Remote work has been a blessing for many Americans. It frees up extra time, allows you to juggle responsibilities like caring for kids with your workplace obligations, and cuts down on many costs of commuting like gas! But for many working professionals, remote work also comes with its fair share of challenges, like time management.
Indeed, it can be difficult to stay on top of time management when working from home, where you face many distinct distractions. Today, let’s break down how you can master time management when working remotely no matter where you work or what you do.
Create A “Work Schedule”
By far, the best way to stay on top of time management when you work from home is to make a strict work schedule. Just like you have a schedule in the office, you should have a schedule to accomplish all your tasks while working from home.
Your schedule could look something like this:
- 9 AM – Sit down and begin work
- 12 PM – Lunch break
- 5 PM – End of work
You can, of course, feel free to add additional brakes or notes to this basic template. The bottom line is this: by giving yourself a work schedule, your brain will feel more like it’s “at” work. That’ll help you manage your time better since your mind won’t be in a “rest and relaxation” state.
Maintain A Designated Workspace
By the same token, you should carve out a designated space for your work. Whether that’s the kitchen table, a home office, or somewhere else, you need a quiet space where you can buckle down and get the job done.
That space should absolutely not be in front of your TV, in your bed or in your bedroom. Instead, make sure your workspace:
- Has a minimum of potential distractions or interruptions
- Is reasonably isolated from the rest of the house
- Is somewhat controllable, so you can tell kids or pets to get out if needed
When you work at a designated space, your brain will be more likely to get into gear quickly and start working when needed.
Get Rid Of Potential Distractions Beforehand
To be productive and master time management, you’ll want to get rid of any potential distractions at your work from a home office. That means:
- Turning off the TV and video games
- Making sure pets and children are taken care of for a while
- Eliminating household distractions like a washing machine or dryer
In fact, getting rid of distractions is one of the key tips recommended by Greg Gillman: the Chief Revenue Officer of MuteSix and a successful entrepreneur. Among his other strategies on how to improve time management, Greg says that eliminating distractions before you sit down for your daily work is key to not giving them power over you in the first place.
If you get rid of distractions before you start to work, it’s less likely that you’ll be yanked out of your working mindset and forced to deal with yet another time sink you would normally tackle after coming home from the office.
Use Software & Add-Ons
These days, there are dozens of web browser add-ons and software tools you can use to improve your time management. For example, some web browser add-ons prevent you from visiting popular sites like YouTube or Facebook during “working hours”.
Other tools, like time tracking software, can measure how much time you spend browsing the Internet and how much time you spend working to analyze your time management and improve it accordingly. Don’t hesitate to use these technological tools as often as you need!
Follow The Pomodoro Technique
To really double down on time management, consider trying the Pomodoro technique. In a nutshell, the Pomodoro technique has you work in four 25-minute sprints. After each 25-minute sprint, you take a five-minute break, then proceed to the next sprint. Once all four sprints are complete, you take a longer, 20-minute break.
Many professionals across industries find the Pomodoro technique to be excellent for getting tons of work done in a standard workday. Try it yourself and see if it helps you manage your time wisely while working from home!
All in all, remote work is more of a good thing than it is a problem. But if you want to maintain your workplace performance and get that promotion you’ve been eyeing, you need to keep your time management up to snuff and get all your work done on time every day.
By following the above tips, you’ll be just as productive and prompt at home as you are in the office. Don’t forget to check out the other tips Greg Gillman has for mastering the remote work environment and other topics!