Time management tips that will skyrocket your productivity while working from home
Do you work from home and want to utilise time in a manner that can skyrocket your productivity?
Do you want to work from home or start a side hustle while working on the full time job but have no idea how to manage your time?
Well, if you are nodding, you are at the right place.
You can use the time management and productivity tips listed below to help you get more done in the time that you have.
Let’s get started.
1 >> Wake up an hour early
You may not be a morning person but you need to understand one thing –
If you want to make more time in your day or get more things done without a single distraction, you need to utilise the morning hours (before anyone wakes up, calls you or expect a reply to an email).
The minimum that you can try to take take out is an hour.
It is the perfect time to finish off ONE priority task for the day. For example, you can send cold emails to land more clients or write a blog post if you are into blogging.
Whatever it may be – dedicate this golden hour to one MONEY MAKING task.
Can’ wake up early in the morning? Click here for 10 ways to trick yourself into waking up early.
2 >> Have a personal routine
Routines are important. They will help you and your body to prepare for the rest of the day.
For example, an hour of exercise, a walk, run or a prayer etc. It could be anything that makes you feel calm and at peace.
It is important to ensure you are healthy mentally as well as physically to be able to productive throughout a day, 5-6 days a week.
3 >> Learn to priortise
If you want to excel at time management, you need to learn to priortise.
You need to know
- What are your priorities
- How would you rank them in terms of importance and urgency
- How to structure your days to incorporate all the important tasks
If you cannot understand the difference between a task that is urgent and a task that can be postponed to the next day, you will ALWAYS be left burned out and overwhelmed.
Just to help you out, ask the following questions –
- Do I need to do this today?
- Will it be okay if I postponed it to tomorrow?
- If I don’t do it today, how does it affect me?
4 >> Daily Schedule for work (at one place)
Scheduling tasks are important. They help you keep on track and avoid any confusion on what needs to be done (or not)
You can leave out the thinking, save your time, energy and stick to tasks that are on the list.
So, how do you go ahead with such scheduling or planning?
You can use Google Calendar or a physical day planner – whichever suits you better.
But, remember to use it and refer to it often. You cannot make a plan and not go back to it.
Also, your calendar or planner should contain EVERYTHING (all your appointments). You cannot have your appointments in different apps or books for this to work out for you.
5 >> Learn time blocking
If you have difficulty finding time or sticking to your schedule, you should try out Time Blocking.
Time Blocking is the idea to block 1-2 hours in a day and focus on completing your scheduled business tasks.
It helps you maximize productivity and get more things done in the hours that you have blocked.
If you want to know more about Time Block, grab this guide on time blocking here
6 >> Learn to say NO or IGNORE
It is a skill worth millions of dollars and hours in time.
You need to understand that you do NOT need to take on everything. Sometimes it is ok to say no to things and make room for more important tasks in your life.
When you start understanding your priorities, you know exactly what is important and what is not.
You can say NO to things or ignore things that do not require your immediate attention. This, obviously, does not mean that you cannot go back to it later or agree to work on it.
7 >> Plan ahead
Plan your day ahead of time. You do not want to spend an hour prioritising and scheduling tasks on the day it needs to be done.
So, what do you do?
You plan it out at the end of each day. I do it when I am in bed and done for the night.
Remember, the time blocks or the golden hour needs to be used to complete tasks and not to figure out what you want to accomplish
8 >> Set a timer
Setting a timer can give you the extra boost to finish off the task.
Remember how you feel when you take an exam and you know you have 2 hours only?
Setting a timer works the same way.
If you need to focus on one task without getting distracted AT ALL, you need to start using a timer.
This is a great way to increase productivity for people who get distracted easily with social media, messages, calls or a cow on the street.
Once your timer goes off, you can take a 5-10 minutes of break. In fact, you can put a timer on that as well.
9 >> Batch your tasks
Whether it is a business task or a personal one, batch them together.
If you are running an errand, try to club 2-3 together. For example, if you are going to pick up kids, try to incorporate grocery store visit or laundry pick up. You will save time!
Similarly, if you are working on your blog, you can start by researching on 3 topics and making an outline. In the next hour, you can start writing them.
If you research and outline 3 posts in one hour, you will feel more accomplished and save yourself time by clustering tasks at once
10 >> Find things that steal your time in a day
It is true.
