Three Time Management Hacks That Make Work-From-Home Life Wonderful
Mid-morning light streamed through the kitchen window, and I picked up my phone—again. I wasn’t even halfway through emails, but the nagging voice in my head reminded me that a deadline just three days away needed attention.
Frustrated with the tedious process of composing a to-do-type email, I took a coffee break, my second of the morning.
Walking around the block, coffee in hand, I remembered: discipline, routine, and scheduling were my keys to success in this post-corporate life. Without all three of these elements, I’d get lost in the coffee, conversation, digital distractions, and household chores.
This time around (I’d done a first round of remote work circa 2008-2010, when the US economy crashed), I knew better. I wasn’t trying to start a huge company, build an app, or change the world. I quite literally just wanted to get sh** done.
My schedule as a freelancer, remote working Digital Strategy Director, and adventurer meant I had a lot of competing priorities.
Become more productive by focusing your energy on specific tasks for finite amounts of time. When I have my act together, I block my time a couple of days before my work week starts by using my calendar.
What I love about time blocking:
Remember: “Done is better than perfect. (Yes, make it perfect, but hit that deadline too.)
Time blocking gives me the permission to tell myself (and my digital colleagues) that the work day is over. When I sign off, I’m done for the day.
The Doist says time blocking also combats procrastination, minimizes our optimism bias (estimation of how well we do something), and helps us carve out time for meeting-free work.
For a deep dive into their (extremely well-written, helpful) step-by-step walkthrough on time blocking, read more here.
This might sound a little overboard, but I’ve found it easiest to build accountability to myself with tools that show me exactly how I spend my time. Relying on tools rather than my own volition means I get to have one less responsibility on my plate, a win! In addition, it also means that I can see, quantified, just how much time I am wasting.
My two go-to time management tech tools:
Bonus: I like setting Toggl’s Pomodoro timer me to keep me on task at 20 minute intervals. Give it a try in the app’s settings.
Productivity is tough, and swapping out your office’s four walls can be tough. Working from home is an opportunity for self-examination as much as it is life optimization: booking massive amounts of screentime doesn’t win you any brownie points from the boss, earn you more money, or even create the best results.
To the contrary: successfully working from home is about working smart. It’s about feeding your soul as much as it is about earning that paycheck.
Hopefully these tools get you started on building your own personal work-from-home culture. Stay tuned for future posts on managing your mind and your work, as well as upcoming workshops for work-from-homers.
Have a tool or tip you want to share? Comment below!
COPYRIGHT 2019 DANI REYES-ACOSTA
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