shift
If you’re wondering why you never finish your work on time, it may be because you’re doing other tasks in between, specifically household chores. Some of these tasks include doing the laundry, cleaning the house, walking the dog, preparing breakfast or lunch, or feeding the baby, among others. You may even be tasked to do some household repairs in and between your work.
Avoid all of these activities altogether and work on them before your shift or after you’ve finished your tasks for the day. With fewer distractions, you’ll be able to focus on your job and finish everything in a timely manner. You can even do the chores if you finish early and no longer face other work-related deadlines. With the amount of time you will be saving, it’s not surprising that this is considered as one of the most effective tips for working from home effectively.
3. Inform other people of your schedule
Aside from chores hindering you from finishing your work, people constantly passing by and visiting your home work station can also be distracting. While it’s completely understandable that they check up on you every now and then, you should inform them of your schedule to prevent distractions.
Much like when you were still working in an office, you can talk to them before your work starts or after your shift. Just make them understand the importance of finishing your work on time so that you won’t be working long hours and now even have less time with them since you’re working beyond your original schedule.
If you’re a working mom or dad and have kids in the household, talking with them about your schedule may not be enough so it’s advisable to keep them busy throughout the day. This shouldn't be a problem if they have online classes. If they don’t have any activities lined up, it’s best to leave them to a neighbor or at a daycare center for the time being.
4. Utilize productivity tools
Time management at home doesn’t just relate to external issues but also activities relating to your actual work. Make use of technology and utilize productivity tools to speed up the work process. You’ll be surprised how much work you’ll be able to finish with the help of highly advanced and affordable (oftentimes free) productivity tools.
Some of these tools include Google Workspace, Slack, Asana, and Zoom among many others. Some of these tools may already be provided by your company so you won’t have to worry about making a purchase or creating an account. Zoom and Google Workspace, in particular, are two of the most popular productivity and collaboration tools around so make sure to take advantage of these platforms if you get an opportunity.
5. Start on time
Similar to using your phone while working, you’ll accomplish so many things when you start on time rather than doing something else that isn’t related to your work. Don’t be the employee who logs in a few minutes before his schedule yet proceeds to do other things. You’ll be wasting precious time and there is a high chance you’ll work longer hours since you failed to start early.
Before you beginning work for the entire day, prepare your mind and body. Remove all the distractions and only open work-related tabs on the computer. Additionally, you can also start 15 to 30 minutes before your intended work schedule if there are many tasks lined up. Your boss will appreciate your commitment to the job.
6. Work on difficult tasks first
Employees, most especially remote employees, tend to work on simple tasks first before moving on to complex ones. Avoid this scenario as there is a possibility of the same complex tasks taking up most of your time, forcing you to work well into the night and preventing you to have a bonding moment with your family.
After you’ve logged in, work on difficult tasks immediately while you still have the energy and concentration to do so. You won’t just be able to finish tasks faster but also maintain a healthy work life balance.
7. Coordinate with coworkers
If you’re working with a team, you’ll be more efficient if you regularly coordinate with them on the tasks each member will be working on. For tasks assigned to you, work on them at the soonest time possible. You’ll be able to relax for a bit if you can finish early while waiting for other tasks to be assigned to you.
In contrast, if you’re waiting for tasks make sure to regularly update your colleagues or supervisors. They may have forgotten that they’re designating you with work. Your fellow remote workers will be thanking you for reminding them since everyone in the team is achieving the same goal. With constant communication with coworkers, you’ll also be improving your man management skills.
Time management in the new normal can be tough but there are ways to address the problems that come with it. The tips listed above should help you better manage your schedule in whatever work you’re involved with or whatever time you start within the day.
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