An ever-increasing number of employees across the globe are moving towards working remotely. There are countless benefits to working from home, including less travel and travel-related costs, more time with your family, and flexible hours. However, it can be challenging to find a balance when you are used to a 9 to 5 office job.
You will be glad to know that establishing a work-from-home schedule that won’t drive you crazy is actually easy.
Here are 7 top tips on how to develop a routine that meets your needs.
1. Pick an Organizational System
The first step to making your work from home schedule manageable is to choose an organizational system that meets your requirements. This system needs to be one that keeps you focused and motivates you to use it. It doesn’t need to be complicated or high-tech in any way.
For example, you can use a classic paper agenda to make notes, lists, and manage your time, or invest in a whiteboard and markers for your office space. Technological solutions can be used as well and may suit gadget geeks even better. Some popular to-do apps to experiment with include Panda Planner, the Todoist app, and Google online Calendar.
2. Set Realistic Goals
This is an essential step of successfully working at home without letting your productivity slip. Take time to set out and understand goals, and accomplishing them will feel much more achievable.
Is your major goal to work a certain number of hours every week? To finish an eLearning training module on your company’s Learning Management System (LMS) so you can chase that promotion? Or to find new clients? No matter what your aims are, write them down and define them on a regular basis.
3. Prioritize Your Tasks
If we look at things realistically, most people simply don’t have the time to achieve everything they want to. We often expect too much of ourselves and end up feeling frustrated or defeated when we cannot deliver. Instead of piling your plate too high with demanding tasks, try to prioritize them in a reasonable and realistic way.
Experts recommend assuming that you can only accomplish one big task, 3 medium tasks, and 5 small tasks on any given day. You could also try tackling the biggest task first, which leaves you with more time for more minor obligations.
4. Consider Your Individual Situation
Your schedule should be tailored to your individual needs, goals, tasks, and stamina levels. It’s always a good idea to define certain time frames for your working hours and keep them consistent, but you also need to build your schedule around your life and other responsibilities.
If you are a notorious night owl, you could try working at night – and if you have kids, you may want to take advantage of the hours when they’re at school. A rigid timetable is not nearly as important as being able to work when it makes sense for you.
5. Minimize All Distractions
Working from home can be challenging, and one of the biggest challenges is a distraction. It can be easy to waste hours on TV, family members, baking, cooking, and social media during the day, and this can leave you pressed for time and stressed when your deadlines approach.
Take time to eliminate and minimize anything that could distract you, and inform your family that you will not be available for certain hours of the day. You can also put your phone on Do Not Disturb mode or investigate apps that block social media sites during specified times.
6. Stay Flexible
As much as you may try to minimize distractions, they will still creep in. Accidents happen, family members become sick, and things do not always go according to plan.
The best approach in these cases is to be flexible with your schedule and give yourself as much lead time on your projects as possible. This way, you can allow yourself a day or two off without hurting your productivity.
7.Change Things Up
If your current work-from-home set-up isn’t doing you any favors, don’t be afraid to change it up. The most important thing to bear in mind is that you should always do what suits you, instead of trying to force yourself into an uncomfortable or unsuitable timetable.
These effective tips should take the stress out of working from home and make it easier for you to develop a schedule that maximizes your productivity. There are so many perks of working remotely and once you get settled into a routine, you’ll get to really enjoy them.