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Whether you are working from home or from an office, time management is important to get things done. And working from home is especially tricky, as the distractions come up more often.
And if you have kids at home, it’s even more important to know which tasks you should be working on, when you get a chance to actually be working.
Here are some great time management hacks which you can implement to make working from home more productive (and they apply to the office work as well).
Do not multi-task
It’s easy to fall into the trap of multitasking while working at home. You can definitely feel more busy by working on two different projects, answering kids’ questions, making lunch, and watering plants at the same time. But will you be productive working that way?
Instead, try focusing on one task at a time. It will make you far more productive, as you will finish the task more quickly and precisely. And that, in turn, will motivate you to get more tasks done throughout the day.
Here are some other ways how to deal with distractions while working from home so that you could focus on one task only.
Batch similar tasks together
Grouping similar tasks together and doing them one after another will streamline your thinking process and help you to get through the tasks more quickly.
It takes some effort to switch your attention from one kind of task to another.
For example, if you have to write 3 blog posts, then for each blog post you have to do the keyword research, come up with a title, write the content, create graphics, and share it on social media.
These are quite different tasks which could be batched together. Do all of the keyword research for 3 posts together, and you’ll find that it takes less time than doing it separately for each post.
Look at the tasks that you have to do today, find similar ones that could be done together, and try out batching the work.
Set deadlines for each task
Parkinson’s law states that the work expands to the time allocated for doing it.
Have you noticed that if you give yourself 2 hours to finish a task, then the task actually takes 2 hours? And if you have more time for the same task, then the same task will fill all of the allocated time?
That’s why it’s wise to write down tasks which you want to accomplish during your day and add the time for each task. And try to be realistic, otherwise it will be hard to follow the time limits without making up excuses that they are impossible to follow.
There are some tasks that you just don’t want to do, right? And oftentimes, these are the most important, yet not that exciting things.
In order to do the important stuff during the day, not just some small things just to fill the time, it’s important to write down tasks for the day and prioritize them.
Do the tasks which will bring the biggest benefit first. Usually, 20% of work will bring 80% of the results. By finding this 20 % which is the most important, you’ll save much energy and will be more productive during the day.
Take advantage of the online productivity tools, which are great for remote work. Many of them are free to try out, so you can be certain which ones will actually boost your productivity.
There are several ways how to manage tasks online, which are especially beneficial for remotely working teams. Check out Trello, where you can write all of the tasks you and your team have to do. For the simplest task management create a board with columns “ToDo”, “Doing”, and “Done”. This will show a quick overview of the task progress.
You can also use time management aspects to these tasks by ordering them in priority order, decomposing them in smaller tasks within one bigger task, and adding a due date.
Get rid of distractions
It’s hard to talk about time management without mentioning distractions, especially, if you are working from home. There are no colleagues watching you, and the social media, Netflix, or fridge visits may seem so tempting.
It’s natural that you’ll want to procrastinate when facing a challenging task with so many distractions around you.
That’s why it’s important to create a workspace with the least amount of distractions. Keep it clutter-free, use noise-canceling headphones, and ask other members of your household not to disturb you during some periods of a workday.
Time management can be challenging while working from home. Use the tips above to manage your work tasks in a more controlled way so that you could get more done during the day.