Time management tips for working remotely

Mila Poberezhniuk
HR People Partner

Now you can find tons of articles on the Internet about how to keep your productivity if you don't work at the office. Of course, each individual is different, but the basic principles of work remain the same:

  • Manage tasks (= prioritize)
  • Manage time (= plan)

The list of task management techniques is quite extensive:

  • Eating live frogs: Do the worst things first
  • Action method
  • Timeboxing
  • The to-do list & the to-don't list
  • Kanban
  • Must. Should. Want.
  • Eisenhower matrix
  • Don't break the chain
  • Pomodoro (sprints)

In this article, I want to share my favorite ones that I use day in and day out. 

Eisenhower matrix

Making a list of tasks with the Eisenhower matrix is easy. On a piece of paper, we group the tasks into four squares: urgent and vital, non-urgent and vital, urgent and unimportant, and non-urgent and unimportant. The critical and essential tasks, which threaten the entire work of a team or a company if they are not solved, are performed first. Next, we plan and execute the non-urgent and important ones, our preliminary work (current tasks). The tasks from this square lead us to our goals and success. Avoid delaying them. Otherwise, they will run "urgent and vital."

Urgent and unimportant tasks do not move us towards the goals and take away energy and time. Therefore, delegate them or put them aside for free time (in the backlog). As for non-urgent and unimportant ones, it is clear that we don't even take on them. At home, you may be tempted to watch a soap opera, surf a news feed on your smartphone, read messages on a messenger, eat a snack or take a phone call. Stick to a planned schedule. Then your productivity will always be high.

Pomodoro – The Tomato Technique, aka the procrastination "killer"

A smartphone timer is enough to break down your work into 25-minute intervals, during which you concentrate on a task as much as possible. Then take a short 3-5 minute break (for coffee/tea, distracted call, household chores). Go back to work on the task for 25 minutes. After every 4 "tomatoes," be sure to take a big break for 15-20 minutes. It is crucial to fix the "tomatoes" time intervals in a notebook and cross out the passed ones at the end of a day. Be sure to get a portion of endorphins ("happiness hormone") and praise from colleagues.

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