5 time-management tools to boost your WFH productivity
“I’m loving WFH and am even motivated to do my tasks, but I’m struggling to manage time and get those tasks done.”
I’ve heard some variations of this complaint from every third remote worker.
In general, here’s the problem:
You start working, you’re motivated to complete your tasks…. but, you end up losing your time between emails, distracting websites, and doing boring tasks. In the end, your work is unfinished.
The good news is you can fix this. You do that using the best time-management tools. What are those?
Emails have become synonymous with remote work. Whether you have to communicate or collaborate, email is a must-have remote tool. But, while the ease of communication it provides is remote-friendly, the constant notifications which lead to back-and-forth communication consume a large chunk of an employee’s time.
A message here, a reply there - an employee wastes 3.1 hours per day, sending and receiving emails. That’s 15 hours per day and a shocking 20 full weeks per year. That’s a lot of time wasted that could be spent on getting things done faster and better.
Here’s where Mailman comes in. It helps you to decide when and what emails should land in your inbox. You can pause emails during a preset time so that you don’t receive emails when you’re doing deep work.
Other features include:
a) Set timely intervals and receive emails only during that time.
b) Block spam and unimportant senders that affect your productivity. Mailman will send you a daily digest of all the blocked emails. You can unblock them if you want to.
With this feature, you control how you want each sender to be treated in the future, whether you want it to be let through immediately or automatically blocked.
c) Add important senders, keywords, or domains you always want to receive emails to the VIP list. This allows you to read these emails as soon as they are sent.
Pricing: Start with a 21-day free trial and then opt for the paid plan ($8 per month, paid annually. Or $10 per month.
2. Pomodoro Tracker
Do you struggle to complete your tasks on time?
The Pomodoro technique is for you. It involves breaking your tasks into 25-minutes intervals (or longer to suit your working needs. I use a 40-minutes interval) followed by a 5 minutes break. Each time interval is known as pomodoro. After 4 pomodoros, you should take a longer break of 15-30 minutes.
The Pomodoro tracker is a time-tracker tool that will help you set up as many pomodoros as you want.
Its features include:
a) Select the tasks you need to complete and put them on the To-do list.
b) Set a timer of 25 minutes before you start working.
c) You can customize the Pomodoro, short break, and long break duration as you want. Go to settings > Change it.
d) Use the tool in your native language.
e) Get detailed reports on your progress.
Here’s how to use The Pomodoro tracker:
a) Set a timer for 25 minutes (or longer that works for you).
b) Work until the timer rings.
c) Take a short break of 5-10 minutes.
d) Repeat the Pomodoro 4 times.
e) Take a longer break of 15-30 minutes.
Website: The Pomodoro tracker
Todoist is a to-do list and task manager. Think of it as a 24/7 available friend who will help you to remember important things and get them done.
“Todoist gives you the confidence that everything’s organized and accounted for, so you can make progress on the things that are important to you. It has helped millions of people complete over 1.5 billion tasks in 150+ million projects.”
Some features include:
a) Capture and Organize tasks in seconds.
b) Todoist surfaces the right tasks at the right times based on your priority levels, so you always know what to focus on next.
c) Build your task board to fit your working style. Todoist gives you custom task views based on due dates, projects, assignees, and more.
d) Connect Todoist with your email, Zapier, Google Calendar, and other files.
e) Set daily and weekly goals. Plus, get detailed reports on your productivity trends.
Pricing: Free and paid ($3 per month, billed annually. Or $4 per month).
Remote workers waste countless hours doing manual, repetitive tasks. You’re better off automating them. Zapier lets you do that, so you spend time on important tasks and get more done in less time.
You can set up a trigger and the subsequent action you want Zapier to take.
Some features include:
a) Set up to 100 actions in a single zap.
b) Zapier performs different actions based on if/then logic. You just have to provide the instructions.
c) Set filters. Zapier will perform the action only when those conditions are met. You can also schedule your trigger to run when you want or delay the action step.
d) Add a formatting step.
Pricing: Free and paid plan.
5. Rescue Time
The best way to manage your time is to track your time and optimize it.
Rescue Time allows you to track your time. You can “find your strengths and see where you need to improve.”
Some features include:
a) Get a personal daily focus work goal and let Rescue Time automatically keep track of it as you work.
b) “Rescue Time tracks your work and alerts you to the best times for uninterrupted work, or when you’re losing focus and trying to tackle too many tasks at once.”
c) When you want to do uninterrupted work, begin a focus session. “Rescue Time blocks your biggest distractions and reports on how well you focus.” You can even use Freedom to block distracting websites and apps while you work.
d) Get reports and understand you are spending your time. Use that information to improve your time management.
e) Know what are your biggest distractions and how much it’s affecting your work.
Website: Rescue Time
Pricing: Free and paid plan ($9 per month)
Take your time back
WFH is a blessing for employees, but it can soon feel overwhelmed if you don’t manage your time. Use these 5 time-management tools to strike a healthy work-life balance and increase your work productivity.