All Posts by Noreen Music

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About the Author

Owner of Organize My Space Calgary. A Trained Professional Organizer passionate about helping you become free from clutter and disorganization both at work and at home.

Productivity Mastery - 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm
Oct 19

Overcome Productivity Overwhelm With These 5 Keys – Claim Your FREE E-Book HERE!

By Noreen Music | Productivity

Productivity Mastery

Overcome Productivity Overwhelm With These 5 Keys

Are you done with feeling so overwhelmed with your out of control email inbox, and the stacks of cluttered papers and sticky notes all over your desk?

Do you end your day with more tasks on your to-do list but you worked yourself to the bone?

Have you ever wished you could start your day with a well prepared routine, clear-headed, energized, and excited to make it happen?

Do you know what? You CAN.

Here are the 5 key secrets.

5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm

5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm

By following the 5 key steps in our Productivity Mastery program, you WILL....

  • Create a vision for your life that you will be so excited for it will make you want to jump out of bed in the morning!
  • Know exactly what you are busy about....and get it done.
  • Take total control of the only thing we each have the exact same amount of every single day....time.
  • Get your email inbox to zero and keep it that way so your email isn't running you, you are running your email.
  • Unlock the secret potential of your future hidden in your daily habits.

Claim Your Exclusive Productivity Mastery 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm E-Book HERE!

You will find the information in this e-book useful, helpful and transformational.

I want you to experience the freedom and success that getting organizing and more productive brings.

The whole reason my company exists is to support you to move from frustration and overwhelm 
to confident and in total control of your work.

To claim your copy of our exclusive 
Productivity Mastery 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm e-book (valued at $19.99), use the link below to book your FREE 30-minute discovery call directly in my calendar.

You are ready for this!

Additional Resources & Links

Have a Question For Me?

If you have a question for me, use the comment box below and I will respond to you within 48 hours (or sooner).

I am here for you.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

Productivity Mastery - 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm
Oct 18

Productivity Mastery Key Five – Routines

By Noreen Music | Productivity

Are you done with feeling so overwhelmed with your out of control email inbox, and the stacks of cluttered papers and sticky notes all over your desk?

Do you end your day with more tasks on your to-do list but you worked yourself to the bone?

Have you ever wished you could start your day with a well prepared routine, clear-headed, energized, and excited to make it happen?

You know what? You CAN.

Here's the secret keys.

5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm

By following the 5 key steps in our Productivity Mastery series, you WILL....

  • Create a vision for your life that you will be so excited for it will make you want to jump out of bed in the morning!
  • Know exactly what you are busy about....and get it done.
  • Take total control of the only thing we each have the exact same amount of every single day....time.
  • Get your email inbox to zero and keep it that way so your email isn't running you, you are running your email.
  • Unlock the secret potential of your future hidden in your daily habits.

Productivity Mastery Key Five - ROUTINES

Weekly Planning Routine

Once a week, sit down and review/update all of your lists. It could be Friday afternoon (my recommendation), Sunday night or Monday morning.

Based on what you identify as your highest priorities for the upcoming week, *
block the appropriate amount of time in your calendar to accomplish these tasks. Do not name the calendar with the specific tasks you have identified - only block "Project Time", "Client Care", "Accounting/Admin" and so on.

At the end of every day (my recommendation) or first thing every morning, 
quickly scan all of your lists and write on a sticky note or in your paper planner the 1-3 top most important tasks you must complete that day.

Another tip to stay super organized is your email inbox, paper inbox, paper filing systems and all tasks lists should mirror each other as much as possible.

If you have time in the day, scan your lists again to see what else you can cross off but if you don't have the time, you know you will or have accomplished what is most pressing.

Keep capturing tasks from all of your various sources (emails, incoming paper, meeting action items, verbal requests, customer phone calls, etc.) and grow or shrink your lists as you complete tasks, get new projects or as things change.

Your lists are dynamic and reflect the ebbs and flows of your work and home life.

