At this point in the work from home journey, it’s natural to be feeling a bit more restless and distracted than you may have felt six to twelve months ago. Whether it be Zoom fatigue, sharing your space with a partner or roommate, household responsibilities, or a pet that would like a little extra attention, there are endless distractions in the work from home setup. While getting pulled away from work is sometimes unavoidable, we’re sharing our top five tips to help you be more productive as you work through your to-do list.
Block it Out
We’re all busy – whether it be a list that never seems to shrink or back-to-back calls that consume many of your working hours, finding time to get the tasks that are most important done can often feel impossible. To help you focus on what needs to be checked off your list, we recommend blocking out time on your professional calendar for 2-3 hours each or every other day for the most beneficial results. Blocking time out of your calendar not only gives you the freedom to work without interruption, but can help provide you with a sense of clarity knowing that these hours are yours and only yours to get done what is needed most.
Create a Routine and Stick to It
While this may sound like a no brainer, creating a routine vs. creating a routine that you stick to are two different things. Creating a routine that works for you and sticking to it closely can greatly help to boost productivity and help you achieve your daily and weekly to-do’s. Creating a routine that proves successful will vary for each person, but we recommend beginning with the basics, such as setting time for yourself in the morning, working from a specific location in the home (or office), and taking scheduled breaks as needed. Adhering to a schedule that works well for you will take some time, but once you find the right routine, you’ll be able to strike a better balance overall.
For time management and improved productivity, we recommend setting alerts for yourself throughout the day. These can be set up through your Outlook or Google calendars and can help ensure you don’t miss the important things such as due dates, email sends, or meetings – both in your personal and professional life. Alerts can also be beneficial in relation to your routines, as mentioned above. Setting a reminder to take ten or go for a lunch walk can also be extremely helpful to your overall sense of productivity when you become all-consumed in the daily happenings of your nine to five.
Regularly scheduled check-ins with your manager or supervisor are highly beneficial towards overall success in any role. We recommend scheduling a thirty-minute weekly chat with your manager and/or supervisor to discuss your to-do list, upcoming projects, and any additional topics you’d like to cover to ensure you’re both on the same page. Having a clear and open pathway of communication with your manager can lead to a more successful working relationship including goals being met and tasks being completed without a tedious back and forth along the way.
Give it a Break
Since adopting a more flexible work from home or hybrid schedule, many employees feel incapable of fully “turning off”. While our phones and laptops are readily within reach, the need to take time off and utilize your hard-earned PTO has never been more important. When you fail to take time off, you’re only working towards expedited burnout, which is something neither you nor your boss want in the long run. Whether taking a week or a day off, prioritizing yourself and your needs first will help keep you feeling more engaged, productive, and on-top of everything when it’s needed most.
As we continue to wade through a new style of working, managing your time in a professional and appropriate way will always remain important. Finding balance and creating a time management process that works best for you is key. Identify what works, stay productive, and reward yourself with rest as needed. For more career insights, click here!