There are some key benefits to working from home in terms of the flexibility it provides and the money saved that is usually spent on public transport or fuel. Despite this, there are also some negative side-effects which mean it is important for employees to take care of their mental health whilst they are stuck in their home. Here are some tips to improve time management when you are required to work from home.
Tips To Improve Time Management: Find your own space
Many people working from a home which they share with other family members often suffer from “time elasticity illusion”. This phenomenon happens when other people assume the worker can spend time on household tasks without it having an impact on the amount of time the employee spends on their paid work. This involuntary overlap of household and work commitments often leads to fatigue.
It is therefore crucial for individuals who are working from home to set-up a dedicated, distraction-free work space where they can foster deeper cognitive processing and stay focussed for longer periods of time. Having a separate room to work from can help separate work hours from non-work hours. This is extremely beneficial as many people have found that there is a blurring of professional and personal space within their home. This has resulted in some employees struggling to switch off from work. This consequently in some cases has negatively impacted their quality of sleep.
Tips To Improve Time Management: Take strategic breaks
One of the biggest challenges about working from home is clocking more hours than usual. When you work non-stop, you lose focus and concentration. To combat this, make sure you take strategic breaks and schedule them into your calendar. some examples include meditating, playing with your kids, waking your dog or just daydreaming so you can give your mind a rest. If you’re concerned about impending layoffs, you could even use that time to update your resume or network on LinkedIn.
People with office jobs often sit for up to 80% of the time during their working day and on average manage to walk over 3,600 steps per day. This is often due to the opportunities for activity to talk to their other colleagues or to go out to a café for lunch if they work in the CBD area. Without the opportunity to cycle to work or walk to get lunch it is important for workers to make sure that they are remaining active and still getting a daily dose of exercise and movement.
Tips To Improve Time Management: Manage your energy
The ability to manage your energy is critical if you want to reach maximum productivity. We all have different internal rhythms. Some of us are night owls, while others are early birds. Ask yourself when do you feel most focused and effective? If it’s early in the morning, schedule your major projects to align with this timeframe. One of the benefits of working from home is the additional flexibility. Focus on what you can control and arrange your activities to take advantage of natural high and low energy times.
Tips To Improve Time Management: Set healthy boundaries
If you find yourself working longer hours during the pandemic and you are struggle to switch off from work it is important to set some boundaries. The commute from the office to home has been replaced with a walk from the bedroom to the kitchen bench, it is therefore crucial to be aware of your time management.
To sustain a healthy work-life balance, create a schedule and end your workday at a specific time each day. Turn your computer off and disable work notifications on your cell phone so you can focus on your personal and family time.
You might even consider including your work hours in your email signature so clients and colleagues know when is the best time to contact you. Furthermore, make sure to enforce your new boundaries. Because if you don’t do it, no one else will.