*The calendar blocking technique is discussed in our blog Productivity Mastery Key Three - Commitments.

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

Weekly planning routine
Setting Morning & Evening Routines

A productive day starts the night before.

Think about your current evening routines. What can you do the night before to make your day as stress-free and organized as possible?

End the day well. Review your master action list to pull out your top 1-3 priorities for tomorrow. Prepare the files you will need for tomorrows projects or meetings. Review and block your calendar. Clear out your email inbox. Clean off your desk.

It is important to start your day as prepared as possible by planning ahead of the day and to clear the slate at the end of the day to give you a fresh start the next morning.

Being organized in advance keeps your stress levels down as you feel confident in your preparations.

You will set yourself up for increased productivity and calm with the morning and evening routines you establish.

Daily habits
Evaluate Routines

With the fast paced nature of business, shifting expectations, and changing priorities your daily routines, and productivity work practices must also change to keep up.

In fact they are changing right now whether you want them to or not!

This is why our last step is challenging what's working for you and what's not by examining your newly established routines, and productivity practices.

Think about these 3 things – what’s right, what’s wrong and what’s missing.

It is important to regularly assess and adapt your activities to make sure they are as effective as possible.

Evaluation shouldn't just occur at the end of your Productivity Mastery journey. It's a continual process to ensure you are growing. learning, and tweaking your processes, and practices to maintain your hard earned productivity levels for the long term.

Structure equals FREEDOM!!

Evaluate routines

Congratulations!

You have now completed the Productivity Mastery 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm and you are an unstoppable Productivity Master!

Making these powerful changes to how you work has a domino effect on living better overall.

All of the time and energy you have spent working on and mastering these 5 keys has contributed to your improved performance, reduced procrastination, and alleviated stress in the following ways:

  • More productive, efficient, and much less frustrated at work.
  • Workspace feels calmer, more spacious, and in control.
  • Immense sense of pride and sense of achievement in what you have accomplished. You feel happier and healthier.
  • You are no longer overwhelmed, weighed down or held back by inefficient work practices.
  • Better prepared to face the future and the changes that will come.
  • Less stressed as you have established solid priorities, practices, and routines that keep you calm and in control.
  • More energy and time to spend with the people you love.
  • Created space where you can experience the freedom to pursue your passions and creativity.
Productivity Mastery 5 Keys

Claim Your Exclusive Productivity Mastery E-Book

I truly hope you found the information in this blog useful, helpful and transformational.

I want you to experience the freedom and success that getting organizing and more productive brings.

The whole reason my company exists is to support you to move from frustration and overwhelm
to confident and in total control of your work.

To claim your copy of our exclusive Productivity Mastery 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm e-book (valued at $19.99), use the link below to book your FREE 30-minute discovery call directly in my calendar.

You are ready for this!

Additional Resources & Links

Have a Question For Me?


If you have a question for me, use the comment box below and I will respond to you within 48 hours (or sooner).


I am here for you.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

Productivity Mastery - 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm
Oct 18

Productivity Mastery Key Three – Commitments

By Noreen Music | Productivity

Are you done with feeling so overwhelmed with your out of control email inbox, and the stacks of cluttered papers and sticky notes all over your desk?

Do you end your day with more tasks on your to-do list but you worked yourself to the bone?

Have you ever wished you could start your day well prepared, clear-headed, energized, and excited to make it happen?

You know what? You CAN.

Here's the secret keys.

5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm

By following the 5 key steps in our Productivity Mastery series, you WILL....

  • Create a vision for your life that you will be so excited for it will make you want to jump out of bed in the morning!
  • Know exactly what you are busy about....and get it done.
  • Take total control of the only thing we each have the exact same amount of every single day....time.
  • Get your email inbox to zero and keep it that way so your email isn't running you, you are running your email.
  • Unlock the secret potential of your future hidden in your daily habits.

Productivity Mastery Key Three - COMMITMENTS

Smart Calendar

Ok so it's not actually your calendar that's smart, its how you set it up and use it that is smart! 

