Time management can already be tricky under normal circumstances but we currently operating under entirely new parameters. While working remotely comes naturally to your team, this change in our daily lives has proven to bring new set of challenges for many of us. The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the way we manage our personal and professional lives. Being able to accommodate to these changes will ensure your team can maintain effective time management skills.

Here are three key tips that will ensure your team stays on track.

Plan Ahead (As Much As You Can)

For the first few weeks of the COVID-19 public health crisis, most of us had to embrace a “take this day-by-day” mentality. While this approach was inevitable, now that things will not be going back to normal in the short term, it’s imperative to plan ahead as much as possible. 

Look at what’s coming up, and figure out a plan that accommodates how the pandemic has changed how team members can meet their deadlines. Don’t schedule so many meetings in a day that your team ends up using up their fragmented time inefficiently. Since everyone has been impacted by the pandemic in their own way, being sensitive to energy management is a must. Create a schedule that aligns with those energy windows. 

Be sure to consider what your team’s family or personal obligations are at this time. Take time to hear everyone out, and plan ahead for the ways a team member’s productivity may need to shift. Many are trying to tackle far more than just work concerns right now. Making sure you are respectful of that can make a huge impact on how everyone operates as an entity.

Set Up a Schedule For Check-Ins and Expect Distractions

While you may already have this in place, this crisis will most likely create certain lags in timelines. Many team members are used to 100 percent remote work, while some are more used to being in an office with a more rigid structure. 

During a crisis and it is totally normal to feel panicked. That said, it’s important for everyone to meet deadlines and goals so quality is not compromised. Do some research and ask your team what resources, tools, and hardware they may need during these unprecedented times that can minimize distractions. This means checking-in frequently to predict and accommodate all needs as they arise.

One or several of your team members may even get sick with the virus. 

How can you make sure the rest of the team members is not impacted? Do you have a backup plan in case someone is unable to work? That is our reality now, and it’s something you need to stay on top of. 

Encourage Team Members to Practice Self-Care

While working in your pajamas throughout the day may have been at the beginning, this was before we were barely able to leave our homes and before our usual stressors were piled onto with ones we don’t quite know how to manage yet. You may not be able to control how someone conducts themselves but can encourage them to adopt a daily routine. Showering, getting dressed for the day, eating and listening to your body all go a long way. 

Your team will burn out quickly if they forget to take care of themselves. The current social media humor is: no one is wearing pants right now. While that notion may be entertaining and perfectly acceptable in theory, people require a routine that consists of getting dressed for the day, having a well-balanced breakfast, and a designated workspace that will ensure success in our new normal.

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