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How to manage time effectively when working remotely

Cubo writersOct 12, 2022

Ever since Covid-19 started to spread worldwide, many organizations shifted to remote working to survive. Working remotely comes with a lot of challenges as many employees find it a modern method of working. One of the recurring challenges in this regard is the ability to manage your time effectively to be able to do multiple tasks simultaneously when working remotely. 

When you work remotely, most of the time you have to juggle different tasks including your kids’ schoolwork, listening in on a conference call, messaging your boss, talking to your family, and many other tasks. That is why time management is crucial when you work remotely. In this post, we are going to review some tips to face this challenge properly. 

Divide your duties 

If you and your partner are both working from home, try dividing your duties and create a schedule based on it. At the start of every week, you can determine who will be working where and when, and who will be responsible for other tasks such as taking care of childcare and managing housework.

If you write your schedule meticulously, it will be much easier to follow. Try sharing your schedule on calendar apps such as Google Calendar, or even on a piece of paper hung on the refrigerator. 

In this regard, there is also an approach called “windowed work.” In this approach, if your company and job allow you, you can be more flexible about when to work; in this method, instead of a 9 to 5 schedule, you can divide your daily schedule into some blocks of working time. Most employees believe this approach can help them perform more productively from home. 

Allocate spaces to different tasks

Another good tip to manage time wisely when working remotely is to allocate room and spaces around the house to different tasks and expectations. For example, you can define a rule in your house stating that the desk in the bedroom is only for work, the living room is only for relaxing, the kitchen table is only used for food and kids’ schoolwork, and other such allocations. 

This approach can help you define the connection between physical spaces and areas in your house and what you need to focus on. Using the living room for work is much tougher when other members of the family are watching Netflix. Then, you need to find the best spot in your house for work and keep it consistent. 

Consider the order of your tasks

It is essential to do your job tasks in a predefined order to stay on target and motivated. For example, if you find yourself an early bird and feel most productive when you get up, consider finishing your hardest tasks first. If you perform your challenging tasks when you are most productive, it probably means that you can finish them faster. Therefore, you will be left with more time for other tasks throughout the day. 

On the contrary, if it usually takes a while for you to gain your energy in the morning, try to start your day with an easier activity or one that needs less mental energy. This will help you perform the next tasks even better. 

Make use of productivity applications

Remote teams collaborating on Cubo

There are a ton of various applications on mobile app stores designed specifically to boost your productivity. These applications help you in doing different tasks with higher qualities. You can keep track of projects, meet deadlines, be more organized, etc.

They can also warn you when it is time to take a break or finish working on a project. This is most helpful on afternoons when you probably forget the working time is over. Otherwise, you may continue working for an additional hour or two. Therefore, it is a good move to use one of these apps such as Stretchly for break reminders and a good stretch. 

Wear office clothes

You should not wear underwear or in-home clothes every day when you work remotely. Although it may not be directly a time management tip, having a routine can help you imagine yourself in a real, physical office, increasing your focus on the job.

Other than wearing office clothes, your routine can include getting up at the same time every day, talking to your colleagues as you would normally do when in a real office, etc. All of these actions can eventually help you stay more focused, and staying more focused allows you to manage your time more effectively. 

Eliminate social media

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Whether you like this or not, social media can continuously move your focus on everything else other than your job. To eliminate the bad effects of social media applications, it is recommended that you log out of them entirely during work time, so you are forced to stay away from them. 

You can even remove the applications from your web browser shortcuts or work in a private or incognito mode. This way you will not be able to automatically log into any social media web pages. 

Let your boss know your schedule
Business analytics

Most of the time, your family members are competing for your time. This way, you cannot feel like you are doing your job in a real office. In such cases, the solution may be choosing uncommon times of the day to work from home, including the time before others usually wake up or even after dinner time. 

Whether you are trying to work during uncommon times of the day or use the “windowed work” approach we mentioned before, you need to communicate freely with your boss and let them know about your schedule. This way, your boss vividly knows about your availability and work hours. 

Define boundaries 

When you work remotely from home, it is a little difficult to separate work time from rest time. You may be confused about how to effectively “end” your work, make others know it, and bear it in your mind. Having continuous access to your work emails and apps may tempt you again to check them even when your work time is over. 

To face this challenge and maintain a healthy balance between your work and life, it is necessary to make some moves. For example, you can turn your computer off and place it somewhere less accessible, set an alarm that reminds you that it is time to rest, disable your work-related notifications on your mobile phone, and other similar measures that create a boundary between your work and life. 

As a bonus tip, you can also include your work hours in your email signature or even as a status message on WhatsApp if possible. This might help make your colleagues and friends aware that you are now outside of your work hours.