How To Set (And Keep) A Schedule
This WFH life takes some getting used to
If it wasn’t hard to keep a schedule before, the new normal has made it even more difficult. Sure, we still have our meetings and classes to keep us up to speed, but anything beyond those calendared activities become a little blurry.
There are, essentially, no more official clock out triggers—whether that used to be lunch hour, the shuttle that took you home or the last class at the end of the day. So how do you stick to a schedule nowadays?
Write it all down
This tip is part of everyone’s list, but there’s no going around it. Unless you have perfect memory, you’re bound to forget a task or two. Others don’t like the pressure of a to-do list because they can only get so much done by the end of the day—with some activities taking longer than planned—but don’t panic when this happens; it happens.
Treat your to-do list as a simple tracker with only the priority items having strict deadlines. The rest of the items are just reminders.
Calendar even the individual things
If school or the office had your hours scheduled for something specific, do the same even while you’re at home. The classes and the meetings will be in your calendar, but take it a step further by calendaring even the tasks you need to do on your own. Have a paper due on Friday at 11AM? Make sure to schedule a final review and read-through on Thursday afternoon. Have a presentation for tomorrow? Schedule in a practice a few hours before.
Stick to a routine
This is particularly important in our new normal. With the bedroom just a few feet away and the refrigerator even closer, it’s hard not to lay down or grab a snack at any minute of the day—but don’t. One way to stick to your schedule is to have a routine for the daily things: lunch, dinner, breaks. If you entertain the thought of having a break at any hour of the day, your day will end up full of them.
And while the official clock out time is no longer announced with the office clearing out or the school hallways dimming, do it for yourself, still. If you have it in your head that you need to close your electronics by 6PM, then you’ll get used to having to get everything done before that.
Have a buddy!
Keep yourself on your toes by having a buddy, hopefully someone that works on the same things that you do. You can help each other keep motivated, in line and responsible. We know that misery loves company, but that isn’t what we’re going for these days. The goal is accountability!
As you go along your day, take the time to reward yourself once in a while when you get something particularly daunting out of the way. It can be whatever works for you: watching a YouTube video, a short yoga session, finally giving in to a food craving, having a chat with family or friends, the thrill of checking out an online cart. Remember that you cannot do only the things you need to do; you need to give yourself something you want once in a while, too.
One major thing you’ll need in order to stick to your schedule in a time of digital learning and remote working is a dependable connection. You won’t be able to get much done—submitting, reporting, attending classes or meetings—unless you have WiFi that you can count on during any and all hours of the day.
How to stick to a WFH schedule? See what works for you, what doesn’t and stick to what makes you most productive.
Continue to learn, work and watch from home with Globe At Home.