Time Management Tips to Work from Home More Effectively – 2022-Style

What is your best tip for staying productive when you work from home?

 

This was a question posed by a journalist back in 2020 looking to hear from “professionals who have moved to a remote work format in response to COVID-19.”

 

Despite the fact that many people were forced to work from home starting in March 2020 and have continued to do so, I’m still asked this question by journalists, clients, and participants in my workshops.

 

Now that many people are transitioning to a hybrid schedule of working from home some days and back in the office on others, the question has not disappeared from the FAQs list. (We’ll address the hybrid schedule specifics next week.)

 

Whether you work from home every day or are working a hybrid schedule, here are quick tips for staying productive when you work from home:

 

Before COVID-19, I worked onsite half the time and remotely half the time. (I’ve been coaching and presenting virtually since 2016.) Once I started working 100% remotely, I kept two of my primary productivity tactics in place and added a third.

 

My go-to’s:

 

1 – Time Blocking. I’ve created estimates of how much time each week I should devote to each of my job components. When you understand your components and estimated times, instead of allowing things to just happen to you, you can now make the conscious, intentional decision to decide where your time needs to go – and for how long.

 

Time blocking won’t prevent less-than-stellar things from happening. What it will do is help you focus each day on what priorities you need to address, as well as modify, adjust and recover far more quickly when plans change.

 

2 – Realistic To-Do Lists. Many people create their task lists from stream of conscious – whatever tasks pop into their head get captured on a list, and that list becomes their goal for the next day. The important step that’s missing is time estimation. When you understand how much time you have in a day to actually work on anything from a to-do list, you’ll narrow down which items to work on. My to-do lists are based on how much time I have left in the day after I factor in already-scheduled meetings, client sessions and presentations.

 

My new addition:

 

3 – Working in Chunks. I used to work in one solid block, e.g., 7:00 – 4:00 or 10:00 – 7:00, depending on my appointments for the day. Since I had to start sharing office space, bandwidth and a phone line with my husband who was also now working remotely full time when we went into lockdown, we scheduled our work time in chunks around each other’s meetings, e.g., 6:00 – 10:00 and 11:30 – 2:30 and 4:00 – 6:00.

 

 

Those were the tips I shared with the journalist back in 2020, and they remain the same today, whether 100% remote or a hybrid.

 

Next week, we’ll discuss additional specifics related to managing a hybrid schedule – switching between working onsite and working from home, without losing track of who needs to do what and where.

 

 

 

 

 

For details on how to better manage your time no matter where you’re working, check out The Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics for Working Smarter, Not Longer.

About Helene Segura, M.A. Ed., CPO®

As The Inefficiency Assassin™, Time Management Fixer Helene Segura empowers professionals on the go with the tools to slay lost time. Personal inefficiency at work leads to increased stress levels, lower morale, higher absenteeism, more turnover – and rising spending on employee health care and hiring. Why not improve productivity, decrease stress levels, and increase profits instead? The author of four books – two of which were Amazon best-sellers – Helene Segura has been the featured organization expert in more than 200 media interviews. She has coached hundreds of clients to productivity success and performance improvement by applying neuroscience and behavioral modification techniques to wipe out destructive, time-wasting habits. Helene turns time management on its head by sharing both client case studies and pop culture examples to teach her mind-bending framework for decreasing interruptions, distractions and procrastination so that companies can spend more time generating revenue.

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