Working remotely allows you to control your working style and environment. As a result, you will be more productive, but you will also have more free time once your work is completed. One of the most challenging aspects of remote work is limiting distractions and making good use of your time.
Remote workers often struggle with time management but mastering a few key techniques can greatly enhance their energy and productivity. Here are some tried-and-true time management tips for more efficient remote working.
Conduct a Time Audit
Are you aware of how you spend your time? It isn't easy to know where to trim or tighten up if you don't really know how you spend each day. You may have a hazy idea, but the only way to be sure is to conduct a time audit,
A time audit entails meticulously tracking how you spend your time each day. For example, you could set a timer and record what you did and how long it took. Then, after a few weeks of data, you'll be able to clearly see how you're spending your time and make the necessary changes.
Establish a Routine
One of the most appealing aspects of remote work is that you are no longer required to work on a set schedule, such as the standard 9 to 5 job. However, this can also be one of the biggest drawbacks of remote working. Without a schedule, it's easy to lose track of time, spend your time inefficiently, or work far longer than necessary. Making a workday schedule gives you control over how you spend your time. You have control over when and how long specific tasks are performed. Establish a plan that works for you and stick to it.
Schedule Regular Breaks
You should schedule time for breaks in addition to your work schedule. You'll be able to concentrate better if you take frequent breaks throughout the day, including a lunch break mid-day. At least once an hour, make an effort to get up from your desk, even if it's just to make a cup of coffee or get a snack. Determine how long you can concentrate and schedule tasks for that amount of time (for example, one-hour blocks) with breaks in between.
Plan for Fragmented Time
You can set aside time to work on large projects and schedule them between your meetings and other scheduled events. You'll also end up with 10 minute and 15-minute chunks here and there. Compile a list of activities that you can do during these times.
For example, suppose you work on a project for an hour but only have 10 minutes before your next meeting. Daily organization, regular social media tasks, or cleaning up files on your computer are examples of planned activities for this fragmented time.
While multitasking appears to save time, it actually takes your brain time to switch between the tasks you're working on simultaneously. In addition, because your attention is divided, you may make mistakes you would not otherwise make. Therefore, concentrating solely on one task at a time will allow you to make better use of your time.
UtilizeTime Management Software and Apps
With nothing more than a kitchen timer, you can effectively manage your time. However, should you need a little more structure, apps and software programs can help. Apps like Toggl and RescueTime can automate some of your time management tasks while also providing additional features.
When people work remotely full-time or hybrid, one of the biggest challenges they face is time management. However, by mastering a few key time management techniques, you'll notice a significant increase in your energy and productivity.
written by Anne Albright / updated July 2023