With a quarter of the world in quarantine, work from home has become a necessity overnight. But, it takes certain skills to manage work from home, especially when you’re seeking ‘work-life balance’. So if you’re considering remote working, here’s what I’ve learned are the keys to becoming more disciplined and productive.
Until recently, work-at-home was not on the to-do list for organizations. For many seeking work-life balance, working from home might be touted as the ultimate solution. While others may feel lost and unproductive as they grapple to manage work from home as their family responsibilities interfere with work responsibilities.
HOW TO MANAGE WORK FROM HOME DURING THE LOCKDOWN?
If you are dealing with this situation for the first time, here are some time management tips to master it.
START WITH A TO-DO LIST
List down all of your tasks for the day. Take a few minutes to distinguish between what feels urgent and what is important. Get more done without distraction using the Eisenhower Matrix.
A to-do list is a powerful tool. It helps clear the mind and organize what needs to be accomplished first which isn’t always apparent when you’re caught between the demands of the office and the demands of a family life. Sometimes utilizing the tool is enough to gain confidence to accomplish what needs to be done.
TACKLE BIG PROJECTS FIRST
Do the things that take the most focus and effort first. Your energy will wear down as the day goes on. Tackle them while your mind is still fresh.
“When we start our day with the most important task, we are able to transition to other tasks with a clearer mind,” writes Anna Domanska, editor at Industry Leaders Magazine. “If you begin with smaller tasks, the big task will loom over you during the day causing you to procrastinate even further.”
A deadline plays a significant role in ensuring that your day is productive. It will ensure that you are able to accomplish desired tasks within the time allocated. In order to meet the deadline, you’ll have to create a well-structured plan on how you are spending your minutes and hours.
Use the Pomodoro Technique to manage work from home. This will help you increase work turnover and boost work-quality. As Parkinson’s Law explains, “Work expands as to fill the time available for its completion.” Refrain from asking yourself how much time you have to accomplish the task instead ask yourself how much time it should take you to finish it.
The key here is to set deadlines and see how far you can go. If you’re not achieving desired results within your deadlines, it is an indication that you need to take a closer look at your time management skills. Over time, and with ample of practice, you’ll begin to see patterns in how you work and what helps you bring optimum output.
TURN OFF PHONE ALERTS
Let me be clear. Your smartphone isn’t the problem here. It’s the endless cacophony of the app notifications that is to blame.
According to a Deloitte study, people look at their phones 47 times a day on average. Productivity is over the minute you pay attention to each notification from Facebook, Netflix, Spotify, Instagram and Twitter. But there’s a solution. Turn off your notifications.
Don’t expect to be super-productive as you inculcate these time management tips into your work routine. Expect task deadlines to take a hit while you crack the productivity code. Don’t forget, when you are productive and happy, you can appreciate the perks of working from home.