Today, our routine look’s anything but ordinary. However, we must have a schedule. I have been working remotely for quite some time. I don’t call it working from home but running an operation from home.
I wanted to share my schedule with you and how I can stick to it. It is crucial to have organizational skills to maintain your working environment. It doesn’t take a few weeks to master, but months and for some of us years. The number reason I have a schedule is to put in boundaries of how many hours I day I work to ensure I don’t burn out. My plan and this blog post is based on my role in sales but is practical for all functions.
First things first, If you are new to operating at home, create a list of all the Pros and Cons of working in an office, here is mine for some inspiration:
|– Faster Response time with colleagues|
– A Clear start and Finish
– Coffee Breaks
– Have a clean working environment
– Free Internet
– Building Rapport with colleagues
|– Too many distractions throughout the day|
– Commuting to Work
– Too much food and drinks to eat
– People stealing my cables
Okay, there are a lot of pros to working in an office, but the list of working remotely is much more detailed. However, at this point, this post is not regarding what’s better; it’s only about building a schedule.
Now that you have the PROs list created, it is crucial to incorporate these into your weekly schedule, remotely.
Tip #1 Pre-Schedule the Things that Matter
How I do this is by scheduling in the below re-occurring meetings weekly. Whether you are using outlook or Gsuite, this can be done through the settings. Here are the things that I pre-schedule. If these things are important to you, you should rarely skip them.
- Weekly Touchpoints with Manager, & Account Executive
- Monday Morning Coffee Break with the full team
- Lunch Break
- 1:1 Coaching Session with Mentor
- Manufacture Meeting – Sync up
- Internal Team Meetings
Tip # 2 Block your non-working hours
“I cannot log off at 5:30 PM, due to my colleagues and my customers sending in requests”
I never did this before COVID-19, but today I am finding it crucial for me. Due to all my colleagues working from home, it seems everyone is working crazy long hours.
When working in Switzerland for three years, I learned it was rude to send emails on the weekend or after 5:30 PM in their culture, unless something was really on fire. Now, I pre-set all my emails to send in the morning if I am working past 5:30 PM. It is a simple courtesy to help your customers and co-workers have a break at the end of the day to disconnect. I have difficulty not to check my emails at night, so this helps everyone.
Here are two excellent links on how to set your working hours in your calendar.
Tip #3 How to Communicate your Schedule
Having a great schedule built out is excellent, but not communicating it to your manager is half of the planning. If your manager doesn’t buy into it or support your schedule, it will end up not working out.
Notify your colleagues and customers of your response times and working hours so that there are no misunderstandings. This process can be done slowly over time, through phone conversations and just training how you respond to people’s requests.
“I can’t stop working at 5:30 PM because the requests just keep coming in”
The worse thing is to leave someone hanging when they need to get a hold of you.
Here are my tips on creating a schedule, feel free to leave a comment below, with some best practices that you are currently doing. I would love to learn from you!