Many people have been opting to work from home due to many reasons. Some will be accustomed to doing it, and some will not be. But during these extraordinary times of COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing and working from home is a must.
Also, this is an excellent time to pursue many other goals. But one must even understand that while working at home could be great for your productivity, it also provides many distractions. There would also be much anxiety due to these uncertain times of the pandemic.
These could affect both the quality and quantity of the work. You may find yourself in situations where the project is so lagging that you need to overwork, not knowing just what to do, and of course, increasing stress due to all the problems.
Here are some tips that will help you to manage time well while working at home:
Track your Time
Understanding the present situation is a necessary and most important point in planning. Your work is no exception. Understanding how much work you can do in a particular amount of time and at what times you can work most productively will undoubtedly help you to adjust the current working plan and formulate the best one that is tailored to you.
Let us see an example for this, consider that, in your original plan, you have given a 20 minute time for checking emails. But it may take more or less time, depending on you. If you take an hour unknowingly just for monitoring and responding to emails, that can affect your plan significantly. That is the reason why you need to have a knowledge of the amount of time it takes you to complete a task and also to track it regularly.
Start by tracking your time as low as 15 or 30 minutes. You can set up an alarm or use anything to get notified, and after the stipulated time has finished, understand what you did or doing at each interval. This will undoubtedly help you understand how much time you are spending on each task. If it is hard to do it yourself, then You can also use Clockify to track how much you are spending on specific projects.
Understand that there Would be Many Meetings
You generally need to talk to different people to get or do work, so there would be various meetings throughout the day. But especially in this time of uncertainty, you need to anticipate that there could be more meetings than usual. Acknowledging that would help you to justify and plan in advance for more meetings.
Plan your Schedule Realistically
Now you understand how much time you spend on specific tasks and acknowledge the fact that there would be more meetings than usual; you can start out to plan your schedule realistically. Understanding this, you may get through your day by not having a plan, but not preparing could lead to many disasters and also wasted potential.
Many tools like Google Calendar, Any.do, TimeTree will make the process easier scheduling your work and also collaborating. Let us consider some of the specific things that you need to consider while planning your schedule realistically.
Have a To-do Lists
Making a to-do list is one of the most fundamental and essential management things you do. As you would have accurate information about what time specific tasks take, you can have
Include all the tasks you need to do throughout the day. After the job is completed, you can acknowledge it by checking or crossing the item. The tools that help you are Wunderlist, Trello, Things, etc.
Include Some Downtimes
It is just wrong to expect yourself to be working all day long completely. While eating lunch while working may feel that your work is going on well, it is generally a good idea to let some downtime in your schedule. Get a lunch break, Exercise, and more. Also, for some specific tasks like household chores, you may not find time for them unless you give them through deliberate planning.
Learn How to Stay Productive at Home
Just as it is wrong to expect yourself to be working all the time, it is wrong as well to be working with the same level of spirit, motivation, and energy levels at all time times. For some people, it could be early in the mornings or late at night.
That is, some people like to wake up early in the morning and work through the day and sleep early, while some others wake up late in the mornings and work late at night. Plan and adjust your work schedule in these times to get the most of you. Also, plan any crucial works in your peak times.
Excercise Hygiene to Reduce Distractions
Hygiene at Home
There will be many distractions for you, be it inside the home or through the internet. But, not regulating the distractions will profoundly affect your work. Surfing the home and web will result in a large amount of wasted time.
Keep yourself, your workplace, and your home neat and clean with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Safety products like KN95 Mask, Hand Sanitizer, Face Shield, Disposable Hand Gloves etc. Being home all the time, it is necessary to maintain hygiene all over the place as you will be spending more time there. This affects your productivity more than you think.
Hygiene at Work
You may feel tempted to check your phone continuously or to check the weather and news on your pc. As per the phone, just switch it off and make alternate arrangements if someone wants to contact you. As per the pc, take regular breaks.
Consider removing all the shortcuts to your social media accounts and logging them off. By removing all the gateways to your distractions, you can save much time that is wasted unknowingly and unintentionally.
Manage your Personal Space
Admittedly, this could be one of the hardest things to learn. You may think you need to be willing to be useful to your clients and ask all the things they ask you to do. But understand that accepting work that you cannot do will undoubtedly overwhelm you, and if you cross the deadlines, that would only result in a bad name. Also, value your professional time and energy and do not do anything for free unless you volunteer to do so. Instead of working for free, work for a discount.