How to Save Time Working Remotely

January 15, 2024

If remote work has not been as satisfying and time-efficient as you expected it to be, this article will teach you 6 easy things you can do today to start freeing up more time for yourself while still being highly productive as a remote worker.

James Fyfe
Co-founder - CEO

As a remote worker, are you wondering how you end up going to bed very late and stressed, have no family- or me-time, and still achieve so little during the day? 

Perhaps, you believed remote work would give you the flexibility and work-life balance you longed for.

You thought if you work remotely, you’d finally have the time to work on that side project, spend time with family, or learn a new skill.

But the reality is different now that you actually work fully remotely.

You now work more hours than you did in a full-time day job, go to bed late and stressed. And you dread the volume of tasks moved into the next day.

If you only had more time, you’d get a lot done and still enjoy your life. But this is not always true for those who work remotely We’ve discovered more time does not directly translate to more productivity or happiness. For example, in the United States, working from home has saved remote workers over 89 million hours per week in commuting. since the pandemic. Now, this is where it gets interesting... 12,000 people across the US and Europe, said this additional time is often wasted on unproductive work or unnecessary leisure activities.

If remote work doesn’t automatically provide you a healthy work-life balance, how can you work remotely productively and still have enough time for yourself? How do you save time in your remote job or working from home? The answer… Smart time management, deep work ethics, and routines.

What this article promises

Whether you work remotely due to COVID-19 or you got a remote job, in this article you’d learn valuable and actionable tips to help you work remotely effectively and actually enjoy the benefits of working from home. In this article, you’d learn 6 simple remote and work from home tips to help you stop working way after night time, enjoy the benefits of remote work, have enough personal time, and still get a lot done at work. After reading and applying what I outlined here, it would be normal for you to call it a day by 5 PM ( if you want), catch up with other areas of your life, and go to bed fulfilled and excited about the next day.

Let’s dive in!

Tip 1: Create your own morning commute

Switching into work mode as a remote worker can take a lot of time. This is because you’re faced with a lot of distractions. The morning commute was how you did this before you started to work remotely. The time you spent commuting from your home to office automatically transitioned you into work mode. How do you replicate this working remotely from home? You can do this by creating your own morning commute.

How to create your own morning commute

It’s simple. As a remote worker, you can create your own morning commute by creating morning routines that help you get into work mode. What do people do on commutes? Most of the time, they plan their day. Planning helps you picture the direction your day will go and what you will be doing at every point in time during the day. Nothing can put you in a mode to work like this. As a remote worker, you can take a cue from this to create your morning routine. Carve out 15 minutes to plan your day before you start to work. Some extra activities you can add to your morning routine.

  • Plan your day while taking a walk
  • Have a dedicated work clothe
  • Listen to a podcast or watch a YouTube video

Decide on your morning routine and make it a compulsory activity before you start to work. Soon it will become part of you and become a perfect replica of the morning commute.

How this will save time working from home

Transitioning fast into work mode helps you get started very early and get the heavy tasks out of the way

Remote work tools and tricks to help you do this

  • Set daily reminders on your mobile phone for your morning routine
  • Use a to-do list app to plan your day
  • Microsoft is working on a virtual commute for Teams

Tip 2: Set ground rules for the people around you

In your remote work, you will get so little done if anyone or anything has access to you at any time. You may not get anything done if you’re constantly distracted by your kids, spouse, family members, or friends.

Set ground rules and boundaries. 

  • Your kids should know when (except for emergencies) dad (or mum) doesn’t want to be disturbed. 
  • Your phone should be in do not disturb mode to prevent the distraction of phone calls and social media notifications.
  • If you work in a co-working space, people around you should know when they can access you and when they should stay far

How this will help you save time working remotely

You spend an unbelievable amount of time responding to distractions. If you can set ground rules that eliminate these distractions, that’s a lot of time for you to do meaningful work.

Tip 3: Set deep work time (+ avoid long to-do lists)

If you’re like most people, your to-do list is as long as the American Declaration of Independence. Long to-do lists can lead to burnout, low quality of work, and working far into the night to ensure you clear your list. And most times, you carry over some tasks to the next day.

