As a telecommuter, it can be challenging to stay focused and productive. To do this, it’s important you avoid time wasters, remain motivated, and set goals you can work toward.
The decision to telecommute is often made because it’s a way to save time. For example, it saves time you’d otherwise spend commuting. To benefit though, it’s important to work efficiently. This means learning how to prevent time wasters from eating into your core work hours.
Avoid time wasters
Time wasters are tasks that need to be done but aren’t essential to the achievement of your daily goals. These are some examples of time wasters:
- surfing the Internet,
- reading and filing personal e-mails,
- answering the door or home telephone,
- chatting with family members, and
- filing papers.
It can be difficult to avoid time wasters because they’re activities that do need to be completed eventually. But you can use strategies to help them from eating into your core work hours. These include using distractors as rewards during work breaks, rewarding yourself for avoiding distractors, and establishing consequences for not avoiding these distractors.
Using distractors as rewards
Breaks are necessary part of a work day. They’re important for your health and ensure you can think clearly when you are working. It’s a good idea to combine breaks with time wasters, and to define them as a form of reward for completing more important work tasks.
For instance, you may plan to dedicate a coffee break or 20 minutes of your lunch break to reading and filing personal e-mails.
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