Here are the basics of calendar set up and what I teach my one-on-one coaching clients.

Fixed Calendar

Move to a fixed calendar by blocking your projects or recurring tasks when your brainpower is at its peak (and when it's not).

This could mean that your deepest thinking or focused project work is blocked in your calendar first thing in the morning.

Meetings, client calls or any other work that doesn't require your brain to be at its peak, gets booked later in the day, for example.

Theme Calendar Batching

Use themes in your calendar for recurring tasks to batch similar work such as "Marketing Mondays", "Catch-All Fridays" or "Writing Wednesdays".

This is a great way to get a lot of work done in one area as you are super focused on the specific task at hand. 

The other advantage to calendar batching is when you know the work you need to do in a certain area is already scheduled in your calendar for Monday for instance, you can confidently put that task aside until Monday. 

Use Your Project and Master Tasks List to Block Your Calendar

Use your *project and master task lists to help you plan your weekly and daily calendar. Your master task list has everything on it you need to do broken out into categories, types, and prioritized. so you are able to quickly see what time in your calendar needs to be scheduled in.

Other than recurring tasks, booked appointments, meetings, birthdays or other reminders, don't schedule tasks in your calendar too far in advance.

I suggest only one week at a time. Your master task list is an ever-evolving thing and we all know how quickly priorities can change from week-to-week, day-to-day and even hour-to-hour.

Resist the urge to put every little task in your calendar. Only block it in bulk with generic titles such as "Project Work", "Research", "Client Care".

*We cover this topic in detail in our blog Productivity Mastery Key Five - Routines.

Don't Over-schedule Your Calendar

Leave "white space" in your calendar for travel time, all of those unexpected things that inevitably pop up, family time, fun time, downtime and self care.

We all tend to believe we can accomplish more than we actually can or our tasks won't take as long as they actually do.

When we leave breathing room in our schedules, this allows for those times when we need wiggle room.

This is your life and your calendar and you are now smartly in control of it!

Smart calendar set up
"Un" Committing

Remember your vision? Now is one of the times to refer back to it.

Review your current calendar entries. 

  • Is everything on your calendar an absolute necessity? 
  • What commitments can you let go of?
  • Are you making casual commitments you don't really mean?
  • Does your calendar closely mirror what you have already identified as your most important work from your project and master task lists? 
  • Is what you are committing too actually going to move you closer to your big vision?

Everything in your calendar should make you say "Heck, yes!".  Okay, maybe not every calendar entry will make you feel this way (I'm looking at you unnecessary work meetings!).

The point is that your time is precious and you must set clear boundaries around what you commit your precious time too and don't allow the agenda of others take precedence over your priorities.

Un-committing your calendar
Meaningful Meetings

Meetings are probably one of the worst productivity  and time wasters ever.

That being said, there are some meetings which are necessary and meaningful, but the vast majority of them are big time suckers. Meetings are literally where your productivity goes to die.

Before you consider setting up a meeting and adding to you and your teams calendar clutter, ask yourself:

  • Do we really need a meeting? No? Well then don't.
  • Could I email this information instead? Yes? Then don't hold the meeting!

If you have determined that a meeting is necessary, follow these steps to ensure your meeting is meaningful and productive.

  1. Prepare an agenda.
  2. Invite only those people who are crucial to the conversation.
  3. Respect the time of others by starting and ending on time.
  4. Keep the meeting as brief as possible - not all meetings need to be an hour.
  5. If possible, book all meetings in the afternoon so your best brain power is used in the morning!
  6. Assign meeting roles.
  7. Capture all action items, deliverables and next steps.
Alternate Meeting Ideas

Try micro meetings (10 minutes or less), standing/walking meetings, quick in-person or virtual huddles where only 3 questions are addressed.

Your productivity will thank you.

Meaningful meeting

Productivity Mastery Key Four - EMAIL CONTROL

Read our next blog in our 5-part series Productivity Mastery Key Four - Email Control as we discuss the fourth key to overcome your productivity overwhelm.

