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How to Maintain Your Working Hours

Many people tend to think that when working alone, it’s easy to maintain a healthy work/life balance and manage your own time. However, this is nothing but a common misconception regarding the work-from-home lifestyle.

How should you Maintain Your Working Hours

Without the structure of working in an office, your schedule might fall apart quicker than you’ve expected. Luckily, there are plenty of practices and tips for you to follow to maintain your work hours.

Build a healthy schedule
Build a healthy work schedule

The core principle of maintaining your working hours is building a healthy schedule — and actually sticking to it. Make sure to set realistic goals for yourself throughout the day, include plenty of breaks to balance out your work time, and don’t forget your meals.

Suggested article: How to Effectively Plan Your Day

We highly recommend making exercise a must-do, instead of a might-do. Using your breaks smartly and including a few physical exercises will help you regain your focus and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Break down your tasks into blocks of time. Give yourself a couple of hours to get a batch of tasks done, then take a break to freshen yourself up. Go outside for a breather, talk to friends and family, or watch some entertainment before getting back to work. Time blocks allow you to be motivated to get things done, especially if you reward yourself during your break time.

Always make sure that your daily schedule includes enough time for sleep. A healthy adult should get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. According to a widely cited NASA study, the “ideal” 26 minutes nap might help you perform better as well. Experiment with a nap break, and see how it works out for you!

Prioritize your time
Prioritize your time

(Work vector created by stories)

It’s one thing to plan your day, and it’s another to actually get things done. Make sure to sort your tasks in order of priority to maximize your time — this is especially useful if you’re working in time blocks as suggested above.

Make sure that the most important tasks come first. Things you need to tend to urgently should always be put on top of your to-do list, no matter how much time they take up.

After you’re done tending to immediate issues, move on to the most difficult tasks on your list. Generally, high-concentration tasks that require a lot of focus should be done as soon as possible. Easy and repetitive tasks can be pushed back further into the day.

Prioritize on a per-task basis as well. Breaking down a huge task to smaller sub-tasks will help you get a clearer view and make work less intimidating to start.

Know your strengths and weaknesses
Know your strengths and weaknesses

When working from home, you’re on your own almost all the time. This means that being mindful of your own boundaries and skills is extremely important. Don’t take on jobs that you know you’re not able to handle on your own without asking for the proper help you might need during the project.

On the other hand, do seek out opportunities that let your skills shine. This will allow you to enjoy working more and look at your tasks in a more pleasant perspective.

Strengths and weaknesses play into how you build your schedule as well. If you’re a morning person, build your schedule around waking up early and getting to your work as soon as possible. If you prefer the night owl lifestyle, sleep in, and tend to your tasks when you’re at your peak productivity.

Invest in time-tracking tools

Finding it difficult to track time and manage your schedule? Don’t worry. There are plenty of tools, websites, and applications for you to better manage your time with. I put together a list of both free and paid services that might help you when it comes to maintaining your work hours.

Know when to seek professional help
Know when to get help

If you feel like you’ve completely lost control over your work schedule, or you’re afraid it might happen soon, don’t be afraid to reach out. There’s no reason why you should handle the stress of managing your own working hours all alone. If it gets too much, get in touch with a professional.

Look for a business coach and schedule an appointment. Make sure to arrive prepared and cooperate with what your coach suggests. However, don’t be afraid to communicate when something isn’t working or if you want a change.

Final thoughts

We believe this article shed some light on what you can do to maintain your working hours when on your own. Remote work can be hard, but once you figure it out, the benefits definitely come through.

Always remember: maintaining a healthy work/life balance is always an ongoing process. Be patient with yourself and gradually make positive changes. Good luck!

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