It can be challenging to manage your time when you work in an office, warehouse or physical premises of any kind.
However, it’s even more challenging trying to work remotely.
After all, there are often endless distractions, from Netflix at home to other people talking in co-working spaces.
(Cat videos on YouTube, anyone?)
Thanks to these pesky interruptions, sometimes you end up working longer hours just to get to the bottom of your to-do list.
That said, did you know that the trick to completing tasks isn’t about how many hours you work? It’s about making the most of the hours that you work.
Whether you’re a productivity pro or chief procrastinator, I’ve got you covered. Read on for 5 time management tips for working remotely that will help you reach your daily, weekly and monthly goals.
(Cue the Hallelujah music.)
1. Planning and Preparation Are Key
Time management tips for working remotely 101: plan out your week in advance — and as intricately as you can.
Why? Well, my Dad always taught me that the six P’s are instrumental in business (“Planning and Preparation Prevent P*ss Poor Performance.”) And Daddy knows best.
All jokes aside, invest in a business diary, set realistic deadlines and work out exactly what you’re going to be doing in the days ahead.
I mean, I find that if I don’t plan and prep, all hell can sometimes break loose. I can double book myself, overfill my schedule or completely forget that Darren from brand X wants his four blog posts by Tuesday. (Oops – sorry, Dazza!)
That’s why it’s important to be clear about what you need to do every day to meet your weekly goals and increase the likelihood of achieving them.
2. Forget Multitasking, Mono-tasking is Your New Best Friend
Forget everything you once knew about multitasking being one of the top time management tips for working remotely, because – newsflash – it’s not.
Your brain finds it difficult to handle multiple tasks at once, especially when you’re yo-yoing from one thing to another.
The trick is to establish priority tasks and then work on them one at a time.
This way, you narrow your focus, which can ultimately help you concentrate better.
And when you’re bossing it in terms of concentration? You get stuff done. Fact.
Pro tip: If all else fails, try the popular Pomodoro Technique. This is where you break the day into smaller, highly-focused intervals of 25 minutes and then follow each interval up with a small break of around five minutes. Then, once you’ve completed four intervals or “pomodoros,” you can take a long break to do whatever you please for about 15 minutes.
It sounds super straightforward; but, somehow, it works. I’ll never go back.
3. Categorise Tasks and Assign Them to Different Days or Times
One of my favourite time management tips for working remotely is batch tasking. This is where you, firstly, group tasks according to their category. Then book out a whole day or a specific time period just to focus on that category.
Confused? Hear me out.
If you need to get ahead with creating blog posts for clients, book out Monday purely to write. If you need to market yourself on social media, schedule upcoming posts from 10-11am daily. Looking for new blogger jobs? Do this on Friday afternoons.
The reason why this method works so well is that you’re wiring your brain to deal with a specific task and then utilising the time that your brain is in this “mode” to help speed up the task.
As well as helping to keep your brain focused, it also lets your productivity levels soar. Win-win, right?
4. Outsource Tasks When You Need To
The secret to growth as a successful business owner, whether you’re a freelance blogger or Bob the builder, is reaching out for help when you need it.
Essentially, if there’s a certain task that you don’t class yourself as an expert in, outsource it to someone who does. There’s no shame in it. In fact, it’s just smart and effective business planning!
For instance, if you admit that you lack basic skills when it comes to blog design, why not pass over these types of tasks to a fully trained and skilled web designer? Not only will your blog look kickass and function like a dream, but you’ll free up a bunch of time that you can spend doing something that you’re amazing at (and get paid the big bucks for) like copywriting.
5. Change Up Where You Work
Lastly, you need to ensure that you’re working in a fun and stimulating environment if you want to get one-up on your to-do list.
I mean, let’s face it, everybody gets bored of looking at the same four walls. It’s inevitable. But did you know that working in the same place all the time can actually increase distractions and reduce your productivity rate?
I know, not cool.
To rejuvenate your brain and help you get more stuff done, leave the house if you work from home or move outside if you work in a co-working space.
Either way, change up your work environment every once in a while to clear your mind – and you’ll be amazed at the results.
Time Management Tips for Working Remotely: The Takeaway
For a remote worker, the burnout struggle is real.
You can get so preoccupied trying to juggle your professional and personal lives that you don’t realise just how much this can have a negative impact on your mental health.
That’s why it’s so important to give yourself regular breaks throughout your working day as well as your working week.
Sure, hustle to get stuff done and fulfil your vision. That said, work smarter, not harder. And don’t sacrifice your mental health along the way.
It’s just not worth it.
What are your top time management tips for working remotely? Let me know in the comments!