How do you spend your time when you are working from home?

A common refrain, especially from those of us working from home in lockdown, is how fast the time flies. Days blur into weeks and months. The end of the year is fast approaching.

Or maybe the time drags for you based at home or working in a hybrid model. It is like Groundhog Day, where the routine is the same every day and the boundaries between work and home are blurred.

I conducted a LinkedIn poll to get people’s views on the topic. The question was, “What is one area you would like to improve about how you spend your time when you are working from home/hybrid working?”

The results (in percentages) were:

  • Clearer work/home boundaries 32%
  • Reducing distractions 30%
  • Setting priorities 22%
  • Team building 16%

Here is the flavour of some comments about the top two ranked factors, clearer work/home boundaries and reducing distractions.

“It’s the work/home boundary for me. I really need to work on keeping it separated better.”

“I get distracted like…”oh I think the dog needs a wash”…! 😏

“I find I am working longer hours at home …. with more distractions throughout the day.”

“I can’t wait for the kids to go back to normal school so I can have some structure back.”

“I think it’s so important to set this up since work is literally inches away from us and so tempting when we work from home.”

The gist of the comments seems to be if only we could reduce distractions and set clearer boundaries, we could get more done. Oliver Burkeman in his book, Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals has a contrary view to the advice given by many productivity improvement gurus about how to get more done while the demands on our time are increasing. “The average human life span is absurdly, terrifyingly, insultingly short,” he says. We have about 4,000 weeks, on average, hence the title of his book. He argues for rethinking our relationship to time and confronting the illusion that we will ever tick everything on our to-do list.  It is a sobering but somehow comforting thought to confront the reality that we do not have enough time to do everything.

🙋 What is your view about how you spend your time when you are working from home? 🙋‍♀️

Best regards, Brian