4 Tips to Managing Time Well in a Hybrid World

Having to maneuver through a global pandemic while trying to find a new normal can understandably leave people stressed and frazzled. There wasn’t time to get accustomed to new changes as businesses had to keep running. This led to a workforce expected to continue to perform but little idea about how to manage it. Here are four specific tips for making your life more manageable during your hybrid workflow.

Set a Time Audit

Giving yourself a time audit to see how long it takes you to complete a task is helpful in regular office hours and a hybrid workflow. It can be easy to get wrapped up in personal tasks when working from home. A loud, meowing cat could motivate you to get up and feed the pets, and passing a stack of dirty dishes could pull you away to start another chore. Having a time audit can help you be mindful of distractions because you know you are timing yourself. 

To properly give yourself a time audit, start by setting your intentions about what you want to get done during the workday. Next, throughout the day, track yourself by writing down what you are doing and how much time you spend doing it. At the end of the day, look back through your log and see if what you wanted to spend time on ended up being where your time went. An example of this could be the desire to write a book. If you have this desire, but in reality, you spent only a short amount of time writing and the majority of your time working on other things, you will quickly see which areas need better time management moving forward. 

A person sitting on a couch possibly working in a hybrid work mode

Break up Your Day

For those who can work outside of the typical 9 to 5, there is freedom in breaking up your 8 hour day. Breaking your work hours up can help keep you focused when it is time to complete work. Whether you split your hours in half or you spread them into more manageable-sized chunks throughout the day, giving yourself time to take a break from important tasks can help you feel better prepared when it’s time to handle them again. You can use these off-the-clock breaks to rest and relax or focus on home tasks that need to be completed or that keep distracting you. 

Remember to Give Time to You

Working from home is not an excuse to get no work done or to be available for work 24 hours a day. If you try that, you may soon find yourself with more free time than you know what to do with or hauled away! Working from home can make it harder to separate work issues from home issues. Working from the office can be freeing as you get in the car and drive away from a stressful day. Unfortunately, when working from home, you don’t get this separation. To artificially create these boundaries at home, get in the habit of working specific hours, in a specific space – it is great if you can create a little office. You need some definition to make the hybrid-at-home situation mentally healthy.  

Bad days at work don’t go away simply because you’re working from home, so how can you solve this issue? Be mindful. While you need to get work done while working from home, remember that it is your home. Getting in the habit of giving yourself tiny breaks throughout the day can help bring balance to a hybrid workflow. When you complete a project, take a minute and do some stretches or some dishes! When you finish a meeting, step outside and get some fresh air. Using the freedom of working from your home can make it easier to incorporate things you need to do or enjoy into your work life than it is while you’re at the office. Take advantage of it! 

Utilize ONE Planner 

Back when people used to work mainly from an office, it made sense to keep separate work and home planners. Back when people used to work mainly from an office, it made sense to keep separate work and home planners. Knowing that you would be at work from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday, made it easier to see when you would be free for personal plans. When working from home or in a hybrid style, it can be confusing to remember which days and hours you’ll be working and which are available for your personal life. Combing personal and work events into the same planner, whether electronic or hardcopy, can help reduce that confusion. 

Obviously, if you have a lot of work tasks, they might fill your planner quickly and be overwhelming just to see. Because of this, it is beneficial to abbreviate or combine tasks, so you have a clear picture of tasks and time without being overwhelmed by the specifics. Keeping this information in one place can help you make clear plans without the risk of overbooking yourself or making commitments you can’t keep. Additionally, seeing everything you should expect from a week can help you better prepare for it. 

Hybrid working is a new challenge but one that can become just as familiar and steady as the way you used to work. Just remember to manage your time, learn to use one planner (we recommend Microsoft Planner and Outlook Calendar! It is wherever you are, and accessible from any device), and create personal habits that help you achieve a good work/home balance and be productive

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