Remote workers failing to meet deadlines are most probably practicing poor time management. Yes, it is particularly comfortable working from home, but it also implies that there would be more factors that could hinder proper time allocation for work. You could start with the distractions, which would keep one from focusing on his or her job – the internet, television, house chores, unexpected guests, etc.
However, it is not an excuse for you to perform ineffectively at work simply because you are based remotely and you cannot keep yourself from being caught by home-related disruptions. There are various easy ways to ensure the time dedicated for your job would not be impacted negatively. Remember, despite being in your comfort zone, professionalism should remain intact. This is not for your employer alone, but your reputation as a remote worker or virtual assistant.
To begin with the ways you may follow to ensure your day at work is much better, here are some time management tips to keep in mind:
Identify most time-consuming activities during your day. These activities are the ones that would most likely keep you from spending sufficient time at work. Once you have found out these time wasters, you could already manage yourself better. Let us say you identified social media browsing as your major time waster, then while reporting, you should keep your accounts logged off. Though you may still sign in your accounts to kill time, once again, but being offline could be a start of disciplinary measure. It could keep you from constant notifications luring you into another time wastage.
Set a time for each task at work. Time would never adjust for you. Hence, what you need to do is manage yourself. Put restrictions to yourself while at work. You can do this for every task you will carry out. For instance, you need to accomplish a report for the month worth of sales. Set a couple of hours for it at a specific schedule, say, 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. Within those hours, you would only focus on the said sales report without succumbing to calls, texts, or e-mails.
Know what to prioritize. You have to consider the relation between your energy levels and how effective you can manage your time. Be reminded that at the start of your work, it is when you are most active. Hence, it is best to carry out the biggest and most important activities at the onset of your shift. This would also guarantee that you would not be compromising the quality of your output given you can pour out all of your resources to the said tasks.
Keep in mind that multitasking is not always the solution. If you think you are accomplishing more by multitasking, then probably, you are wrong. A study done by David Strayer, Ph.D., University of Utah’s Director of Applied Cognition Laboratory, stated that 98 percent of people cannot multitask. It is not a surprise if you are part of the said percentage. Take note that this study is not based on observation alone, but in accordance to what Strayer found out in the brain region structure of multitaskers and the contrary.
Take a break. For certain, this is a surprise for some, since they may think that having a respite would require time. However, your mind and body also require rest. Human beings will never be machines and can only focus for 90 minutes before needing rest. This has been discovered by Nathaniel Kleitman and was named ultradian rhythm by other researchers. How would you know a break is necessary? There are signals, which include concentration loss, drowsiness, and hunger among others. Without break, you would not be able to function more effectively and even think clearly.
With the aforementioned tips, you can already begin your journey to better work days. Conclusively, it is more about managing yourself instead of chasing time. It is simply discipline to achieve your goal daily. With the changing setting of workplaces due to the pandemic, you should be more motivated to shape yourself into becoming a professional remote worker regardless of your location – either office or home.