How to have time on your side in home office

Maybe you are a modern home office superhero. Maybe you can laser focus for hours and get the job done. Maybe kid’s homework, neighbour with a drill saw, feeding a cat or doing the laundry cannot distract you. Maybe you never want to check your Facebook or that new awesome product you heard about. Then why the heck are you reading these lines?

How to have time on your side in home office

Still here? Then you are probably like the rest of us and sometimes find it difficult to come to terms with time when working from home. Once a benefit in employer’s ads, listed alongside financial bonuses and extra holidays, home office became a new normal. Due to Covid-19 and modern technologies more people than ever find themselves commuting to the office a mere few meters – from their bed to the kitchen table. Even though this has undeniable advantages, we often feel to actually work more than before, writing emails at night and being stressed while our family bears the consequences. That’s why we put together 5 easy to follow tips on how to handle time and be more productive when on home office.

How to have time on your side in home office
1. Make a list
#1: Make a list

David Allen, author of the famous book Getting things done, conceives writing down a list of things to do as one of the key elements in his all-encompassing productivity system. He claims that it doesn’t only help us structure our time but also frees our mind, because when we write a task down, we can forget about it, focus on different things and come back to it later. So, when on home office, do write everything down, including tasks not related to your work. What also helps is assigning times to given tasks, having a buffer in between them and breaking down bigger tasks into small ones. And yes, here we strongly advise to use good old paper. You don’t have to have an almost orgiastic feeling when crossing out a task done as the author of this article but be sure it feels damn good.

2. Plot your schedule
#2: Plot your schedule

When working from home, the boundaries between professional and personal life tend to blur. That’s why it’s beneficial to treat personal stuff the same way as professional. And even write it down into a publicly visible calendar so your colleagues and bosses know that they cannot realistically expect your feedback on that draft when you are taking your kids from the kindergarten. Sure, you don’t have to be that specific in your calendar and instead mark a given time slot as a private event.

3. Plan your working hours
#3: Plan your working hours

What also helps is to have predefined time slots for certain types of work. You don’t have to read every email the second it arrives. Instead, check your emails three or four times a day and you will find that minimum of them need your immediate attention. And if they do, your colleagues can always call you, can’t they? The same can be applied to little chores we need to do around the household like emptying the dishwasher or cooking. The reason for this is that different types of work require different types of thinking. Last but not least, try to set overall work hours as you would at the office. You can even set an alarm to notify you when to end your working day. Extra tip: if you have an Android phone, create a work profile and start and end your day by switching it on/off.

4. Develop work triggers
#4: Develop work triggers

At home, try to have designated spaces for work and leisure. If you don’t have the luxury of your own study or even desk and have to work from the kitchen, sit at the different end of the kitchen table than you normally do when eating. This will make a mental connection between a space and a type of activity. The same can be said about routines or triggers that can help you start working. For example, start your working day with writing a list of things to do as described above. Or make yourself a coffee if that works for you. You can as well start a day with reading the news providing you plan ahead a reasonable amount of time for doing so and stick to it. Another common advice is to dress like you were going to the office. We are all unique so don’t be embarrassed to try out different things before finding out what specifically works for you.

5. Don’t be perfect
#5: Don’t be perfect

This seems like a banal thing, but it is in fact easier said than done. A tendency to deliver the best possible work is completely normal. We all crave for praises and acclaims as they serve as great motivation in all our endeavours. Yet, it’s very useful to learn to spot a moment when a task is done and it’s time to move on. This is not to say that you shouldn’t do your best but rather not to over analyse everything you do along the way. After all, being a perfectionist and going back to the same task over and over again isn’t the best path to a productive day.

In accordance with what has just been said, it’s only right to admit that there are a lot more good tips and tricks on how to survive working from home. The purpose of this text is not to give you a perfect and comprehensive list of advice. One reason for that is that we are all different and have different needs. That’s actually also why we have developed mynd whose experienced coaches can help you with all sorts of life situations. Including feeling stressed or even burned out from working from home.

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If you are interested in this subject, you will surely like the article by Groupe Mutuel – our partner . Read the article.
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