If you work from home, how often do quick breaks become scrolling for hours on TikTok? Does a short snack run turn into unloading the dishwasher, or a nap on the couch? We’re not saying you don’t deserve social media or snacks (everyone deserves a reward for their hard work), but if you want to have a more productive workday, we’ve come up with a few time management goals that can help you get there:
1. Start Your Day with SMART Goals
Developed in 1981 by George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunningham, the SMART system can help you set, manage, and achieve goals—no matter how big or small.
The acronym stands for “Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely,” although there are slight variations on the wording, depending on how it’s applied (or who you ask). But what does this mean in terms of setting goals for productivity throughout the workday?
Start by identifying the specific tasks you hope to accomplish and figure out an indicator of meaningful progress. But here’s the key: progress doesn’t mean finished. Breaking down your work into smaller milestones helps you feel more confident in completing complex and time-consuming projects.
With those goals (and milestones) in mind, assess the resources required to get the job done and whether or not your strategy is realistic. And when all is said and done, put your plan into a timeline and get to work. Instead of setting timelines over weeks or months, work day-by-day. Set a goal of what you want to finish before lunch, after lunch, and right before the day ends.
When you approach your workload with a SMART mentality, you have a better shot at organizing your day in a way that works for you. Remember: don’t be afraid to break projects into smaller, more manageable tasks. Not every goal has to be scary—let yourself get comfortable setting goals you can achieve.
2. Delegate Like a Leader
Sometimes, meeting your time management goals means becoming a better manager of your resources. If you are part of a team or have an assistant, you can delegate tasks to others, allowing you to tackle priority items that only you can address.
You can also use automation tools to increase efficiency and take repetitive and tedious duties off your plate. Ultimately, you could eliminate non-essential tasks that keep you from focusing on more critical and specialized work, streamlining your process and improving productivity.
It’s important to realize that you can’t do everything. This can be hard to admit! If you can, though, this mindset gives you the freedom to delegate so you can concentrate on your most impactful tasks.
3. Schedule Breaks with Intention
Taking breaks might seem at odds with time management goals, but there’s a sound basis for sticking to a schedule that includes regular intervals. Studies have shown many benefits to following a routine that provides for breaks.
Breaks help prevent memory and concentration fatigue that can lead to poor decision-making. Taking breaks can refresh and reboot your brain so you return to work with renewed energy and focus. It can also help reduce stress and burnout, improving productivity.
Of course, you need the right kind of break so your brain can switch gears and recover from your work demands. Walking, meditating, exercising, and spending time in nature are great forms of mental rejuvenation.
4. Set Alarms Throughout the Day
When you dive headfirst into a project, it’s easy to become immersed in what you’re doing and lose track of time. It’s essential to set alarms that notify you when you’re nearing a deadline or remind you to take breaks or move on to other tasks. Doing this will help you stick to your timeline and remain productive throughout the day.
5. Eliminate Unhelpful Distractions
Remote work seems like a dream to many office workers until they discover the realities of home-based distractions, like partners, kids, pets, household chores, and neighborhood clamor, not to mention the ever-present allure of procrastination when no one is looking over your shoulder.
If you don’t have a dedicated workspace or can’t avoid distractions at home, consider joining a coworking space that offers dedicated desks, private offices, flex space, meeting rooms and more. You can find the workspace that perfectly suits your needs and enjoy the best of both worlds with remote work from an office setting (of course, we’d recommend joining us at Endeavor).
Find a Workspace to Optimize Your Productivity
Are you looking for a versatile and affordable environment to help you optimize productivity? Endeavor just might be the place you’re looking for, and even if you’ve never considered it, coworking may be a terrific solution for you. Contact us today to learn more and find the perfect professional space for your needs.