If you're working remotely check out our top time management tips for working from home.

Top Time Management Tips for Remote Working

Working from home provides plenty of opportunities for both increased productivity and distraction. Whilst many of us may struggle to get started, others simply can’t switch off. With blurred line between work and home, effective time management tips are essential to make sure you’re making the most of your working day whilst also keeping a healthy balance. Here’s our top tips to help you create a structure and routine to get the most out of working from home…

Make a To-Do List

This isn’t another way to avoid getting stuck in, the point of a to-do list is to help you organise what needs to be done and rank your tasks in order importance. Start with the critical jobs first so you’re not putting off things that are essential. But make sure you also add some ‘quick wins’ that can be crossed off more easily so you feel like you’re making a dent in your day.

It’s important to make sure your to-do list is manageable. If there’s too much on there it can feel overwhelming and you’re setting up each day to fail. Break it down into smaller chunks to tackle over the course of your week, or split it up into a ‘must do’ and ‘optional extras’ pile.

Set aside time for meetings

Schedule your day around meetings, call and webinars. Whilst it’s important to stay connected and video conferencing may play an essential part of working with others, it’s easy to let them over run and dominate your day. For many, the abundance of online interactions can prove a distraction in itself and leave little time for the rest of your work to be done.

Set aside time for meetings in your diary, but make sure they stick to the time allowance. Don’t be afraid to leave a call if you have an important task to complete or turn down an invitation to another meeting or webinar if it’s not really essential.

Do one job at a time

Whilst multi-tasking can be seen as a strength, your brain takes at least 15 minutes to refocus when you switch tasks. So jumping from one screen to another with different projects running at the same time, might not be the best way to maintain productivity. You’ll feel distracted and make struggle to complete either job well.

Focus on doing one job at a time, working your way through the list and crossing off another task. Keep it simple, minimise the distractions and you’ll be able to move onto the next job far quicker.

Structure your day

As previously, give yourself a set time to start and finish work, and to take rest and lunch breaks. Avoid stepping away to quickly load the washing machine or munching that sandwich with your laptop on your knee. Having a structure is important so you know when to switch off and don’t slip into bad habits.

Try to maintain your traditional work patterns as much as possible. Get up, get dressed, start work. Take a full hour or half hour lunch break and use it to go for a walk, read the paper or chat to friends. Keep personal tasks to break times or the end of the day and avoid working overtime in your own home.

Reward yourself

Set yourself clear objectives and work towards an end goal. Find ways to make tasks more enjoyable whilst your doing them or set yourself a treat to earn by getting them done. For example, finish updating that spreadsheet and then make yourself a speciality coffee, making 5 calls and then you can have the radio on.

It can be hard to find ways to reward yourself with new rules in place, but recognising your daily achievements is an important way to stay motivated. Try saving that daily bike ride for the end of the day as part of your ‘winding down’ schedule, pick up the phone and tell your friends or family about all the great things you’ve done that day and tuck into a tasty snack. You’ve earned it.

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