The Answers to Success and Productivity from Home
Time management skills are the master key to unlocking a successful career in remote creative jobs. With a recent Upwork study finding that 36.2 million Americans (22% of the workforce) will still be working remotely by 2025, the demand for remote work skills is growing.
One of the key skills when working from home is time management. However, many who are new to remote creative jobs find time management skills more difficult than they thought. There are many obstacles that accompany remote work, jeopardizing your productivity and the quality of your work.
In this post, we share some productivity-boosting tips, so you can enjoy and excel in your creative job from home.
The To-Do List Ritual
Set your daily priorities. List the things that you must do, both professionally and personally.
If you don’t take this step, you risk stumbling through your day, darting from one thought or action to another, while simultaneously trying to recall what else needed to be done.
You’ll need to figure out what time of day this works best for you:
- Before you leave your desk, allowing you to switch off from there
- Before bed, once you’ve had time to think about it
- First thing each morning, when you have a fresh mind
Set a Schedule
The structure of a day in the office is gone, but that doesn’t mean you should not adopt the same principles when working from home. Include your to-do tasks and your breaks, and try to batch them up into similar tasks.
For example, if you have some personal appointments to make, set 20 minutes right before you start work. Then perhaps get all your non-creative working tasks done in a morning slot, to allow your creativity to flow for the rest of the day.
Bonus tip: Don’t overcrowd your breaks in and attempt to boost your productivity. Your breaks are for you to recharge, and filling these important spaces with tasks or chores could be very detrimental to your wellbeing. So, step away from your tasks and relax. Go for a walk. Take a coffee. Whatever it takes to re-energize your brain.
Find Your Productivity Power Time
Everyone is productive at different times. Think about whether you:
- Prefer the quiet mornings
- Feel tired after lunch
- Feel supercharged as the day ends
When you know you’ll be less productive, schedule in the less demanding tasks, and use your optimized windows for your focus and drive.
Work in Sprints
Many find they can boost their productivity dramatically if they work a set number of minutes, followed by a routine break, on a loop. For example:
25 minutes’ focused work, followed by five minutes’ break, repeated until lunch break (the Pomodoro Technique).
Learn the Tools
Don’t waste time trying to figure how to work out the software you’re using. Invest some time in learning it inside-out, and you’ll see your productivity rocket.
Stop Trying to Multitask
Multitasking doesn’t work. It’s not big, nor clever, and certainly doesn’t save time. Research has shown that when you switch tasks or react to a distraction, it can take as long as 23 minutes to refocus.
Focus on one single task and complete it properly, and then focus on the next.
Step Away from the Chores
The biggest challenge when working from home is the temptation to get some chores done. The laundry rolls into tidying rooms as you go, which reminds you to empty the dishwasher.
Stop. Get your working day done like you would in an office. Create a personal workspace where you’re not distracted by chores, and leave them until you ‘return home’.
Keep Off the Internet
Probably the most incredible invention of the modern day – and the one that allows you to work remote creative jobs – yet also often the most time-wasting when not used appropriately.
If you have a separate monitor screen for work, block the usual suspect websites. Otherwise, make sure you’re not signed into your social media accounts, and be disciplined in using the internet only for work purposes. To a degree, you’re your own boss now – so be strict with yourself to avoid sapping productivity.
Don’t Be Afraid to Adjust
Last, yet most importantly, be kind to yourself. Working from home can be a task in itself, and everyone’s homes and situations are different. Some have dedicated office space, while others are perched at the kitchen table. Some are crowded with children and distractions, while others miss the company of colleagues and friends.
Working from home effectively can take some figuring out and adjusting. So, forgive yourself for an unproductive week, and figure out what needs tweaking.
Back in the days of the office, time management skills didn’t get much airtime. Afterall, your manager took care of it by providing a structured daily routine.
Now you’re working from home, there’s a lot to think about: your personal life combined with your professional life, somehow ensuring you don’t blur the two.
The answer to your success in remote creative jobs lies in your time management skills. These tips will help you to develop the perfect routine for your personal situation, so that you can truly reap the benefits of an incredibly rewarding work/life balance.