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newtimes - 12 days ago

How to meet deadlines when remote working

On the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, most people have found themselves working remotely and having to accomplish most of the tasks online. Though for many working remotely comes with its own advantages, including having to work from home, avoid traffic jams and saving on time spent on the road, there is a downside to it which professionals have to deal with on a daily basis. These include procrastination, tight deadlines and clutter -having many things to do at the same time. Very often you will find people opening many files at the same time, all with different tasks which must be accomplished and before you know it, you are caught up by deadlines. For some, the many assignments are coupled with online education, all of which might lead to an overload of pending work such as presentations to make, documents to fill and meetings to attend. If not well managed, experts say this can lead to stress, panic, and exhaustion resulting from lack of sleep and poor meal timing, all of which can bear heavily on one’s health. Below are some tips from human resource experts which can help you cope with these challenges and ensure that you remain healthy even as most of us continue to work from home. Plan your day It is important to plan your day according to the different tasks you have to accomplish. Allocate time to each task and stick to the plan. There are several task manager apps you can use to manage your tasks and make a list of things to do and set up a time limit for them. However, the task manager alone is not enough. Your level of concentration and making sure that you stick to your work plan is very important. Clear clutter It is important to try and keep your desk tidy. They say a tidy desk is a tidy mind. A free mind and a tidy environment help you to work properly and efficiently. A tidy desk at home is a place where you can concentrate well. Even if you do not have a desk, mark that corner where you sit and consider it your office. Give it the same respect you used to give your office. On the computer, make sure you close all unnecessary files and tabs which can be a distraction. There is no proof that doing many things at the same time is a sign of hard work. Avoid distractions When working at home, it is easy to find things to distract you. One moment you are working, the next you are checking Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or even other social media platforms to see what is going on before completing the task. Before you know it, an hour is gone and another one. It is important to try to concentrate on work and check on less important things later. If music helps you to concentrate, plug in your earphones. You will be surprised how you will utilise your time. Take healthy breaks A few minutes to stretch or enjoy a good cup of tea is good to re-energise and refocus on your goals. Do things which help you feel relaxed, like have a cup of coffee and take a short walk around your house to make it enjoyable. It will help you avoid stress and also deliver effectively but again do not over indulge. Allocate your time well Understandably, our lives are not all about work. For people with families or even individuals, there is always something unrelated to work that you have to accomplish, take or pick a child from school, pick a few things from the grocery, house chores etc. It is therefore important to know what time is allocated to what activity and at the same time ensure that the time slots are respected. If you go to shop and decide to sit at the boutique and have a beer, chances are you will miss your deadline and the ones expecting you to deliver will not be amused. Working backwards As mentioned, allocating time for each task is key but also working backwards helps. Try to prioritise your work or do work that you wish to do, or maybe do presentations first and document list or excel work later. Easier tasks that can be achieved with little effort can be given priority, that way you will clear the task list quickly. You can meet work deadlines by working backward, using prioritisation of tasks, putting the most important and easy ones first. Give it a shot and see what difference it will make. Good luck!


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