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Sometimes, it’s hard to mind the hours when you’re working from home. Time allotted for household and work tasks starts to blur, and your schedule gets thrown off. So how do we avoid this conundrum? We ask scheduling professionals from Meetbit, a homegrown calendar app that aims to make scheduling painless, professional, and productive.
We talked to the company’s CEO, Lance Villacin, who first started Meetbit in college with Kirsten Sy, Meetbit’s chief product officer. It was born of a problem many college students, especially student-leaders like them, have: How do we balance our time for everything?
“It always becomes a long conversation trying to get groups together, or orgs, or [teams] for student projects,” said Villacin. The duo then developed Meetbit to find commonalities in calendars, send reminders to meeting participants, and to have a centralized invite scheduling link users can send to anyone.
Overall, Meetbit is a useful tool for productivity. “Once you jump into Meetbit, you quickly realize that [it] isn’t really just about meeting links and booking meetings with people; it’s really all about managing your time and making sure that you are able to do the things that you need to do when you want to do them,” says Villacin.
As individuals who were able to juggle academics, organizations, and building a business all during finals week, we can learn a thing or two from Villacin and his team on time management. Below are their five tips to make remote work more productive.
Have a dedicated space for work
If you have an area dedicated to work, it helps eliminate distractions and enable the right mindset. For the Meetbit team, who also work remotely, even a small corner-turned-workspace helps them get to business. “[It] helps to actually just get through things much faster and more efficiently,” says Villacin.
Stick to a routine that doesn’t sacrifice your personal life
“Even when you’re waking up, although it’s super, super convenient to just jump out of bed and jump onto your first meeting when you haven’t even had your breakfast yet, we really don’t recommend it,” says Villacin. Since you don’t have to go outside of your main living space for remote work, it may be helpful to have activities that create a separation between personal and work time. It could be as simple as stretching and having breakfast in the morning, or taking a walk around your neighborhood once your work hours end.
Block your work hours
When it comes to plans, winging your schedule is easy – until you actually have to do the work. Meetbit recommends time blocking during your work hours to set tangible goals. “[It] gives you an idea of how long each task is going to take. It also helps you plan. It’s kind of like giving yourself a deadline within each day … and how long each task is going to take and what you can realistically achieve within that day,” Villacin recommends. For example, you can set an hour for answering emails, and another to brainstorm for your deck, then 15 minutes in between to take a breather. Every move, no matter how small, is worth some dedicated time.
Switch up your location
Even with recreational activities at home, compressing your entire routine into just your living space can become monotonous after a while. Bring some excitement to your work day by switching up your scenery from time to time. “It does definitely help in having a great mindset when you’re working,” says Villacin. In fact, studies have suggested that working outdoors can increase happiness and energy, and can even improve memory. It’s a freedom afforded uniquely by a remote work setup, after all.
Use a time management software
Of course, this is a tip that the Meetbit team can attest to. “[Schedules are] not something you want to spend an hour [on] just trying to make sure that everything’s on track, right? So using a time scheduling software like Meetbit, or something else, does help you get that out of the way and allows you to focus on the work that really matters,” says Villacin. Making plans may seem simple when you map it out in your head, but it’s still mental labor that can take up your precious energy. With apps like Meetbit that lay out your calendar and send you key reminders, a part of your mental load can be lifted.
For the Meetbit team who came from a high-octane environment of being multi-hyphenate students and entrepreneurs, time is not an enemy but rather a variable that can be tamed. “When you’re not that stressed about your time, it generally helps you really just focus on the metrics and the goals that you’ve set for the company,” says Villacin.
With the power of a healthy, realistic routine combined with tools that can help you commit to it, productivity is bound to follow. To learn more about Meetbit and how you can integrate it into your workflow, visit their official website. – Rappler.com