8 Ways To Be More WFH Efficient

How to better manage your time while working from home.

By Steve Thio        30 March 2021

Without the formal setting and schedule of a normal office and pre-pandemic work day, Work From Home (WFH) arrangements can actually be a lot less productive and more stressful.

A common complaint about WFH is one tends to get easily distracted with home chores, family needs and other tasks that just bug you at the back of your mind.

You get tempted to catch a break to watch the next episode of your fave Netflix drama, or even go for a quick dip in the pool to beat the heat! These breaks help clear the mind and it’s always more tempting to just relax for a bit longer. The day just slips by and before you know it, youre up late into the night rushing to finish the work tasks of the day.

Here are some tips to hep you manage your time efficiently while working from home.

Organise Your Time

Its easy to organise your time for work, rest and play but keeping to the schedule can be a challenge. Try not to be too ambitious with your schedule: plot realistic time periods that suit your own working methods and processes. If you need a short break after every hour or work, then put aside a 10 minute rest time. It’s really up to you to decide the most productive schedule.

Rule of thumb: try to stick to your pre-pandemic office work day schedules where possible – a familiar routine helps you adjust better.

Sticking to your official work schedule also means you should be able to finish your work by 6pm and have your evenings and nights free for R&R and other activities.

Daily To-Do List

Create a simple to-do list before the start of your WFH day. You can prioritise items, and add and subtract along the way. The list will help you keep track of your progress and remind you of important/urgent tasks that need to be done by the end of the day.

Productive Timings

But if you find that you are more productive or work better outside the typical 9-5 hours (due to home and family responsibilities), you can request for flexible hours where possible. Let your boss and colleagues know of these changes so everyone will be able to compromise on a seamless and productive process.

Family Matters

To be efficient and productive while working from home requires the understanding and co-operation of your family members as well. Explain to them your work timings and schedules and that there should not be any distractions or interruptions during those hours, unless theres an emergency. This will help create an environment thats conducive for your work.

Set Meeting Days

WFH means more virtual meetings and these events can take up quite a lot of your own work and personal time. Having fixed days and times for meetings during the week will help organise everyones schedules, work processes and progress.

A time schedule of your meeting agenda and having a few meeting rules can help productivity and efficiency as well. Having small breaks in-between can help to keep everyone alert, attentive and productive. Work with your bosses and colleagues to plan your meetings.

Goal Setting

Set realistic and achievable goals and results with your boss and colleagues on a weekly or daily basis. This is especially important if youre working with the rest of your colleagues on a group project. They will know what to expect from you and plan their own schedules and work output and progress accordingly. Your bosses will also know what to expect from you and not question your WFH performance.

Use Alerts And Apps

Use available software and apps to help you keep track of time, upcoming meetings and your work progress. This will not only help you keep to your schedule but also remind you if youre taking too long a break!

Cut Online Activity

Theres a tendency for friends, family and even colleagues to assume that youre available 24/7 because youre WFH; they may send messages or call if they see you active on your social media platforms or accounts. To avoid these distractions, log out of your accounts and cut any social media activity during your work hours at home.

Share your WFH time management tips with us at magnsman@sph.com.sg!