There are many things we do in a day that is actually robbing us of time.
Do you remember taking up things that take only a few minutes but quickly become a time consuming task?
Today, I decided to clean a portion of the room which was supposed to take 10 minutes but I ended up taking an ONE FULL HOUR.
I also decided to spend 10 minutes to go through my Facebook feed but ended up spending 30 minutes.
These are time drainers!
You can avoid some if you are mindful of them, but there will always be one or two that will creep in your day. For example, checking email every few minutes, checking messages etc.
So, avoid these time drainer tasks.
By scheduling time for these activities in your day. You can start by keeping 30 minutes aside for such activities or keep 1-2 hours free in your day to spend it the way you like it.
You can also break up the 1-2 hours in smaller chunks and adjust it throughout the day. When the time is up, you will get back to work without affecting your productivity.
11 >> Be Imperfect
This has been my secret for a very long time now.
You have to stop running behind “perfect”. It does not exists, and therefore, you will only waste your time if you try to achieve it.
Instead, take up one task and finish it off to the best of your abilities in that time frame.
So, next time you think of doing it perfectly, stop right away.
12 >> Ask for help or delegate
I understand if you are going to look over this tip because you think there is money involved in delegating business tasks.
But, think creatively. You can delegate personal or household tasks to make more time for your business tasks.
For example, you can ask for help from your husband or parents a few days in a week or a month. They can look after your kids for ONE day which can give you some more time to finish business tasks.
Similarly, you can set up an arrangement with another mom to babysit your kid for one day in a month in exchange for you doing the same for her.
There are many creative way to delegate tasks or making more time in a day.
13 >> Stop procrastinating
We all procrastinate and it is ok to some extent to do it.
But, you need to know where to stop it.
When we feel overburdened or overwhelmed, we procrastinate to take our minds off the task.
The effects of procrastination are harmful and they generally have a snowball effect.
That means, you end up procrastinating more than you should.
14 >> Set reminders
You may have all the tasks written down and the entire day planned, but if you do not set reminders you may fall through the cracks.
If you use Google Calendar, it can sync with the phone and alert you.
This can also make your life easier and save you time from planning and then setting alerts.
15 >> Avoid Multi-Tasking
Multi-tasking reduces efficiency – why?
Because your attention is divided between tasks and you are not concentrating on one task that you should.
If you multi-task, the day will end and you will NEVER accomplish anything in toto.
and, this is because your attention was divided between too many tasks at once. So, focus on one item on your list at a time.
16 >> Multitask
Did I just mention multi-task reduces efficiency?
Well, that is true BUT..
There are time when it can do some good. For example, you can listen to a podcast while commuting or doing laundry.
The concept is to club learning with a task that requires minimum brain power or concentration.
17 >> Track your time
If you have no idea where to start off managing your time or increasing your productivity, you need to start tracking your time.
Once you understand what you have been doing every minute of the day, you can work on optimising it.
You can easily remove distractions (or make time for it) and learn where to tend to while away your time.
Doing this will also help you know time slots that are available to you for business tasks.
18 >> Finish one big task off the list first
If you are starting your day with the golden hour (very early morning), try to take up one of the most time consuming or complicated tasks and complete it.
I tend to pick up a task that I would otherwise procrastinate in the day. Once you have finished this task, everything else on the list will become easier and manageable (easily!)
19 >> Add margin to your schedule
You have to ensure that the schedules you make are realistic.
That means, you need to add in margins to your schedules and leave more time than you anticipate to complete a task.
For example, if you schedule 1 hour to complete one task, add 15 minutes of buffer time.
20 >> Automate your tasks
You need to understand the repitative tasks in your business and automate them for yourself. For example, as a blogger, I need to focus on Pinterest.
But, I do not have the time to pin manually. So, I have invested in a tool that does it for me.
Similarly, I have chosen to have automatic bill pay.
21 >> Review your week
At the end of each and every week, you need to take out the time to review what you accomplished and what you need to work on next week.
You also need to make a note of what worked and what did not with regards to time management techniques. If you constantly review your techniques, you can make adjustments and increase productivity by multifold.
There you go.
These are some of the best time management tips for working from home. They have worked for me, and they will definitely work for you.
We all have 24 hours in a day to work on growing our home based business and you choose how YOU spend it.