It sounds like a lazy girl’s dream come true right, working from home, sleeping in, not having to brush your hair in the morning; but working from the comforts of your house can bring up some interesting challenges.
As someone who has worked remotely for over three years, I put together a few tips I’ve learned through the years to help me be successful at managing my time.
1.Create a Schedule for Your Week
Procrastination is the biggest enemy when you are working from home. Not having the presence of your boss to make sure you’re completing your tasks can lead you to avoid deadlines just so you can get a few extra hours of sleep, or a chance to catch up on the Real Housewives of the OC marathon.
Creating hard deadlines and daily tasks for yourself can help you stay organized and on track. This will not only ensure that you are completing your job, but also helps so that you are not trying to completing 40 hours of work all in one day.
2. Write it ALL Down
I like to keep multiple calendars and reminders, this ensures that I am aware of whats going on at all times. I have a physical planner, as well as my calendar on my phone, and email calendar. Having meeting appointments, phone calls, deliveries etc. listed in multiple calendars, not only helps me remember each of them better, but also makes sure I don’t miss a beat!
When working from home, it is easy to feel like sometimes you aren’t working enough or maybe working too much! This is why I find it important to prioritize my To-Do list. Each week I start a fresh list, if there is anything that I did not accomplish from my list the previous week I add it to my new list and reestablish each tasks’s importance.
Once again, having a physical written list keeps the high priority tasks in my face as a constant reminder. There are also free and helpful tools online such as Trello if you prefer to keep it all in your computer. This might just be me, but I find that there is something satisfying about crossing things off a to-do list.
4. Schedule Time to Manage
If you, like me manage a team remotely, it is crucial to schedule time at least once a week to touch base with your employees. This will not only help you all be on the same page for each week, but more importantly reminds your employees that even though you are not physically in an office with them, you are still a support system and can provide leadership to them. This will also ensure that your team is completing the tasks you have delegated to them each week. Communication helps employees feel included and help to create unity in an environment where each employee is working in their own space rather than in an office. My job for instance has what we call a “daily huddle”. It is a daily conference call that take no longer than 5 minutes and we each lost what we’re working on for the day. It not only helps me focus on what I want to work on but keeps me in the loop with the rest of my colleagues.
5. Create a Peaceful Work Space for Yourself
Working from home can bring up some distractions not found in your ordinary work space. Whether it’s your dog barking or that new series on Netflix capturing your attention, it is important to create a space that is solely for GETTING WORK DONE! Every now and then it’s OK to work from bed, I mean I do it often, but having a desk with all of your notes, planners and reminders, helps to keep you focused on the tasks at hand. And let’s face it, if you lay in bed all day, the chances of you getting lazy and shutting off the computer are greater than if you’re sitting at your desk.
Overall, I greatly appreciate being able to work from the comforts of my own home and being able to stay in my PJs while doing so. While working from home is not as easy as it sounds, following these tips have helped me immensely. If you work remotely have tips I could use feel free to comment below!