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Working from Home: 10 Tips for Managing Your Time

As a translation agency, our team includes more than 2500 professional linguists located all around the globe. Working from home is something we know well! During self-isolation, our translators want to share with you their 10 best tricks and tips for managing your time when working remotely:

1. Make a list of tasks

Prepare the list the night before to get a quick and efficient start to the day. What’s important is prioritizing: decide which tasks are important and which ones can wait until morning. From large tasks to daily chores like making a grocery list on your lunch break… include everything! Write down how much time each task should take. Another tip: break large tasks down into sub-tasks; much more satisfying!

2. Forget multitasking

It takes the human brain 15 minutes to concentrate on a task. If you switch constantly back and forth, it affects your productivity and you end up losing time. Focus on one thing at a time, and don’t move on to the next task until you’re finished—you’ll gain time and efficiency.

3. No personal tasks

Don’t work on tasks you wouldn’t work on at the office: doing laundry, letting the dog out, etc. If you see things that need to get done, make a note to do them at the end of the day.

4. Avoid browsing the web

News, social media, the weather… there are so many distractions online. Recent studies have shown that a worker can lose up to 2.5 hours of productivity a day because of Internet distractions. If possible, stay away from your smartphone, too.

5. Listen to yourself

Are you a morning person? If so, work on your big tasks in the morning. You’ll start to get tired after lunch, so it’s best to save simpler tasks (like answering emails, making calls, etc.) for the afternoon. If you’re more creative on a full belly, save creative tasks for later in the day.

6. Stick to a routine

Having a routine is great for morale and teamwork. Get up at the same time, and keep set work hours with a specific time for lunch. This helps your colleagues know when you’re available. It’s easy to always be connected, but outside office hours, turn off your computer and disable notifications on your smart devices.

7. Take a lunch break

Eating quickly at your desk is an easy habit to fall into. Instead, go for a walk, meditate, etc. Turn off your screen and avoid electronics for at least 30 minutes a day. Respect your break time the same way you do your work time.

8. Socialize

Working from home can feel lonely. Enjoy every social interaction. Work remotely with a team when possible, plan video conferences, join online classes. You’re not the only one in this situation—we’re all isolated!

9. Set up a dedicated work space

Stay away from the bed or couch. These are places for relaxing, not working. Create a work space.

10. Act like you’re going to work

PJs might be comfy, but they’re not necessarily a productive style. Set an alarm, make your coffee, and get dressed like you’re leaving for the office, or at least like you’d want to be seen if a colleague calls you on video without warning. Your mind will be motivated to work and your productivity will benefit.

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