With the outbreak of the global Covid-19 pandemic, huge numbers of us are now suddenly working from home. Whether you’re used to it already, or you’re new to the game, learning how to manage your time when you don’t commute to a shared office space is definitely an art. You may still struggle to focus from time to time, or find yourself letting work drift and then having to frantically play catch-up to meet important deadlines. Or you may struggle with drawing a boundary between work and home life and find that work matters are spilling over into each hour of the day. And in a lockdown situation, where you physically can’t go anywhere or visit anything, it can be even more of a challenge. So how do you manage your time to stay sane and productive when you need to work from home?
Stick To A Personal Routine
Working successfully from home is all about finding the routine which works for you and being strict about sticking to it. There aren’t the natural boundaries that people who work outside of the home face, so you must create them. Find out when the natural peak of your productivity is, and try to build a routine around that. For example, you may be most productive first thing in the morning – so ringfence that time for deep dive tasks and save checking and replying to emails for later on in the day. Put in place clear boundaries for when you will be working and when you will be relaxing. Use a social media blocker app to stop you whiling away work time on Facebook, and similarly turn off your email notifications and put your laptop away in a drawer once you’re off the clock.
Take Regular Breaks
In order to maintain peak productivity at home, times of relaxation are equally as important as times of work. Respect this balance by following the Pareto Principle and making sure that you take regular screen breaks. When it’s time, get up, perform some desk stretches or do a quick lap of the house, and if you need to relax, leave the room and sit out on a balcony or in the garden perhaps with a hot drink – you can even source CBD Coffee UK if you have trouble relaxing and switching off.
Prioritise Your Work
If you have a lot of incoming tasks, a simple tool like a productivity matrix can help you to decide what is really urgent to tackle first. Are there things that you could delegate? Could you write the social media strategy but give some of the actions in it to someone else to complete? Sometimes it’s easy to take on too much, but using remote team working software means it’s easy to ping a quick message to a colleague and share a task. When you use these effectively, it means you devote the most time and energy to mission-critical tasks, and this gives you a sense of accomplishment that is very necessary if you’re removed from immediate feedback by your homeworking set up. It gets easier with practice, but if you implement some of these working tools, you’ll find working from home gets a whole lot easier.