It's 8 a.m., and you wake up feeling happy. The pandemic created a new work culture that allows you to work remotely. Even technological advances make this culture adopted by many companies permanently. Employees can work without having to be physically present in the office.
And if you're aware, Forbes has published an article about the benefits of working remotely. This culture provides more flexibility and room for creativity. But how do we stay on task when working remotely? Do we have to stand by 24 hours?
What you need is task management. A skill that makes it easier for remote workers to manage their tasks but still get a work-life balance. Here is the list of the time management tips you can try to stay on track.
1. Create daily routines
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Having so much flexibility can tempt unstructured remote workers. Maybe you choose to scroll through social media or do tasks quickly without a concrete plan. This is wrong and can cause procrastination and chaos. Even if you're telecommuting (a term for remote workers), it's essential to have a daily routine that creates a habit structure for working days.
Some people are morning people, and others are night owls. Determine your productive hours in the day and plan a regular workday around here, the critical consistency.
Getting up early, journaling, exercising, getting ready for work or morning routines can become good habits. Adopting these habits and structures will keep you motivated.
2. Make plans and checklist
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Outlining the tasks you want to complete in a day helps keep track of productivity, including scheduling for office and even personal. Plans and checklists keep you stay on the line and make it easy to track the progress of work.
Make sure you record the task in detail, including the deadline. The more accurate your checklist, the more visibility and control you can have. This step is also a great way to deal with getting overwhelmed with too many to-do lists.
3. Break down tasks and prioritise
The third tip in task management is to break it up into small parts. This step will make the visualisation more straightforward and more measurable. The good news is that small tasks reduce stress.
Small tasks with precise completion requirements can make a project less daunting. In addition, it will boost motivation and self-confidence in completing it.
After breaking them down, prioritise them. One good priority technique is the Eisenhower Matrix. You can divide the task list into four quadrants.
4. Keep your tasks in one place
Have you ever felt stressed because it was difficult to find work? Already opened many folders in the Cloud but still having trouble finding them? Almost all remote workers have experienced it.
One place means one focus point, so managing plans and tasks is vastly easier. This will also simplify sharing the work results with other teams.
Use project management applications that can save and cut down all work. Choose a tool that allows you to schedule and complete blocks of time. Features like note-taking and progress tracking will be advantageous.
5. Stop multitasking
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Stop thinking that multitasking is the most effective task management strategy. This ability is not a strength. When our brains constantly switch gears to go back and forth between tasks (especially when it's complex and requires attention), we become less efficient and often make mistakes. Task switching also reduces productivity by up to 40%.
Instead of switching back and forth, try to complete one task at a time in sequence. Focus on one task and complete it. Don't forget to take a break, even for a moment, to recharge mentally.
6. Use a visualisation tool
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Visualising tasks can be a powerful tactic for managing them effectively. It helps you assess progress, identify problems, and stay aware of deadlines. Your coworkers are free to know what you are working on and your ultimate goal, and vice versa.
Kanban boards are a popular choice for visualising tasks. Currently, many project management tools have adopted Kanban. On the Kanban board, you can see who is responsible and how long it has been in a particular phase.
A digital visualisation board has helped many remote workers to manage tasks and stay productive. Collaboration and sharing will not be a problem anymore.
7. Stick to the deadlines
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"A deadline is negative inspiration. Still, it's better than no inspiration at all." - Rita Mae Brown, American Writer.
As painful as they may be, clear timeframes improve productivity. People will work harder when they realise a deadline. However, don't make unreasonable deadlines. Deadlines that require you to work non-stop are bad.
Don't sacrifice rest time for an unrealistic workload. This point is necessary because you’ll lose interest in work when you miss resting. Here are some ways to set reasonable deadlines.
- Break down the project into a small list of goals.
- Learn from previous projects about timescales.
- Ask for feedback from each team member.
- Continue to see the process of the project.
8. Reward yourself after finishing a task
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Your body and mind are worth every reward. Gifts are a way of appreciating yourself. You can relax while watching youtube, lying in bed, ordering drinks at your favourite cafe, or even taking a walk in the park.
Breaking up a job with rewards has two purposes. First, they act as incentives to make your work faster towards your goals. Second, they are great motivators when you have difficulty getting to the end.
You have a break in the middle of work. Use the Podomoro technique to set a break every 15 minutes.
9. Review your progress
One of the tips often overlooked in task management is taken to self-analyse. Elements of reflection for self-analysis; what you achieved, the distractions that occurred and the tasks you were most proud of. Simply, this is a journey of journaling.
Write down what you finished, think about what you learned and your on-off mood. The final review will allow you to observe your strengths and weaknesses and actively continue to develop your self-improvement.
Take one day a week to do a self-analyse. You'll realise that sometimes there are tasks that you can't complete right away or even seem impossible.
Let’s start your productivity!
The key to all these task management tips is consistency. Time management is good, but sadly not enough. Recognising the value of time will realise that time is running fast, so we need to organise tasks properly to achieve productivity. Staying productive is hard and it takes effort. Try those simple steps to manage your tasks and work and be more productive each and every day!