Working from home has become the norm in the past few years, as many companies have embraced allowing their employees to have more flexibility and save on commute time. Also, according to Lensa, with 487,600 annual Google searches, remote work has become the most common employee demand in the US. However, the work-from-home environment can also present challenges, particularly in trying to maintain a healthy work-life balance. It can be tough when you’re working in the same place (where you live), especially when managing your time effectively. With this in mind, here are 10 tips to help you manage your time when working from home.
1. Create a Schedule
When you create a schedule (and stick to it), you’re more likely to:
- Increase productivity
- Reduce overall stress
- Enhance accountability
Having a schedule can help you stay focused and organized. Make a to-do list for the day and prioritize tasks based on importance. This way, you can make the most of your time and be more productive.
2. Set Boundaries
It’s important to set boundaries between work and personal time, especially when you’re working from home. Be sure you have designated working hours, and take regular breaks throughout the day to reset your mind.
When you have solid boundaries in place, you increase the chances of minimizing burnout. Without boundaries, the lines between work and real life can easily become blurred, making it difficult to discern the difference between getting things done for your employer and doing the things you need or want to do in your personal time.
3. Avoid Distractions
Distractions are common when working from home, especially when you’re in a familiar environment. It’s important to minimize distractions as much as possible. This could mean closing the door to your workspace, wearing noise-canceling headphones, or turning off notifications on your phone and other places where you might be inundated with messages throughout the day.
4. Use Technology to Your Advantage
There are many tools and apps available that can help you manage your time more effectively. For example, you can use time-tracking software to monitor how much time you’re spending on tasks or a productivity app to help you stay on track.
With the right tools in your digital toolbox, you’ll find ways to automate routine tasks and streamline processes, as well as communicate more smoothly with your team. Often, the platforms available today can be used on any device, giving you access to the information you need, even if you need to step away from your home office and handle life’s necessities during work hours.
5. Take Breaks
We alluded to this earlier, but it’s worth mentioning again — taking regular breaks is critical for your mental and physical well-being. Take a walk, meditate, or do stretching exercises periodically throughout the day to help you recharge and stay focused.
6. Avoid Multitasking
While it may seem like you’re being productive by doing multiple things at once, research has shown that multitasking can actually reduce your productivity. Instead, focus on one task at a time and give it your full attention.
7. Set Realistic Goals
When setting goals for the day, make sure they’re realistic and achievable. This will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and will help keep you motivated as you start crossing things off your list.
8. Communicate with Your Team
Good communication is crucial when working from home. Make sure you’re regularly in touch with your colleagues and are keeping them updated on your progress. This ensures you stay connected with your team and keep on top of your tasks.
9. Use Your Downtime Wisely
Make the most of your downtime by using it to do things you enjoy, such as reading a book or taking up a new hobby. When you have something non-work-related to focus on in your downtime, you’ll be able to recharge and have something to look forward to after a long day of work.
10. Stay Organized
Having an organized workspace can help you stay focused and reduce stress. Make sure you have a designated workspace and keep your desk and computer organized. In doing so, you’ll discover that you can find what you need more quickly and have fewer distractions when you need to focus,
In the end, working from home can be a dream, but without the right processes and setup, it can sometimes turn into a nightmare. By following these time management tips, you can make the most of your time and be more productive. Check in with your boundaries, goals, and communications regularly to ensure you’re staying on track with what you need to do – and what your brain needs from you. With a little effort, you can achieve a healthy work-life balance and be successful in your work-from-home setup.