Do this instead

  • Select only a handful of very important wins for the day and get to work on them.
  • Don’t squeeze all the tasks for the week into one day. 
  • 3-5 major wins of the day is a good place to start. Start with that and leave all other tasks out.
  • In your schedule for the day block out deep work time. During this time you’re 100% focused on a task. With zero distraction and complete mental focus on completing it. 

How will this help you save time working remotely?

Having only a few wins for the day will help you focus on a few things and channel your deep work time effectively. This will help you get your work completed faster, close the day early, and free up enough time for your personal life and leisure.

Remote work tools and tricks to help you do this

During your deep work time, turn off email and social media notifications on your devices (except your work requires these tools). Put your phone on silent or turn it off. Don't worry, the world will not end if you miss a few calls, emails, or Facebook messages.The next tip will ensure you never work deep into the night again.

Tip 4: Maintain regular hours and determine a finish line (+ take breaks)

As a remote worker, you think you have all day to yourself. This is perhaps one of the reasons you waste the first half of the day. In your full time 9-5 job, there is a time when you must be in the office and a time when you have to leave and go home. 

How does this help productivity? 

This gives you the sense of urgency you need to get serious about work and get things done on time. You know you do not have all day. This ensures you’re conscious of how you spend your time during the day and drive you to focus on productivity and completing the tasks at hand.

Do the same in your remote work. Set a time when you’d start to work and when you call it a day. And stick to it. For example, let’s say you decide to work from 8 AM to 5 PM. When it gets to 5, stop working and focus on other areas of your life. Do this long enough and you’d start seeing better output in your work and a better work-life balance. In between this timeframe, include a compulsory lunch break, and two to three 15-20 minutes away time from your workstation. 

Remote work tools and tricks to help you do this

  • Set reminders on your computer for when to start and when to call it a day
  • Use the Pomodoro technique to structure how you work and take breaks
  • Stick to the plan and do not fall for the temptation to neglect the reminders
  • Use Smart breaks (for PC) and Timeout (for Mac) to ensure you take mandatory breaks. (these apps lock you out of your computer at a set time and for a given duration. When you’re locked out of your computer, resist the urge to override it).

As a remote worker working remotely from home, it is not unusual to find yourself craving your bed or couch. It could also be the desire to step out to see a friend within your defined work time. Or it could be that super interesting Netflix show.

Indulging in any of these activities can waste productive time and send you working deep into the night trying to meet deadlines.

Tip 5 will help you overcome this.

Tip 5: Separate work from home (+ If possible, keep a dedicated office space)

If you work remotely from home, exposing yourself to all the side attractions and distractions is a recipe to waste time.

Having a dedicated workspace helps you get in the work mode fast and get cracking at important tasks. All the while minimizing the distraction around you. The best way to do this is to have a dedicated workspace. Think about your office at your full time 9-5 job. What do you have there? Try as much as you can to replicate it in your remote working space or home office? Look for a spot (your home library, a room, or a corner in your room or sitting room) where you set up your work tools. This is your office. Where all the magic at work is done. If you can't do this, set up an office space in your home every day and remove all distractions. Then remove it at the end of the day.

Remote work tools and tricks to help do this

A table and a chair come very handily here... 

Finally… Everything we’ve discussed so far will help you work faster and carve out more time for yourself as you work remotely. But what do you do with this free time?

Point 6: Use your free time wisely

Like I mentioned earlier, free time on its own is not useful. What is important is how you use it. Are you spending it to enrich your life and the lives of those around you?

How to use your free time wisely in your remote work

Here are 6 suggestions of things you can do to make the best use of your new-found free time: 

  • Plan what you’d do with your free time. Do not leave it to chance
  • Spend free time with friends and colleagues. 
  • Give yourself a treat for a job well done at the end of the day.
  • Exercise/work out 
  • Volunteer. 
  • Stick to your plan


Remote work can turn out to be more stressful than your 9-5 if measures are not taken. But if you followed the tips from this article, then you’re on the way to freeing up more time for yourself, while getting more done as a remote worker and enjoying a healthy work-life balance.

Now go put everything you’ve learned into practice and let us know how you get on.

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