MODULE 9

Time management for remote work

WE RECOMEND USING DESKTOP DEVICES WHILE TAKING OUR E-COURSE

WATCH THE SHORT INTRO VIDEO

YOU WILL LEARN:

1.

writing things down and having a realistic daily planning

What is effective and functional time management? We have divided our effective time management into four pillars. It is like a house based on these 4 pillars:

Realistic daily planning and overview of tasks

Effective definition of priorities

Self-management: Managing our capacities and time-bandits

An efficiently organized work/life environment

There are several tools for effective time management. They are based on the principle of "write everything down", because we can enjoy a lot of benefits!

If we write down or define something in writing, it helps us to track it. Plans, thoughts, or lists that we only keep in mind, can quickly be lost or require a lot of energy if we don't want to forget them!

For this reason, written plans and schedules can provide some relief to our memory. The described schedule makes us aware of where we are heading and at the same time helps us to focus.

Furthermore, with the principle of note-taking, we can easily control things and make long-term documentation possible.

To make or not to make a schedule?

Making a schedule for our daily activities helps us:

As mentioned earlier, when we talk about daily planning, it is important to write things down. It doesn't matter if you use an organizer, Outlook, Google Calendar or a standalone platform. Find the best tool for yourself. It is best to plan your next day in the evening.
So you can save up to an hour from your next day's work, since you start with a well-structured day.

2.


The 60:40 rule

60%

OF OUR DAILY TIME SCHEDULED

40%

OF OUR TIME RESERVED FOR UNFORSEEN ACTIVITIES

Our working day can consist of many different types of tasks. There are ones that are of high priority and there are those of not so high importance or value, but still need-to-be-done tasks, since they are urgent.

When you are working remotely there are also high priority tasks and unexpected activities. Everyone has run into an urgent call, or a task that has not been foreseen. These activities may occur almost every day. Besides, it is really good to have a chat with a coworker online, or just to share some thoughts and ideas.

This is how the 60-40 rule occurred. This rule indicates that we can schedule up to 60% of our daily session. The remaining 40% should be reserved for unforeseen activities: 20% for unexpected events and 20% for spontaneous social and / or creative activities. However, it is important to emphasize that this is not a fixed rule, but rather needs to be tailored to our individual work. It can be a plan, but we all need to handle changes and unexpected events in an agile way.

Handling unexpected things is really up to our mindset. Have you ever thought that planning everything simply doesn’t work? We don’t plan our everyday conversations, we don’t plan what we are going to say when we meet a friend, and don’t have a script for these. Even if we have some ideas on a topic, we need to discuss with someone, circumstances may lead to a different result. Still, we do practice conversations every day. We need to accept the fact that feeling secure about planning and executing things is not always working. We need to concentrate on being secure in whatever happens we will surely be able to handle it. Just like in our conversations. It is a big part of our self-development.

3.

SELECTION

Estimate how much time you need to complete the planned tasks! Include only those tasks that you can definitely perform on a regular (working) day, and do not forget to write short tasks if there are a lot of them. Set priorities and don't take too much!


Agenda tips

PRIORITY

Check the priority order for the selected tasks: Choose up to 2 important and urgent tasks and 2-3 important but not urgent tasks daily. Think about your performance when you schedule tasks!

MISSED ACTIVITIES

Apply the 60:40 rule when you plan your day, which means you spend 60% of your working time with fixed things and tasks. You can spend 40% of your remaining time on leisure: you spend 20% on unexpected events and 20% on spontaneous social or creative activities.

ACTIVITIES

Initially, the most important thing is to look at the tasks you need to do that day. (Hint: important and urgent task list can give you a quick and easy overview) And not to leave you in doubt, the answer for the previous „thinking time” question is nr. 2 and 4.

4.


Time limit for tasks

We are often short on time, forcing us to produce quick results. In such phases, work is much more goal-oriented and more effective if time limits are set.

Has it ever happened to you that you set your alarm to 6 am since you had an important task to do the next day and actually you woke up at 5:59? It is similar to the timeframe if you pair it with a task. According to experience, this phenomenon can be applied to routine things as well!

We need exactly as much time to solve a problem as we have at our disposal. So if we work just simply on a task, we tend to stall for it. Try to think of an email you needed to write to a partner or a meaningful person, or even a job application. You start writing, then re-writing, re-framing it, and reading through it several times, so it is (almost) perfect. After a long time the masterpiece is ready but it took at least 2 hours of your time. Also, if you eventually put a timeframe to this task (let’s say half an hour), then more likely you will finish the (almost) perfect writing in much less time. Ideally in half an hour. If we plan to have a given amount of time on the schedule for tasks, we will achieve the same result in a much shorter time. However, when we schedule our time, we must be realistic. If we plan unreasonably little time on a task, it will certainly affect the quality of the work. So try to do your work on the shortest possible time scale. Determine realistic time limits for task solutions. You'll see how much more effective your work will be!

5.


Daily Goals – useful tips

Determine your daily and weekly motivating goals.

Create a simple method to control and get the most out of your success!

Keep track of your tasks during each phase of daily events.

Precisely defined daily goals help to set the right priority order.

Start your day by setting a goal that motivates you in everyday life!

6.


Schedule

While the daily schedule focuses on meetings, current events, and their urgency, the weekly and monthly schedule helps you keep up with your long-term goals.



Weekly schedule

When:
Always create your schedule at the end of the last working day of the week. The impressions of the last week are still clear in your mind, you are still aware of what you have not done and you can easily take them to your next week's schedule.

Content: Weekly goals The last week's unfinished tasks The monthly schedule is your tasks and activities and your list of tasks

Tip: This is a perfect closing for the week - you can start with a clear conscience the weekend.

