Working from home or working hybrid schedules (part remote, part in the office) may provide less structure than a full-time office environment.  For those who struggle with time management or procrastination, navigating the shift in office structure during the pandemic may have provided a different set of challenges.  Here are some tips on ways to manage your time while working hybrid.

Follow a Routine — Set your schedule up so you have a consistent routine to follow each day.  This may mean getting up at the same time, working out, eating meals at the same time each day, or whatever fits best with your life.  Then be diligent about following your routine regardless of the location you’re working that day.

Workspace —  Have a dedicated work area set up in your house in an area where you won’t get distracted when working remotely.  You may or may not have space for a formal office setup, but if you have a specific work area set aside then it will help you stay focused on your tasks ahead when you’re in that space.

Calendar Management — Preparation is everything!  Review your calendar for the next day each evening, and build your to-do list. That way you can start off the day knowing your priorities and dive right in.

Attire — Get ready each morning as if you’re going to the office, even on the days you are working remotely.  Just because you’re on zoom doesn’t mean you should show up in pajamas. You’d be surprised how much putting on real pants vs. sweatpants helps you mentally get ready for the day and feel more focused.

Find Balance — Many of us have discovered that we put in more hours on work-related tasks while working from home than we do in the office. To effectively manage your time, schedule breaks and time to step away.  For example, do a quick walk or workout over lunch, toss in a load of laundry, or read a chapter from a personal development book.  Taking a break helps your mind reset and you’ll feel like there is more balance with your work life.

Stop Multitasking — Studies have shown that it takes approximately 15 minutes for your brain to fully switch from one task to another.  While it can be tempting to answer emails while on a Zoom meeting or multi-task in other ways, this is actually detrimental to you being effective at either task.  Stay focused on one activity at a time and you’ll find your productivity increasing

Mindset — Adjust your mindset to commit to yourself that you’ll be more productive.  Promise yourself you’ll prioritize some non-negotiables that you will complete each day. Stick to your daily routine. Put your phone down.  By shifting your mindset and thinking of time management as a commitment to yourself, you’ll find your productivity increasing!

Just because working from home may have less structure than a traditional office setting, doesn’t mean it should affect your work negatively. If you keep a routine and treat working from home the same as working in the office you should be able to stay on task and be just as productive, if not more so, while working from the comfort of your own home.