I’ve shared quite a bit here before about our schedule when it comes to working from home (especially with kids), but I’ve never really gotten into the nitty gritty of time management. This is one of the things I get asked about most often — how we manage to actually get things done while working from home. Honestly, working from home can sound like a dream if you hate offices, but it takes a ton of discipline and a lot of cultivating to really get to a place where you’re productive.
Wanna know a secret? There is a WHOLE LOT more where this came from, in our course the Productivity Tool Kit. We’ll be opening enrollment soon. But in the meantime, I compiled five actionable ideas that I literally use every day to manage my time. So here are our best time management tricks for working from home!
Time Management Tricks for Working From Home
Set Reachable Goals
You can maximize your time all you want, but if you set goals that are just not attainable in the amount of time you have, you’ll always be disappointed (and feel like you’re not meeting your goals). So as you’re planning out your days, try not to get overly ambitious. Consider the time you have, and get honest with yourself about what you can really accomplish within that time.
Create Time Blocks
As you’re planning out your work day, try creating blocks of time and organizing tasks within those blocks. Batch your work together into similar tasks, and fit them within the time blocks. As an example, maybe for the first 30 minutes of your day, you’re going to concentrate fully on your inbox, responding to emails. While you’re in the email time block, don’t allow any other work to sneak in, don’t have any other tabs open, and protect yourself from distractions. Focus completely on responding to emails, and when that 30 minutes is done, move on — no matter how many emails you have left. Take a 5 minute break and move on to your next block.
Maybe 30 minute blocks work for you; maybe you need longer blocks like an hour or even two hours to really sink into a project. But the point of blocking your time is that no matter what, you really fully focus on the task at hand during that particular time block. And when the time block is done, you move on to something else. This approach helps keep you not only on track but turning out great results, because you’re able to really concentrate on your specific task during the blocks of time.
Remember back in the day when everyone discovered the term “multitasking” and we all thought we were so brilliant that we could successfully do seven things at once? Yeah. Wrong. I’m so glad that we’ve all realized that multitasking is secretly code for “doing mediocre work on a bunch of things at once.”
The bald truth about multitasking when you’re working from home is that if something isn’t getting your full attention, it’s going to show. It’ll show up in shoddy work, or errors, or just plain lackluster results.
When you’re working at a task, be fully present. Give your full effort and focus to it. The result will be higher quality work which gets done faster, because your mind isn’t trying to sort through multiple tasks simultaneously. (Even though it can be super tempting to try to clean your house while you’re hanging out working at home.)
Make Yourself Unavailable
This one can be a challenge. There’s sort of an unspoken rule these days that if someone texts/calls/emails you, you should be immediately available for conversation or response. But I’m here to tell ya, if you don’t protect your own time, it’s going to get taken from you. During your work time blocks, turn off email notifications (or close your email tab completely). Silence your phone. Disconnect your doorbell! (Sort of not kidding.)
When you work from home, there’s often a misconception with the people around you that you’re always available. So set your own boundaries and set yourself up for success. Whether that means putting a sign on your door for people to not knock or ring, or hiding your phone so it doesn’t distract you, do it. You’ll find that your productivity shoots through the roof when you make yourself a little unavailable.
I could write a novel on this little tip, but I thought it would be worth it to just briefly touch on it here — automate, automate, automate! Anything that you can delegate to technology, DO. Set email auto-responses for your most frequently asked questions. Set your blog posts or social media posts to automatically go live. Set your bank account to automatically put a little bit in savings every month. Really think through your life and about the mundane tasks that drive you crazy, and ask yourself whether theres a way to automate those tasks and take them off your plate.
Stay Tuned for More!
Did you find anything useful tucked away for you in this post? If any of these felt like an a-ha moment, or like this was just speaking right to you, make sure you’re on our email list so you’re one of the first to know when enrollment to our productivity course opens again! If you liked this, you’re gonna LOVE THAT. Sign up here. xoxo