As a result of companies switching to remote working mode, many of us, remote workers, have faced the biggest challenge: staying productive while working from home.
Time management is one of the most common issues standing between workers and productivity. Time management at the usual times comes with a handful of challenges, and the number of these challenges grows exponentially once you start working from home. However, you can stay productive even in these difficult times by implementing some easy time management tricks. Let us show you how.
Manage your calendar
Working from home can be overwhelming. As we try to stay productive and committed to work, it’s easy to forget about being organized. We use productivity apps to check how many tasks we have left until they’re due. However, we tend to forget about the benefits of such an easy but important habit as calendar management.
Proactive calendar management can greatly benefit your productivity. As a general rule, avoid leaving your calendar blank.
Select one day of the week for calendar management. Also, you can prioritize tasks, add due dates, and reminders of your tasks in Nozbe Teams. This all will support getting all of your work done on time.
Build a new routine
It’s really easy to get lazy and lose interest while staying in most of your time. To prevent this from happening, it’s important that you stick to your typical daily routine.
Get up at the usual time and have your regular morning ritual. Get yourself ready for the working day and stop wearing those sweatpants. Always get dressed for work, even when you don’t have any Zoom meetings. This will trick your brain and help you stay productive.
It’s also important to manage your time so that you have some small breaks. Avoid eating snacks while working. Instead, have a lunch break as you would normally do. Try not to deviate from your schedule. This will help you divide your work and home lives while staying productive.
Work your usual office hours
As you work from home, it’s easy to get caught up in working much more than you usually do. In fact, some people who work remotely start experiencing the work from home guilt and end up working more hours than they did in the office.
How to prevent yourself from overworking or underworking? Make sure you have distinct working hours that were previously discussed with your manager. Professionals from Essay Tigers highlight the importance of working towards showing results rather than more visible screen time.
Become aware of the fragmented time
Fragmented time occurs whenever you have quick slots of spare time. For example, when you’re done with your Zoom meeting, and you have another one in 20 minutes.
People schedule their meetings based on what works for them. This can leave you with tons of fragmented time invested in busy but unproductive activities.
So, let’s say you have about 15 minutes of time in between your meetings. How do you use this time productively? You can manage your work email as you’re waiting for your next meeting.
Alternatively, you can create a to-do list of all small but important tasks that can be done within a short timeframe. Also, you can proofread and edit your reports.
As you can see, there are many options when it comes to managing fragmented time. The bottom line is to try to make the most out of it.
Psychologists suggest that if you want to be productive you should stop multitasking. Did you know that only 2% of the global population are good at multitasking? For the rest 98% of us it’s not really multitasking. Rather, we switch back and forth from one activity to another. The problem with that approach is that our brains need some time to refocus from one task to another. As a result, we waste more time refocusing and end up not performing that well. So, while it might seem like a super productive thing to do, research shows that multitasking actually reduces productivity by 40%.
Instead of multitasking, try to focus more precisely on each task. Shift your focus on other activities as soon as you finish the previous one. Thus, you’ll be less distracted and more focused.
Avoid doing any personal tasks
Getting distracted by personal tasks is one of the most common downfalls of working remotely. Stay away from the things you wouldn’t do if you were in the office. It might seem like taking your dog for a walk or a quick cleaning wouldn’t take too much of your time. The reality is that it doesn’t only take away your working time but also decreases your productivity. If you have some things to attend to, add them to your calendar and take care of them as soon as you’re done with work.
Don’t surf the Internet
Surfing the web and scrolling through social media are the worst time wasters. Did you know that on average people spend 144 minutes on social media daily? It’s more than 2 hours of wasted time every day! While there is nothing wrong with you using your social media in spare time, your working hours should not be distracted by Instagram challenges.
It’s useful to mute social media notifications while you’re working. Also, you can set a time limit for social media usage per day. This feature is extremely useful when you’re trying to control your screen time.
Be respective to energy windows
Even though we’re socially distancing and working from home, we still remain a part of the team. That’s why it’s so important to be sensitive to your own energy and respective to the energy of others. Listen to your body and pay attention to when you’re the most productive.
Align your calendar and meetings concerning your energy windows. Some people find morning the most productive time of the day, while others prefer working late hours. Either way, it’s important to coordinate your working hours with respect to your energy level and other team members.
Productivity begins not only with time management but also with the right mindset. Keep up with your schedule and promise yourself to stay away from social media during the work day. Be sure that you’ll see a boost in productivity once you start implementing the tactics above. Have a productive rest of your day and stay healthy!