Hey, in a previous article, we have seen how to set up an excellent home office place, arrangement, comfort... In this one, we will see how to manage time.
At first sight, you can tell yourself you know how to plan. You have been working for several years, it's just at home. It's different and more complex. At work, you have started some habits with your team members. Some ritual like a coffee break, a meeting, a discussion... You hate some of them, but they don't just bring negative, they punctuates your days. It's a step back and a switch of thoughts. Now is the time you need to realize the importance of these. Even more with a non-limited home office time.
After one and a half years of working at home, I think this loss is the most severe difficulty. The risk is to be caught in this infinite loop of work on only one subject, with no break, no breath. Chat on slack with someone, or go back and forth to the coffee maker is not a break. It's not enough to stop your brain and give him the necessary energy to run the next sprint. I have sometimes kept pace for days, focus on one problem, one sprint to a goal, "end this fucking thing". I wouldn't deny that it allows you to save your project. Your production is down; you will fix everything in a dazzling sprint (you feel like a superman). Work at home it's approximatively the same thing, except that it's not a sprint but a marathon. The risk is to exhaust you and never reach the end line. I lived it in my project and have seen too many people do this days after days with zero productivity.
This comportment is not only linking to the home office. It's improper time management. Because we want to end things faster or due to personal problems, work becomes an escape. We lock ourselves on a single task and never learn how to manage time properly. Without giving air to your brain over time or step back, you reach burnout. You have to know your limits.
What is good time management? After some experiences, it's like our students. It's not to take your Wednesday afternoon 🙃. It's your responsibility to know your limits regarding the amount of work. I'm talking about pacing your days to gain productivity and efficiency. Take the time to create a planning and respect it. Military, difficult, but it works. It's up to you to find the right balance.
Clean planning allows you to punctuate your days, stay focused on your spots, and have a healthier pace. It avoids responding to e-mails on the fly. It allows you to switch subjects regularly and take a step back from the different things we are dealing with. Do not hesitate to split a task over several days, or even in several slots. It will enable you to reserve breaks, which are moments of reflection. It allows you to take care of yourself by integrating physical breaks, sport/yoga/meditation. Hard for a few weeks and then become a habit. If you think you're productive, trust me, by doing things lightly, with hindsight, you will go so much further and gain a lot in several subjects:
- Time Saving
- Able to switch of subject quickly
- Global view
To end this article, I will give you an example of one of my typical days.
- Wake up around 6h30, without alarm, yoga/stretching, shower, eat.
- End my coffee in front of the computer at 7h15, with news. I wouldn't be referring to the "miracle morning", but I must probably be in the concept.
- PR tour, review, accept, and start development in the morning.
- Break at 10, mail and chat answers, a few steps, some water.
- Back on dev, from 10h15 to 12.
- Eat at 12.
- Back behind the computer at 12:45 pm, check mail and start marketing/communication/project management.
- At 3 pm break again, to do sports, about 1h30 divided between endurance, sheathing, stretching...
- Back to work after the shower at 4:45 pm, chat mail, LinkedIn check, and back to dev/project management/administration. It depends on the day and whether everything has been completed or not. All dotted with breaks.
- End around 8 pm before a focused reading on different subjects.
It is not always respected, sometimes outdated. After a year and a half of working alone, many things tried, it is the program that suits me best. Everyone must find their own 😊 I hope I convinced you to give it a try! And be careful not to overload.