Time management for the remote worker

Last Updated on October 4, 2021 by Anastasios Antoniadis

Remote work is a trend filled with myths and stereotypes. Some of which is complete freedom of action, an opportunity to earn money without straining, an easy way to combine work activities with motherhood, travel, hobbies, etc. That is why many people start feeling discomfort when they start a remote job, as it does not live up to their expectations.

It all starts with life at university, when a student wants to earn some money and offers college homework help to his classmates. That’s how the long chore begins, and working from home is treated as a side gig.

However, nowadays working from home is becoming a norm in our lives, so it is necessary to maintain the same performance and efficiency. But how to properly manage your time when working remotely? Here are some tips to help you.

Work during the day

Don’t be tempted to procrastinate until nighttime: your productivity decreases manifold.

Interviewing 6 thousand employees, HeadHunter found that the most productive hours for most workers (38%) are from 9 am to 12 pm. According to the survey participants, the human brain is better in the morning, and it is easier to concentrate. At the same time, 28% of respondents found the most ineffective in the evening after 18.00.

Biological clocks are adjusted for daylight saving time, do not argue with nature. Let your workday start not at 8 a.m., but 10 a.m. This way, your chances of succeeding in your profession and not screwing up all your deadlines are much higher. If you regularly disrupt the regime, work the domino principle: you will need more time to recover tomorrow, and therefore begin to melt precious working minutes.

The office worker turns off the computer and goes home at the end of the day, leaving work at work until the following day. On the other hand, a remote worker may have work that goes beyond the workday, creating a sense of working around the clock (with no opportunity to take a break). Working at night, sooner or later you will start to think that everyone else is resting and that you are the only one working. Such thoughts are demotivating and reduce efficiency.

Plan everything and maintain a schedule

Make a good habit of writing down every task. Tasks include work functions: calls, letters, negotiations, meetings, as well as personal matters: playing with your child, calling your mother, going on a date with your spouse.

Keep in mind; you don’t want to fit a project that takes many days to accomplish into one day. Write down a step that you can do within the workday to accomplish a common task.

Plan your activities at least a month in advance, including family vacations. Charting a month ahead helps you prioritize and adjust your schedule. This way, you will not only be able to concentrate on small secondary tasks but also to start big projects too.

Most importantly, don’t look for the perfect day planner, large-scale planner, or multi-functional app. Just open a standard calendar on your phone and write everything you need to get done in there. This is good for freeing up your memory of unnecessary files. Keep your head busy solving tasks rather than remembering them.

Pick up your pace gradually

Start your workday with a routine task, then move on to the next one.

Share a little trick for getting yourself to cheer up: start doing something, even wash the dishes. A simple physical action will wake your body up better than any alarm clock. By the way, did you know that Agatha Christie came up with the plots of his detectives while washing dishes? You’ll agree, now that activity seems less of a burden. Who knows, maybe you’ll get the idea for a new story while you’re rubbing pots and pans?

When you finish another task, cross it off your list and enjoy a dose of endorphins from the task at hand. Once you’ve accelerated, take on larger tasks and prioritize them. Please don’t put too many different-format tasks into one day; try to group them by direction not to spread yourself too thin. That way, you will not lose time or focus by switching from one task to another.

Take physical breaks, stretch your back, neck, arms, eyes. Incorporate breaks into your schedule, including lunch and a short walk – just like in the office. Avoid taking lunch while working as you do not want to associate work with food when you work from home. It will likely affect your physique in the long term.

Moreover, when you work at home, there is a great “temptation” to do household chores: clean up, do laundry, drink tea. Learn to distribute your time so that you have enough of it for all tasks.

Some companies keep a timesheet. Employees are assigned time to perform specific tasks: 10:05 – call, 10:15 – letter, 11:20 – meeting, noon – lunch, etc.

Take an honest look at your schedule and find the “lag” in the system, pick up the pieces of that missing hour during the day and spend it on other goals.

By the way, hanging out on social networks is not considered recreation; it’s more of a waste of time unless you subscribe to a valuable thematic resource and not draw from their helpful information. Ideally, you don’t want to associate your breaks from a virtual, remote job with another activity on your PC or laptop. You may have to consider deleting your Instagram or Snapchat account if you have to.

Find the time you are wasting. If you ever felt that you spin all day like a squirrel in a wheel and still do not have time to do half of what you planned, you do not know how to set priorities and delegate tasks. So how do you find the 25th hour in a day?

Unsubscribe from newsletters

Make it a rule to control the flow of information that comes into your head.

Indeed you have accumulated in your mail and messengers a lot of subscriptions to courses and masterclasses that you want to attend and watch. What is not on the Internet, and you seem to need a lot: endless articles on psychology, personal growth training, and webinars of the top masters of business development.

All this wealth of information comes chaotically in the form of reminders (the subtlety of auto feeds). You physically cannot cope with the volume of information, putting it aside hoping to see/read it later. Behind the flood of mailings, you run the risk of missing an important message.

Even if you set up your inbox by sender and strive to organize the information, emails still pile up. Are you sure you need them? Not all subscriptions are equally helpful. If they get in the way of your work and are not helpful, unsubscribe but only take up valuable time. Either learn or reconsider your priorities. The same goes for unnecessary social networking subscriptions and push notifications.

Use silent mode

First, if your job doesn’t directly involve constant communication, set yourself a schedule of intervals when you check messages, calls, apps, email. Endless reminders keep you from concentrating, and your work gets done many times slower.

Second, create silence in your work whenever possible. If you work from home, make arrangements with your family not to distract them. Choose your co-working space/café carefully. The more you get done in your limited work time, the faster you’ll get your order done, and it won’t stretch for long.

Defeat Procrastination.

You’ve heard the legendary Steve Jobs quote, “You don’t have to work 12 hours, you have to work with your head,” right?

By incorporating “war mode,” you can balance your life so that you have time to both work and rest. When you procrastinate (read: lazy), procrastinate due to your insecurities, you fill your day with unnecessary tasks: soap operas, household chores, and you feel guilty as a result.

Protect yourself from burnout

Professional burnout can affect everyone. In most cases, your job is a marathon rather than a sprint, so it is essential to not o More often than not, people who invest as much as possible in their work are at risk. Excessive emotional attachment to projects, cases, objects, and, of course, work is a grenade with a pulled pin. The more you invest, the greater the return you begin to expect. Fatigue builds up. Disappointment from unfulfilled dreams and undermined energy reserves are what lead to burnout.

So how do you enjoy your activities? The recipe is simple: you need to work as long as it gives you joy. And also – keep a balance of work, personal life and time for yourself.

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