It’s challenging trying to manage your time at work, whether you work in an office or a warehouse. However, this is even more challenging when you work remotely.
After all, there are often endless distractions, from Netflix at home to other people talking in co-working spaces.
Thanks to these pesky interruptions, sometimes you end up working longer hours just to get to the bottom of your to-do list. Right?
That said, did you know that the trick to completing tasks remotely isn’t about how many hours you work? It’s about making the most of the hours that you work.
Whether you’re usually a productivity pro or chief procrastinator, I’ve got you covered. Read on for 5 time management tips for working remotely that will help you to reach your daily, weekly and monthly goals.
(Cue the Hallelujah music.)
1. Planning and Preparation Are Key
Time management tips for working remotely 101: plan out your week in advance – and as intricately as you can.
Invest in a business diary, set realistic deadlines and work out exactly what you’re going to be doing in the days ahead.
I mean, I find that if I don’t plan and prep, all hell can sometimes break loose. I can double-book myself, overfill my schedule or completely forget that Darren from brand X wants his four blog posts by Tuesday. (Oops – sorry, Dazza!)
Essentially, if you’re 100% clear on what you need to do every day to meet your weekly goals, you’ve got a much higher chance of achieving them.
2. Forget Multitasking, Mono-tasking is Your New Best Friend
Forget everything you once knew about multitasking being one of the top time management tips for working remotely, because – newsflash – it’s not.
Your brain finds it difficult to handle multiple tasks at once, especially when you’re yo-yoing from one thing to another.
The trick is to establish priority tasks and then work on them one at a time.
This way, you narrow your focus, which can ultimately help you concentrate better and get more stuff done. Fact.
3. Categorise Tasks and Assign Them to Different Days or Times
One of my favourite time management tips for working remotely is batch tasking.
This is where you, firstly, group tasks according to their category. Then book out a whole day or a specific time period just to focus on that category.
Confused? Hear me out.
If you need to get ahead with creating blog posts for clients, book out Monday purely to write. Or if you need to market yourself on social media, produce and schedule upcoming posts from 10-11am daily. Alternatively, are you looking for new blogger jobs? Do this on Friday afternoons. (You get the idea…)
The reason why this method works so well is that you’re wiring your brain to deal with a certain task and then utilising the time that your brain is in this “mode” to help speed up the task.
As well as helping to keep your brain focused, it also allows your productivity levels to soar. Win-win.
4. Try the Pomodoro Technique
If all else fails, try the popular Pomodoro Technique.
This is where you break your day into smaller, highly-focused intervals of 25 minutes and then follow each interval up with a small break of around five minutes.
Then, once you’ve completed four intervals or “pomodoros,” you can take a long break to do whatever you please for about 15 minutes.
It sounds super straightforward but, somehow, the premise of working towards a reward works. I’ll never go back.
5. Outsource Tasks When You Need To
The secret to growth as a successful business owner, whether you’re a freelance blogger or Bob the builder, is reaching out for help when you need it.
In simple terms, if there’s a particular task that you don’t class yourself as an expert in, outsource it to someone who does. There’s no shame in it. In fact, it’s just smart and effective business planning!
For instance, if you admit that you lack basic skills when it comes to blog design, why not pass over these types of tasks to a fully trained and skilled web designer?
Not only will your blog look beautiful and function like a dream, but you’ll also free up a bunch of time that you can spend doing something that you’re amazing at (and get paid the big bucks for).
Time Management Tips for Working Remotely: The Takeaway
Working remotely for long periods of time can affect your ability to concentrate and be productive.
That’s why it’s so important to give yourself regular breaks throughout your working day as well as your working week.
Above all, remember the mantra: “work smarter, not harder” and you’ll maximise the time you spend at work with a minimal amount of stress.
What are your top time management tips for working remotely? Let me know in the comments!