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Careers Advice
5 min read

The Need For Excellent Time Management When Working From Home

Good time management has always been important for any role - both in work and within personal lives. Society relies upon timekeeping. If no one bothered too much about time management and took a careless, laissez faire attitude, imagine how chaotic life would be. For example, you would go to the dentist for an emergency appointment to discover the dentist hasn't turned up to work yet and no one knows if he will or not.
Written by
Joanna Clare
Content Manager
Published on
November 4, 2023

Good time management has always been important for any role - both in work and within personal lives. Society relies upon timekeeping. If no one bothered too much about time management and took a careless, laissez faire attitude, imagine how chaotic life would be. For example, you would go to the dentist for an emergency appointment to discover the dentist hasn't turned up to work yet and no one knows if he will or not. Perhaps you go to the shop for an important essential but no one has opened the shop yet. You wait for the bus to take you for an important job interview but the bus is an hour late because the bus driver didn't get ready on time. Chaos has a ripple effect meaning more chaos!

Even nature adheres to its schedule and lets no one down. Nests are built at certain times and hibernation happens when it should. The four seasons come and go and night turns into day exactly as they always have, but imagine if the sun took a lazy attitude and altered its own schedule by not rising for several days at a time. What would you believe - the alarm clock or the view from your window? What if, at the close of the warmer weather, Mother Nature sent Spring instead of Autumn simply because she wasn’t concentrating on what she should be doing?

Highly exaggerated examples I agree, but it just goes to show that we fully rely on knowing, predicting and trusting when events and situations are happening so that we can plan our own lives to suit. Adhering to a schedule is imperative.

So, with an increased number of companies deciding to return its workforce back into the office environment and away from home based working, it is more important than ever for the people who do work from home to have excellent time management and for that to happen, you must learn to fully focus on your work. This is especially important if you are expected to work set hours e.g. 9-5.  Some remote workers are able to choose their own hours as long as the work is completed and deadlines are met which gives slightly more flexibility.

Working from home should give you a much more healthy work - life balance, because the commute to work is gone altogether and statistics show that the average time someone saves by working from home is one hour each day. That is a whole sixty minutes of time that allows you to do whatever you want. However, you do need certain strategies to prevent you from intertwining the whole day so that it turns you into a disordered, confused and exhausted mess with the potential for burnout.

Therefore you need to get up at a time each morning that not only allows you to have a structure in readiness for work but to do those mundane but necessary tasks that may otherwise start to niggle away at you during the day, such as turning on the washing machine or taking your dog for a walk. - This is still your time and your working schedule has not started yet. Once work commences, you must focus.

Many people working from home have a multitude of events happening each day and it's never a good idea to try and multitask, no matter how adept you are. Try to have a good rhythm of work throughout the day and to know in advance when video calls and meetings are taking place so you can schedule other work around these.

If you have emails to send or invoices to complete, have a set time each day to complete these so you are free to concentrate during meetings or times when you check in with colleagues or managers to discuss updates and progress. Demanding types of work should be done together if possible as you will be in a deep thinking mode and after each module of work is complete, have a few minutes break before you start on the next.

Complete important, stressful or complex work that requires a lot of concentration earlier in the day if possible because then as the day winds down, you will not only see but feel the workload becoming lighter. That way, you finish each work day on a positive note rather than feeling totally exhausted and overwhelmed.

The most effective and productive employees who work from home are the ones that utilise effective time management throughout the day which can give you huge job satisfaction and a beneficial work - life balance.

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