To many, working from home sounds amazing; there are no noisy coworkers, no commute, and most of the time you don’t even have to worry about the dress code! It’s a great way to bring balance to your life.
However, working remotely can be a double-edged sword when it comes to time management. After all, with the siren’s song of the dishes that need washing, the laundry that needs run, and the dozens of other things you could be doing at home, it’s easy to get distracted and find your productivity going down the drain.
That’s why it’s important to have a system in place to manage your time, and to ensure you’re getting everything done that you need to. If you find yourself struggling with being productive while finding that work-life balance, some of the following tips might be just what you’ve been looking for.
Method 1: The Pomodoro Technique
If you have trouble focusing on a single task, then the Pomodoro Technique might be something worth trying out. It’s simple, straightforward, and it can act like a sharpening tool for your brain.
The way it works is that you pick a task; either big or small, just so long as it is definitive. Then you set your timer for 25 minutes, and you work on that task for the entire, allotted time. If you think of something else you need to do, jot it down quickly, and return your attention to your task. When the alarm goes off, take a 5-minute break to get a drink or go to the bathroom. Then, re-set your timer and either return to the same task, or pick a new one. Every four times you go through to the alarm, take a longer break.
Method 2: The ABC Method and Pareto Analyses Combo
This method is fairly simple, and can be used to get your day in order quite quickly according to U.S. News. First, review all your tasks and assign them to a category. Those categories are:
– A: Tasks that are both urgent and important.
– B: Tasks that are important, but not urgent.
– C: Tasks which are neither important, nor urgent.
Once you have all your tasks assigned, go through and determine which ones can be accomplished the quickest. If you need to respond to an email from your supervisor, for example, that is a task that can be completed much more quickly than revising the report your client needs by the end of the work day.
First, handle all of the smaller tasks in Category A that you can get out of the way for maximum efficiency. Then, take care of the big tasks. Then you move onto Category B and C with the same plan. This method increases your efficiency and helps you get the most stuff done in the smallest amount of time.
Method #3: 18 Minutes
The 18 Minutes strategy was developed by Peter Bregman, and while it might take some getting used to, it can help you organize your time and your day. The steps are fairly simple, according to Forbes.
– Take 5 minutes at the start of your day to decide what you need to do. Write it on your calendar.
– Take 1 minute per hour, every hour to step back, breathe, and refocus. Don’t get so lost in your work that you forget to come up for air.
– Take 5 minutes in the evening to shut down your computer, and reflect on the day. What did you get done? What still needs doing? Review your performance.
At the end of your average work day, that’s 18 minutes for a lot of added efficiency.