10 Effective Time Management Strategies for Remote and Hybrid Work

Want to make working remotely work for you? Worried you won’t be as productive with a hybrid work schedule? Switching to a more remote and hybrid work schedule can be challenging if you’re not used to working remotely.  Time management is one of the biggest challenges people experience when switching to remote and hybrid work. But it doesn’t have to be difficult with the right strategies for a smooth transition. 

More and more companies are switching to remote and hybrid setups, and it’s been working. Many employees prefer remote work, cutting down on commute times and cutting out the unnecessary expenditures of office space. But how do you get work done at home and surrounded by all those distractions you don’t usually have at the office? These strategies will help you maximize your time efficiently no matter where you work. 

Burnout and other negative effects have been more prevalent with the current climate, news, and trying to be productive when so much is happening. Building a remote and hybrid work strategy will help you avoid burnout and maintain a good work schedule without stress and time delays. Below are ten effective tips to add to your time management strategy so you can be just as productive working remotely. 

Remote and Hybrid Work #1

Prior Planning

Plan ahead how you will spend your time in the day and what tasks need to be done. If you work in a hybrid setup, this is a crucial way to manage time and make sure you’re working efficiently. Going from home to the office to home again throughout the week can make it feel difficult to stay on top of tasks and know what needs to get done next. 

If you make plans at the beginning of each week or try laying out a month for how you need to move and your schedule, you’ll be much better off. And often, having a plan can help ease some of the nervousness if you’re moving from hybrid to fully remote or from in-person to hybrid. These transitions aren’t always easy, but they can be less daunting if you make a plan you can follow. 

  1. Cut Down Distractions

One of the biggest problems with remote work is all the possible distractions. You could get so much housework done while at home. Or maybe someone delivered some mail you just have to open. Or you have access to all the fun things at home you’re used to using in your downtime. Having so many distractions at your disposal can make it feel nearly impossible to be productive. But if you know what your main distractions are, you can cut those out first. 

If you want to watch TV instead of working, set up a space away from the television where you can focus. Use app blockers to prevent you from spending time on other sites that don’t pertain to work and only serve as a distraction. Put your phone in the other room while working so you can get those priorities done and not be distracted by games, social media, or texts from friends. By learning your distractions and how you can keep them at bay, you’ll be able to build a remote and hybrid work strategy that allows you to complete things on time, even at home. 

  1. Build An Office Space

Even if you are going into the office a few days a week, those days at home should get the same amount of focus. And that’s difficult if you don’t have a designated work space. Try to find a place in your home that can serve as a “work only” area where you won’t try and relax and kick back later. Allow it to be associated with your job. Hang up a calendar, position your computer, and find a comfortable setup that allows for focus. 

Working from home or maintaining a hybrid schedule requires self-discipline, which is much easier if you build a space for work. You can cut out visual distractions or give yourself an area all your own so that you can just think about work and not the other things going on at home. 

  1. Create A Schedule

To-do lists don’t work for everyone, but they can be great when showing progress and keeping you on task for the day. They also can serve as reminders for specific tasks you may otherwise forget. They can help you keep track of meetings and other events you might not remember while at home. In the office, it’s easy to have someone walk by and remind you about that staff meeting in five minutes. That doesn’t happen while working remotely. 

Build a schedule that allows you to complete necessary tasks and prioritize what needs to get done. Maintaining a planner or calendar can help you maintain a workplace mindset, which is hard to cultivate outside the office. 

  1. Stick to Deadlines

Many people struggle with time management and motivation even while in the workplace. Having deadlines to keep can help maintain momentum with tasks. It can also help you stay on top of work, so things do not pile up and become overwhelming. 

Working from home offers a lot of freedom, which sometimes makes deadlines feel looser. If you need to self-impose them or have a coworker add them to your tasks, do so. It will help you keep things in order, so they get accomplished and allow others to do their jobs as well. 

  1. Block Out Time

Try building a schedule with blocks of time. Work on a specific task for one hour, and focus on that instead of multitasking or jumping back and forth between different tasks. By creating these blocks, you can focus more on the task at hand and less on what is available to distract you. Many people find that working from home allows them to get more done without the distractions of office mates and other meetings. But sometimes home can be a hindrance since it’s tempting to work on other things or go off schedule. Building blocks of time for your calendar that you have to stick to will keep you on track and help you meet deadlines. And take advantage of productivity tools to help manage your time and tasks so you can stay organized and stay in touch with your team. 

  1. Build-In Breaks

Working from home can help you get even more work done than in the office. Your productivity might increase with fewer people around to distract you or ask about other tasks or projects. But be mindful of how you spend your time, and make sure you give yourself ample time to take breaks. It can be harder to stop working when you take your work home, which means you can become more overwhelmed and prone to burnout. 

If you need to, you can plan what you do on breaks. Give yourself 15 minutes to walk around the block and listen to music. Or do some stretches and eat a snack in another room. Take time away from work to reinvigorate yourself and prevent fatigue. And make sure when your hours are done that you step away from your computer. Even though work is right there, you must maintain healthy boundaries about your work and play hours. 

  1. Maintain A Routine

Sometimes, we don’t realize how important routine is to our everyday lives. But routine can help with all kinds of things, from maintaining proper hygiene to a good diet. And routine helps in the work world as well. The routine of getting up, getting coffee, and heading into the office can put you in the headspace to do your job and get things done. And without that everyday movement, you might be thrown off and take longer to start working from home. 

Try building a daily routine when you are on the job. What helps put you in the workspace? Maybe that’s getting your coffee and taking a quick walk around the neighborhood, so you get out of the house for a moment. Or getting up to prepare breakfast and eat in the morning before entering the workspace, which could be one room over. Try out a few strategies and see what works best for you so that you have a daily routine to rely on. 

  1. Accountability and Boundaries

Setting deadlines and asking managers to maintain them can help some people be more productive. But you also must ensure you set proper boundaries and use accountability as a helpful tool, not a hindrance. 

Make sure you and your company understand the expectations for remote and hybrid work and what needs to get done in that space. And also set the right expectations for yourself. If your company is only now switching to hybrid or fully remote, it can take a minute to adjust. Give yourself some time to find the right schedule for you in this new workspace, and build a routine that helps and doesn’t add more stress or anxiety to the workday. 

  1. Monitor Your Productivity

It’s easy to feel like time works differently when working remotely. You might be in your own home where you’re tempted to get distracted by a chore or other non-work related task. And while sometimes this is a perk from working at home, since on a break you can throw some laundry in or play with a pet, these can take occasionally take a toll. 

One of the best ways to maintain productivity is to know yourself. What hours do you tend to get the most done? And if you’re more of a morning person, schedule your heavier tasks at that time so you can move quickly and efficiently through your to-do list. Self-awareness is crucial for remote and hybrid work. You have to learn what tends to distract you and what helps you focus. And when you find those things, use that knowledge to help build a routine and strategy to promote your remote work situation. 

Remote and Hybrid Work Success

Time management can be tricky, even working in an office. Working remotely or maintaining a hybrid schedule can add many additional challenges. But working remotely can lead to better productivity and an easier schedule since you do not need to commute or factor in travel time, and you can focus on efficient communication over constant interruptions. 
If you use some of these tips to build a schedule for your remote and hybrid work, you will be able to thrive in an environment you build for yourself and your job. Make sure to take breaks and give yourself time to develop a proper strategy. Don’t stress out if not every tip works for you and your home. And if you want more tips on what remote work can mean for you, check out this webinar for an in-depth discussion about working remotely.