5 Things You Can Do to Manage Your Time Wisely as a Remote Worker
Remote work can feel like a dream come true. You get to set your own hours and work from wherever you please. You can finally say goodbye to the nine-to-five rat race! While working remotely has its perks, it also requires more discipline, namely when it comes to time management.
While working from your home, your favorite coffee shop, or even from a beach-side lounge is nice, it also means more distractions and less structure than the traditional office space. As a remote worker, you’re 100% accountable for the work you do and how you spend your time.
You don’t have a boss or coworker to steer your focus or to remind you of an impending deadline.
Though it takes a little getting used to, you can be a successful remote worker. Here are five things you can do to best manage your time.
1. Determine How You Currently Spend Your Time
What better way to improve your time management than to know how you’re currently spending your work hours. To figure out how you’re spending your hours, invest in a reliable time tracking tool.
These tools allow you to see how much time you’re spending on certain tasks throughout the day.
With this data, you can then identify where you’re wasting time and set boundaries. You can also use these tools to manage your time wisely so that you can get more done throughout the day.
Imagine how much more work you could complete if you eliminated distractions such as your phone, social media, and your inbox!
With a time tracker, you can do more than see how much time you spend on phone calls, meetings, emails, and other tasks. You can also use these tools to:
- Identify problematic workflows
- Get insight on your working habits
- Pinpoint distractions and time drains
Knowing where your time is going and understanding how to best use your time allows you to become your own effective and efficient project manager.
2. Create a To-Do List
Once you know how you spend your time, the next thing you’ll want to do is to create a to-do list. You can choose to have a list of daily or weekly tasks that you need to complete. By having a plan you’ll know exactly what you need to focus on.
Plans provide the structure that your brain needs in order to be productive. When creating a plan, break larger tasks into smaller ones so that you don’t become overwhelmed or stressed with impending deadlines.
You’ll also want to prioritize your to-do list. Figure out which tasks are due the soonest as well as which ones are most important and knock those out first.
3. Create and Stick to a Routine
The flexibility that remote work offers is nice, but if you want to best use your time, you’ll need some sort of structure. A daily work routine gives you stability. It also enables other members of your team to know when you’re available.
To make it easy on yourself, try to make your work days as consistent as possible. Wake up at the same time, take breaks, and have a set end time.
It’s also important to not let work drag into your personal time. If your work day ends at 4 PM, try to schedule a daily activity at 4:30 so that you can have a clean break from work. This way you can achieve a healthy work/life balance.
4. Avoid Distractions
As a remote worker, you’re subject to more distractions than most. Family, phone calls, social media, and many other things can distract you from your work. Working distracted impacts productivity. It also means that you aren’t fully focused on the tasks at hand.
In order to avoid distractions:
- Silence your phone and only look at it during breaks
- Avoid social media while working
- Find a quiet place to work (ie. home office, library, etc.)
- Make others aware of your work schedule
By minimizing distractions you can best use your time and focus on completing all of your daily tasks.
5. Take Breaks
Remote work is definitely a break from the traditional work place, which can be fast-paced and high-strung. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be any less stressed. In fact, remote workers are at an even higher risk of suffering from burnout.
To prevent burnout and high-levels of stress, you’ll want to take breaks throughout the day. Treat your downtime as a way to relax, rejuvenate, and refresh. Head outside for a few minutes to breathe in some fresh air. Stretch to work out the kinks and to get your blood pumping.
Your breaks don’t have to be long. Just five minutes can have a huge impact on your productivity.
Working remotely is freeing, but it also means you have to be more disciplined in how you use your time. If you want to best manage your time, be sure to keep these five tips in mind so that you’re able to get all of your work done.