Required time: calculate 20 minutes

Important: Apply the 60:40 rule



Monthly schedule

Content:
Monthly goals
Highlights of the previous month
Some activities from the annual plan, project lists and to-do list

When:
At the beginning of each month
or a little before the end

Tip: Plan your personal goals and activities. This will remind you of all important information.

Required time: calculate 30-40 minutes

7.

procrastination, tips for anti-procrastination, introducing the rhythm of workflow and work performance

Successful timing is mostly up to you. The best techniques and methods can catch you if you do not have minimal self-discipline and consistent thinking.

I know my own „time-bandits" and distracting factors,
or do I have the right strategy to avoid them?
Do I use my performance as well as I can?
Do I pay enough attention to increasing my performance by taking breaks and recreational activities?
Do I sometimes say NO?

The biggest time wasters are the following:

Interruption and Performance

Unfortunately, interruption or disruption is a part of everyday work. Our environment - eg. external factors, too, but we, ourselves can also distract our own attention.

Because of the interruption….
... we have to start again. (it takes up to 40 minutes to go back to deep work phase after interruption)
... the time spent on useful work ranges from interruptions to interruptions.
... our performance is reduced every time. This phenomenon is called the sawtooth effect.

External time-bandits

External time bandits are disturbing factors that come from outside and can be caused by colleagues, customers, or bosses.

Remember the 60:40 rule. This teaches us to leave 20% of our time on unexpected events during our daily planning. So you don't have to give up any of the planned, important activities, and you can even perform urgent tasks on time. In other words, you can disarm your time bandits.

There is a study that says if there is an interruption in your work it can take up to 20 minutes to take you back where you left. So if you are doing meaningful work do try to do it in a time when interruptions can be excluded. Turn off your phone, lock the door and concentrate on the high priority task.

Internal time bandits - procrastination

Our biggest internal (or personal) time bandit is procrastination. Procrastination is like a rapidly spreading disease.

We all have different reasons for postponing a particular task. But as we have seen in the B-tasks chapter, procrastination can have a detrimental effect on our work habits. It causes unwanted stress.

Here are some tips and techniques for Anti-procrastination. Try to use the one that fits your personality and style the best.

Eliminating frequent interruption factors

“Silent hour” is a time when we concentrate with all our energy to accomplish the task. It is the time of the day when the least amount of “disturbance” occurs.

Time-saving during a phone call - Phone calls take a lot longer if we are not prepared.

-Make a checklist for important calls.
-Pre-announced phone time
-Automatic feedback when we will be available

Why is it so difficult to say 'NO'?

It seems we don't have enough time for anything, just because we can't say 'NO'. Usually, we don't want to hurt anybody, so we tend to say yes to things we know are interrupting our work. This is a kind of moral dilemma because we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings and let’s be honest we are people pleasers seeking for recognition…

We need to practice how to say 'NO', because we can protect our productive work from distracting factors and so we can enjoy our leisure time without having to work.

How?
-Always explain WHY not…
-Suggest another alternative
-Prepare NO in advance
-Show the benefits of saying NO to the other person
-Have time to think about it

8.


Work performance

Have you ever thought about the time when we are at the peak of our performance?
In general, it is true for most peoples’ performance:
Our performance level is the best in the morning. No other time of the day will reach this level.
In the early afternoon, we can see a slight decline (Note: coffee does not shorten this stagnation period, rather it prolongs it).
In the early evening, our performance level reaches a temporary peak.
The high priority and high value tasks contribute to the long term goals, so in general we should concentrate to do these tasks in the morning period, while our brain is still fresh and ready to concentrate much more than in the afternoon.
High value tasks are the presentation you wish to make for a promotion, or plan you need to do to achieve the next step in your life, etc.
After giving a time frame for the high priority tasks you can continue your workflow with the lower still urgent tasks.
These are answering emails, finishing reports, etc.

Tips on performing better

Take a break regularly

An important part of an effective schedule is to take a break at regular intervals! The pause rule is to hold a 10-minute break after 90 minutes of work. Working in front of a computer - when we work remotely we lose track of time: In this case, the interval between breaks is shortened - after a 50 minute screen job, a 10-minute break is required.

Relax your eyes

Rub your palm until it heats up. Cover your eyes, enjoy the darkness, warmth and relax.

Instantaneous holiday

Close your eyes and imagine yourself on a beautiful vacation spot… Whether it is a blue lagoon with palm trees or a snowy mountain peak, it depends on your imagination.

Smile

This is the best remedy for stress. The smile indicates to your body that you are in a good mood!

9.

take the module 9 quiz to self-reflect on what you learned

9

Quiz Module 9

1 / 10

Planning your strategic goals are not important but urgent.

2 / 10

We need exactly as much time to solve a problem as we have at our disposal.

3 / 10

Important and urgent tasks (A tasks) or activities have to be done immediately and you have to do them yourself.

4 / 10

Working with checklists saves you a lot of time and energy.

5 / 10

Our biggest internal time bandit is our phone (giving signals)

6 / 10

Most remote working people are the most efficient at night 

7 / 10

If I spend 6 to 8 minutes in the evening on planning the next day, I can save up to 1 hour the next day

8 / 10

The 60:40 rule is about 60% of working and 40% of chatting with coworkers or friends

9 / 10

I don’t need to plan my work out hours. I will exercise if I have time.

10 / 10

When planning the next day’s schedule while prioritizing I always make sure I have my least favorite tasks upfront the list.

Your score is

The average score is 62%

0%

bravo! you concluded the NINTH module of this e-course
take a break before the next module and let us know how you relate to the memes we created for you