The pandemic had brought most of us to opt to work from home. It also introduced us to new and appealing job opportunities for independent individuals who prefer to work at their own pace — the kind of freedom not present in an office setting.

The freedom of telecommuting, however, also comes with negative side effects that can also affect your workflow in the long run if you do not know how to manage your time.

Productivity expert Dave Crenshaw shares some tips on LinkedIn about time management that will help you stay productive without compromising your personal time.

Establish a clear boundary

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Trick your brain into thinking you will work in an office, which means setting a definite schedule when to start and stop working. It also includes establishing a workplace at home.

You don’t need to push yourself unnecessarily over time, and you shouldn’t let the outside world bother you when working at your private home office. Drawing a line this way makes you more productive and efficient.

Commit to using a calendar

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Perhaps the most underrated tool that can help us organize our busy schedule. A calendar can serve as your “time budget” and dashboard to spend all hours in a week. I recommend Google Calendar for its multifunctional and cross-platform features.

Overestimate how long things are going to take

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Setting appropriate hours on how long you will be working can be a little tricky, so the general rule of thumb is to presume all of your tasks can be time-consuming to take the edge off your workload so you won’t feel like you’re lagging and stressed. Whenever you get things done earlier than expected, you have extra time as a reward.

Prioritize

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Eisenhower task matrix, one of the time management frameworks used to manage tasks and determining urgent matters.

Another way to lessen our stress and regain absolute control of our work is to prioritize tasks with high value or give you extra time. Determine how urgent the tasks are and how impactful they would be.

Avoid distraction so as not to lose focus

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You can’t get rid of distraction, but letting it get into your workspace can be frustrating. The classic trick to avoiding distractions, aside from what was mentioned so far, is to silence them out even if they’re present.

Putting on your headset is the most common way to block noisy distractions. For those who cannot use headsets for some reason, it’s been suggested to use a small fan to create white noise and mitigate other sources of noise near you.

Visually, make sure you don’t overlap your work hours with your activities, as these will get you distracted. Finish your tasks first, shop online later.

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