We are operating in strange times and as awesome as our work from home scenario sounds, it quickly lost it's prenotion comforting appeal when our moms barged into our rooms to clean and ask questions we don't have answers to or when our dogs chose to rest their potato heads on our keyboards (Can't hate them for that) or we began to lose sleep over daily tasks because much like our family members, distractions are sitting at home with nothing better to do.
Having said that, for the people who are stuck with #TheWFHLife and just can't seem to cope with the co-existing stress of our current situation and running behind their deliverables, this is nothing but a test of your time management skills. Accepting this is the hard part, coping up would be a lot easier!
Are you ready to change your work from home life?
1. Get Structured With Space
First thing's first, if you are currently in quarantine with your family members or roommates make sure you set timelines for working hours that suit everyone. By doing this you will not only be able to breathe during your work hours but also avoid distractions caused due to their sudden appearances in your room or corner.
2. Keep The Office Routine Alive
Taking that extra hour of sleep because you don't have to travel to work anymore is the biggest roadblock to effective time management. Leniency while blessing can prove to be the biggest problem while working from home. My advice, work through your office hours, take a lunch break when it's time, take your coffee break and save the travel time to indulge in self-enduring activities such as exercising, cooking, reading or just taking a walk on the terrace (Don't step outside until absolutely needed).
3. Set-Up A Working Station
Choose your corner and build your own work-from-home station with as much life as you can. Don't clutter, keep it simple and pleasing. This will give you an office-like feel and keep your lazies away.
4. A To-Do List
When you have a framework of what needs to be done, the work catches on pretty quick. I would suggest, a weekly to-do list or goals to be prepared on Friday in advance for the coming week and a daily checklist of the tasks to be completed during the day penned down a night before. This will change your WFH Life, trust me!
5. Know Your Energy Windows
Every person has a brief window of productivity during the day. Simply means, you might be able to do your best work in the morning while your colleague shines best during the late evening hours and so on. So if you still haven't figured out your peak-hour, work on it. A side tip though; since working in offices have already accustomed you to work during the day, so keep that golden-hour for the day and get enough sleep during the night.
6. Multi-Tasking Is A Big No-No
If you think you are saving time by multi-tasking then you couldn't be more wrong, my friend. I know this for a fact that it takes about 15 minutes for the brain to re-focus when trying to switch the tasks. So it's not a good call to do 2 or more things at once. Take it on step-by-step.
7. Time-Out For Your Mobile Phones
With the kind of lifestyle we have, our mobile phones are sometimes more boon than the blessing and don't get me started on its distraction powers. Now you cannot ignore it for the whole day but choose an hour, preferably your energy-hour and switch-off your mobile phone for that time. Get all the material you need beforehand and just let it sleep for an hour or so. If your work largely depends on a phone, well choose your time and give it a rest during work hours.
8. Learn To Say, Can We Do It Later!
This is when there is no pre-scheduled phone call or meeting lined up. Save your time from the untimely calls and favoured tasks you get during the shift. Reschedule them to later or the next day. Keep your meaty projects on priority and do the calls and extra work during your low hours.
9. Get Music To Your Aid
Now music is that one rope that binds us together. All you have to do is use the same rope to strengthen your time management skills. How? Align your music with work. I turn on the background score of my favourite movies and TV Series without lyrics available on YouTube that lasts for like 2 hours. You can go fo static sounds, peaceful music, flute sound and so on if you really need your concentration. Music with lyrics is for those who need rhythm while working, in this case, upbeat songs are the best way to go.
10. If Need Be, Don't Shy Away From Help
The help you get from Applications designed to keep you focused and goal-oriented is irreplaceable. Make use of technology as much as you can. From helping you to concentrate to organize your goals and set timers for a particular task, there is an app for everything. I'll make easy work for you, all the information you need on different apps that will help your organize your work is just a click away. You're welcome!
A word of advice; focus on being productive rather than spending long hours hooked to your screens. At the end of the day, your deliverables are worth more than the extra hours you wasted away for no good!