How do you make sure that you aren't over-working or under-working while at home?

44 replies


Jack Davis
I recommend having clear and defined goals of what you want to get finished for that day. This way you know what has to get finished but can also stop when you have accomplished what you set out to tackle at the start of the day!
Hwei Oh
I've worked remotely for several years and it's certainly not for everyone. I'm relatively disciplined when it comes to time management and set daily & weekly tasks, and some are movable depending on levels of priority. I try and focus less on "hours" of work per day as I don't believe that's necessarily a measure of productivity. My gauge is when my kids say "are you still on the computer?" is that I've been working too much. And if you're finding time to binge watch anything.. then you are probably underworking!
@hwei_oh Thanks for sharing your input. I agree productivity isn't about the hours, it's about the amount of work done.
Richard Fang
I have a schedule of when I work and when I do other activities. From 6pm onwards to around 9pm, I am off limits. This is usually when I'm eating dinner, gyming or playing sports. I thrive working closer towards the night so I am usually back on working at around 11pm + I think everyone has their own schedules and its crucial to understand what you can work with. After figuring that out, you need to set boundaries. Not sure what you can do with underworking tho - i feel like that's just a motivation problem.
@richardfliu Great approach! Setting boundaries is the right way to go. And, even I believe that if you are underworking, it's probably because you don't like the work you do. That's something people have to work on a personal level.
Jessica Gottlieb
20+ years ago I started working from home. 15 years ago I made office hours. With few exceptions I get work done during that time, and always in my office. My home has an office in it. When I refused to let my home be my office I became more productive at work and happier at home.
Sarah Jordi
I'm part of the group of people that tends to do more work from home, because my work hours easily stretch into the evening and night (as this is when I can finally focus and get in the flow). One thing that helps me when working from home, is to set and plan clear blocks for hobbies and free time. So for example: I put a blocker in my calendar for when I want to go for a run or do something else for myself. Or I combine a business call with a walk along the river before lunch and then transition from the walk into an outdoor lunch break (without my laptop). But I notice that I have to plan it at the beginning of the day to then be able to stick to it.
Jim Morrison
It's really tricky because it's easy to be much more or much less productive WFH. Personally; I try to set clear time-boundaries... Makes life easier for the rest of the family too... I know I need to be productive in that time - and so long as I've focused and done my best I don't stress about stopping when the time is up. As a team; we're trying to keep a clear pattern/momentum/rhythm to do weekly sprints on specific sections of our products on a clear rotation... that helps set everyone's expectations up front... it also keeps up momentum because it doesn't allow us to go down rabbit holes for weeks on end. How are you feeling @tapsi? .. .do you feel you're over working or under working.. or in that anxious place where it could be both at any one time?
@jimbomorrison Thanks for sharing! For me, it's mostly over-working. The reason being lack of boundaries. But, I think I'm gonna set up a plan where I don't exhaust myself completely with work.
Jim Morrison
@tapsi yeah, absolutely normal I think. I’ve learned from my team over the years that more time ≠ more output... and quite often some people get more done if you restrict their hours! Not the same for everyone, I’m sure. Pretty sure it’s like that for me though... I basically procrastinate until I’ve only an hour left on any task, however big!
Lydia Sellers
I'm still figuring this out, too. Lately I've been taking walks outside in the morning before breakfast and then again at lunch. I've heard a lot of people talk about the mental health benefits of this, but I think for me, it's more about keeping my mind and body in sync with what time of day it is. Time doesn't slip by unnoticed as easily when you see the sun. :)
@lydiamsellers Sounds good. I personally believe that walks are really helpful for me to get my head straight. As soon as I finish my work, I go for a walk. Feels refreshing!
Amara Pope
this is a tough one but putting parameters around work hours is a great way to limit yourself from over-working and underworking - ensuring there is a specific window for work and that the rest of your day is spent doing other things & sleeping!
Bilal Chaglani
"Don't take your work home", it should be now BED instead of home. I believe if you can get your 6-8 hours a day sleep regularly (nothing more, nothing less), you are working just the perfect amount.
Stas Voronov
For several years now I have been working only from home and have been building my life-work balance for a long time. The morning/evening rituals, the pomodorro technique and the strict 8-hour limit help me. It turns out 8 slots for 50 minutes a day, after which I close my laptop and look for ways to have fun. Lately, Lego has helped a lot :) And meditation is also a good way to test how stressed you are and reduce stress of course. I also use health tracking tools
Maxim Frostman
Simples: I am using time tracking software ))
Dimitris Karavias
Embrace it. I felt weird not doing the standard 9-5. But 9-5 is weird, not me. Some days you have loads of work. Some days you're waiting on others and don't have anything productive to do. Instead of checking emails for the 50th time, I switch off and take a walk or clean the kitchen. In a typical office job you only do 2-4 hours of work per day. The rest is meetings, chatting, procrastination. So instead focus on your performance. Are you delivering? Great. Are you not? Address the root cause. It's rarely "not enough screen time".
Rashika Ahuja
I use tools to keep track of my focus hours so that I can escape both - Overworking and underworking - Pomodoro timer, Toggl :D
Liza Karelina
Use time trackers, which measures your activity and app, url tracking. You will get from them more insights than from tools like Toggl (there you may just forget to stop timer). Rescuetime is very usefull tool. Our team also developing such tool with focus on remote teams - AtTrack. We will launch in the next month. If you want to become our early adopter and try tool for free - follow me ;)
Cynthia porter
I think we have the necessity to be occupied all the time and feel guilty when we are not. But if you are feeling tired or burnout means that you need to slow down. In the other hand if you feel you are not doing enough or you are lazing around, make a schedule or a list of activities per day.
Nazim @Koinju
It's not about over or under working, it's more about getting things down. Time is only a metric of complexity. I prefer to be result oriented, it's more exciting :D
Aine Kavanagh
I think where people used to rely on their commute and the office as a way of defining the structure of their life and a physical separation of work and home life, now you need to do it yourself. For me creating structure has been keeping consistent with a morning routine, some form of exercise day to day, and a clear list of three things I need to do every day. No more, or no less. When the three things are complete, whether it's 10am or 2pm, the rest of the day is mine to choose, and I force myself to spend that time doing something non work related. I think this avoids over working (that's something I definitely struggle with)
Amelia Hansen
It can be tempting to start working early or stay late when working from home, but setting boundaries between your work and personal life is essential. Try to begin and result at the same time each day, and take regular breaks throughout the day.
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