Working from home doesn’t change demands on your time. These demands may have in fact increased.

This week, we bring you Tim Urban’s TED talk titled “Inside the mind of a master procrastinator” as inspiration to think about managing your time.

Here are 5 things from this video that will help you think about taking care of the time management of your entire project, and not just your time.

1. Look out for things that are tangentially relevant to the matter at hand.

There’s always a colleague (maybe that’s you yourself) who gets carried away by something that’s not immediately relevant to the task at hand. If the project is to deliver a design or strategy document about cost-cutting, why are you getting into the history of money? Working from home doesn’t give you all the freedom to get into details that aren’t relevant.

2. Watch out for the spots where 2 or more projects can intersect.

There’s always another client, another delivery, another team waiting for your response. Maybe it’s you who is wanted in more than one project or maybe it’s more than one project sitting on your desk at the same time. If you’re not careful, one can suck you at the expense of the other. Working from home doesn’t.

3. Pay attention to the usual suspects like notifications.

The lockdown and the spread of the pandemic may cause you to check the news and updated several times an hour! It’s still a distraction masquerading as news and information. And it’s very difficult to catch because watching or following news is considered a good routine and habit. However, these notifications begin as headlines and paragraphs. But they end in consuming your time for long reads!


4. Check if you’re scheduling too many meetings.

Long meetings on video calls can be very difficult to bear. Planning the distribution of work through meetings takes time that could be better utilised actually doing the work. See if you can have quick individual calls or send short emails as a substitute for long meetings. Meetings are distractions too.

5. Not having a dedicated workspace can also be distracting.

At first, the whole of your home looks like your workstation. And it might look very liberating. For some people, maintaining a separate space they can leave after finishing their work can bring a rhythm leading to greater productivity. See if that works for you too.

With a little mindfulness, you can identify the sources of your distraction too, if any. We’ve given you the usual suspects based on Tim Urban’s video. It’s these distractions that make your procrastinate. Eliminate them and you might find yourself managing your time better. Let us know if these factors helped you.