Working remotely is great, in a peaceful house, with no distractions, nothing but your favourite tunes cranked, experiencing the best level of productivity you’ve ever seen…however, with kids at home off school, your partner roaming the house, dishes piling up in the kitchen and someone asking your for a snack every five minutes, life is likely far from productive. With the hit of COVID-19 pushing many of us to work from home, we’ve discovered a few helpful time management hacks we’d like to share with you to help you keep your spirits and your productivity levels high while also holding on to your sanity.
- Time block like you’ve never time blocked before
Start your day or end your day reviewing your to-do list to make a plan of action, by hour. Realistically we can get 5-8 tasks accomplished in a day. So, knowing that, breaking out your to-do list in one hour blocks, can help keep your day on track even with a few distractions. If you’re just starting out with a work from home setup, be generous to yourself and plan to get 5 things done in a day. To help alleviate the stress of keeping an eye on things around the house during the transition especially with kids at home, schedule in breaks between each hour or at least a mid-morning break, a lunch break and an afternoon break. Just like you would at work, but at home.
- Make a to-do later list
As we work through our day whether in office or from our home office, there are always little things that pop-up. We check our emails and find Bob from accounting asking for a receipt we forgot to hand in, or you suddenly remember you were supposed to call and make an appointment at the bank and you have to do it within the bank’s operating hours. Whatever is it that pops up, takes us away from doing the other things on our list we had already taken the time to add to our plan. 5 minutes here, 5 minutes there, all of a sudden you look at the clock and it’s 3:45 pm and you haven’t completed half of the stuff you had wanted to accomplish. Instead of taking care of the little things that pop up throughout the day, add them to your “to-do later” list. That way you can review it as well as your usual to-do list when you’re planning what you will accomplish tomorrow to ensure everything gets taken care of it. We often forget that just because someone asked us to do something, it doesn’t mean everything is an emergency and needs to be done now instead of later.
- Do the hard things first
Often, we put off the tough things until last thinking, if I can just clear up this other stuff, I’ll be more focused to be able to take care of that big daunting task later. Or, I don’t feel ready to deal with the big thing yet, so I’ll take care of all the little stuff first. We are always our most productive first thing in the morning before ten other things get added to our to-do list, we have a fresh mindset, we’re fueled with coffee and hopefully a nutritious breakfast to kick-start the day. Take advantage of those energy boosters, and do the big scary thing first. You’ll not only feel a bigger sense of accomplishment, but you’ll feel less stressed for the remainder of your day because there’s nothing looming over you to do later.
Productivity can be tough to muster day in and day out, especially while dealing with other distractions around the house and in the news. If you’ve got any others to add to this list that you’ve found really works to help fuel your day, leave us a comment below. If you find you’re struggling to keep your day on track, or your job hunt headed in the right direction give our experienced team at FOCUS Employment Services a call at 1-877-513-0187 we’re here to help you build your career in whichever direction the waves of life push you.