Our New Normal: Pandemic Time Management

We keep talking about creating a schedule while working from home and how it is beneficial in so many ways! But, for so many people who are in a totally new normal that is NOTHING like their previous normal, many of you may be asking, HOW?!?!

Forbes recently released an article specifically answering this question and it has some great tips!

One of the first things to grasp is that virtual meetings will be increasing. This can be an extremely difficult transition for some and with co-workers struggling to learn Zoom etiquette, these meetings can be more stressful than the normal meetings in the workplace. But, the best thing to do is just accept this change. The more scheduled meetings, rather than impromptu meetings, you have, the easier it will be to retain some control over your schedule.

Next, be intentional with your fragmented time blocks between meetings. You may only have 15 – 30 minutes before the next Zoom meeting starts, but if you plan to exercise or meditate or start the dishwasher in that timeframe, its much easier to make things actually happen! Schedule time to do your chores, but also schedule time to take care of yourself.

Set boundaries. Set your working hours as much as you possibly can and when you are outside of those hours, unplug! Close the laptop, put down the cellphone, and focus on personal tasks, time with loved ones, or time for yourself.

Along with this last idea is the fact that you need to let go of the guilt! While companies worry employees will slack off while working remotely, many studies have found the opposite to be true. Do not work all day, every day because you feel bad about not being in the office. Work your normal business hours and then be done! If you don’t, you’re setting yourself up for burnout, which would be even worse during this strange pandemic scenario than under normal circumstances. Focus on your results, not your hours worked.

Also, make sure you are aware of your own energy. Are you an early bird, a night owl, or is your biggest burst of energy right after lunch? Schedule accordingly so that you are working as effectively as possible during your working hours.

Lastly, if you are a manager, please be compassionate. Be compassionate with yourself and do not work yourself to exhaustion, but also be compassionate with your team. Everyone is dealing with their own personal challenges related to this pandemic and you may or may not know the extent of what your team members are facing. Respect their time and their privacy and try to pay attention to how and when your team members are working most effectively. Try to schedule meetings accordingly and make sure you respect their boundaries.

 

MacArthur, H.V. (2020). Effective Time Management While Working Remotely During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Forbes.com. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/hvmacarthur/2020/04/05/effective-time-management-while-working-remotely-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/#66d41dfb26df

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