The current situation of an ongoing pandemic has altered our lives in more than a few ways. Now, we are all juggling between our home chores, office, kids, and the kids’ schoolwork. Amidst all this chaos, time management is a big challenge. It only gets more challenging when working from home because then all the parameters you are accustomed to are snatched away.
So, here are some essential tips that can help you manage your time working from home.
Plan a schedule
On days when you work from home with your partner, having a schedule becomes all the more critical. Having a plan will help both of you divide the chores. You can decide who will be doing what and when.
Further, there should be a clear bifurcation of who will be responsible for the house duties and childcare. When it is all written down or put on a shared calendar app, it is easier for you to follow. Making a schedule and sticking it on the fridge is what we swear by, says Anaida, who works with TFTH.
Have a designated space
If there is enough space, it is best to pick separate rooms or areas in the house and designate the expectations for each of them. For instance, you can set up a desk in your bedroom and dedicate it only for working, the living room can be fixed for unwinding and relaxation, the kitchen table is for meals and helping children with homework. The bifurcation helps create a connection between the physical space and the task to focus on. When you have always used the living room to binge watch Netflix, you may get hard to focus on the work there. So, find dedicated places to work and play and keep things consistent.
Try some productivity apps
There are more than a few applications, which help you increase productivity. Booster and Evernote are the two best productivity applications, says Mia, who works with TAE. Well, these are great applications, and can certainly help you stay organized. These apps also alert you when it is time for you to take a break or end your tasks for the day, and wrap up. Stretchly is also a useful productivity application, which offers you a timer and screen reminder to get back to work or call it a day.
Dress up like you are headed for work
You cannot expect to be your most productive self if you sit around in a pair of shorts and sweatshirts. Wondering, why, and how it is a time management tip? Well, let us take a moment to explain this. When you get up each morning, have a routine, wear decent clothes, you prepare your mind to focus on all the work projects.
Naturally, when you are focussed, you are better able to manage your tasks more efficiently.
Breaks are important. They help you recharge your mind and stay more productive. So, keep breaks in your schedule just as you would in a regular office. Remember that the breaks do not have to be long. Keep them short - maybe 10 to 15 minutes in a go. You can take a walk around, check up on your kids, or just have a snack during break time.
Cut out social media distractions
Is social media hampering your work? Every time I work, I sign out from all my social media profiles, which prevents the urge to check the phone repeatedly, says George, who works with FineGrades. If needed, you can have two different phones - for work and office. Do not download any social media application on your work phone. And while you are working, keep your home phone away.
The usual 9-5 weekday is frankly realistic only in an office space where you do not have any family obligation competing for your time. At times, you may be more productive during your non-traditional hours, maybe before the kids in the house wakeup or probably after dinner time. Regardless of what it is, be frank about it with your manager to keep him on the same page. The idea is not to work on the stipulated hours, but to get the work done.
Have some boundaries
As your commute time after work or to work may be a walk from the bed to your desk, it may be a bit difficult to end your workday definitively. The best way to maintain a balance between personal time and professional hours is by signing out of the mail apps after the office hours, says Nia, who offers the best online python course. You can set the alarm to alert you when it is time to wrap up.
Also, turn off your computer. It will curtail the temptations to keep checking in. Always be specific about your work hours in your email signature. You can even put up a status with an Away message while you are not working. All of this will prevent your employees from bothering you during non-work hours.