Working from home allows you to enjoy flexible schedules and spend most of your time working from the comfort of your home. However, when you have many projects to complete and tight deadlines to meet, you may find it hard to manage your time to complete your tasks on time. Below are six tips for completing projects on time when working from home.
Create a schedule
One of the most effective time management tips is preparing a schedule. Noting all pending tasks down will help you complete them in their order of urgency and meet deadlines. Accordingly, this is a great way to ensure you do not forget anything you should tackle during the day.
You can divide your work schedule into two categories for easier implementation.
- Monthly schedule
A monthly schedule allows you to highlight all tasks you are supposed to complete within a month.
- Daily to-do list
You can further divide your monthly schedule into an attainable daily to-do list. This should be based on urgency. However, your daily to-do list should help you complete your day-to-day tasks.
Create a dedicated workspace
Working from home can be very tempting. Some days you may want to work while cooking or carry your laptop to the bedroom. However, this can be time-consuming and may have a toll on your productivity. If you want to complete your tasks on time, make sure you create a dedicated home office, away from distractions. Designate an area for workspace and make it comfortable enough to allow you to work at your optimal level.
Set the tone
Just because you are working from home does not mean you should walk into your home office in your pajamas. Start your day the way you should when working directly from the office. Wake up early, get prepared, and start work at the normal time.
Creating the feeling of a work environment helps you concentrate on your projects. On the other hand, working in your pajamas may make you lazy during the day. For instance, you may be tempted to change into something in the middle of work, which is time-consuming.
Think long term
With the uncertainties around the coronavirus pandemic, you may be forced to treat working from home as the new normal. Therefore, you should start thinking about the long term and invest in your remote work model. Additionally, you may want technologies that help you troubleshoot system failure in real-time to ensure work does not stagnate.
Accordingly, it is essential to integrate tools that promote collaboration with other team members. This way, you can stay on the same page and avoid duplicating work unknowingly. If you deem it necessary, ensure you have an effective communication network and work management tool to track progress from other team members to ensure that no one drags you behind.
Working from home may expose you to different kinds of distractions. Whether it is a family member walking in, your favorite TV program, music playing, or loud neighbors, there is always something to take your mind off work.
To complete your projects on time, you need to set boundaries and reduce distractions as much as possible. Use the following tips to minimize distractions.
- Take regular breaks to avoid burnout.
- Play white noise to improve your concentration.
- Switch off notifications from your devices.
- Remind family members of your work schedules to prevent interference.
Use time tracking tools
Time tracking tools are essential in almost every work environment. The technology has been amplified in recent years by the need for employees to work remotely.
The lack of direct physical supervision means that companies have to rely on time tracking software to ensure employees do not fall behind on deadlines. These tools offer a clear picture of how you spend your time. Accordingly, you can use them to determine time management issues, such as:
- Time spent on non-essential tasks such as emailing and non-productive meetings
- Taking longer than expected to complete mundane tasks
- Identifying your most productive working hours
- Determine the time you spend on low priority tasks
Using time tracking tools improves your time management and accountability. Additionally, this strategy is one of the most effective ways of setting realistic task completion goals.
The bottom line
Time management is a perennial challenge in business, and it becomes even worse with the working from home model. However, you can grow your home-based business and improve your task completion rate by utilizing time tracking tools, creating a schedule and sticking to it, and reducing distractions at home.