Email control....either run the day or the day runs you.

Claim Your Exclusive Productivity Mastery E-Book

I truly hope you found the information in this blog useful, helpful and transformational.

I want you to experience the freedom and success that getting organizing and more productive brings.

The whole reason my company exists is to support you to move from frustration and overwhelm
to confident and in total control of your work.

To claim your copy of our exclusive Productivity Mastery 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm e-book (valued at $19.99), use the link below to book your FREE 30-minute discovery call directly in my calendar.

You are ready for this!

Additional Resources & Links

Have a Question For Me?


If you have a question for me, use the comment box below and I will respond to you within 48 hours (or sooner).


I am here for you.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

Productivity Mastery - 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm
Oct 18

Productivity Mastery Key Four – Email Inbox Control

By Noreen Music | Productivity

Are you done with feeling so overwhelmed with your out of control email inbox, and the stacks of cluttered papers and sticky notes all over your desk?

Do you end your day with more tasks on your to-do list but you worked yourself to the bone?

Have you ever wished you could start your day well prepared, clear-headed, energized, and excited to make it happen?

You know what? You CAN.

Here's the secret keys.

5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm

By following the 5 key steps in our Productivity Mastery series, you WILL....

  • Create a vision for your life that you will be so excited for it will make you want to jump out of bed in the morning!
  • Know exactly what you are busy about....and get it done.
  • Take total control of the only thing we each have the exact same amount of every single day....time.
  • Get your email inbox to zero and keep it that way so your email isn't running you, you are running your email.
  • Unlock the secret potential of your future hidden in your daily habits.

Productivity Mastery Key Five - EMAIL CONTROL

Email Inbox Control - Clean Up
Mass Deleting & Filing

The fact is, at least 80% of your emails do not require any real significant action on your part so get comfortable using the delete button.

A word of caution however....be ruthless but not reckless with deleting. DO NOT read each email in its entirety - at this stage you are focusing on weeding out all of the unnecessary noise and the emails you don't need to do anything with.

Sort & delete emails by FROM - Ask yourself these questions - has this person left the company, is the project over or is it the fridge cleaning notice from 4 months ago?

Sort & delete emails by SUBJECT - Do you have email strings from a group conversation that you can delete except the last one? Has a date or event already passed and is no longer relevant? Do you have emails from retailers or blogs that you never read (hint unsubscribe from these please)?

Sort & file emails by DATE - If you have many months worth of emails, the chances are pretty good that anything over 6 months can be safely bulk filed in an "EMAIL BONEYARD" reference file.  If you haven't needed anything from this folder in another 6-8 weeks, delete it.

Processing Emails One by One

Now that you have mass filed and deleted, you should only have about 20% of your email backlog left. This is where you sit down and process each email one by one.  

Use the D is for Decision method:

  • Delete it or file it.
  • Do it now, if it takes less than 2-5 minutes.
  • Do it later by sliding the email into your task list or writing it on your to-do list.
  • Decide if it should be filed for reference or future use.
  • Delegate it to someone else to do.
  • Defer the decision by adding it to your task list or calendar.
  • Decide if you need to follow up with someone or track if someone else follows through.
Email control
Email Inbox Control - Set Up
Set Up Processing Folders

Action Folder - This is where every email goes that you are actually working on NOT sitting in your inbox. Emails here should only take 2-5 minutes to deal with. Emails that take longer to work on go into your *master task/project list.

Read Folder - This is for those emails that you need to read but they can wait until later. Use unproductive time like waiting in line or at the doctor's office to do your reading.

Holding Folder - This folder is where emails go while you are waiting on someone else to do something or you're waiting for an answer, a quote, etc.  This folder can also be used to remind yourself to send reminders to other people.

*Check out our blogs Productivity Mastery Key One - Prioritize and Productivity Mastery Key Two - Task Management.

Set Up Reference Folders

Set up reference folders into larger buckets with NO sub-folders (and definitely no sub-sub-folders).

A smaller number of folders ensures you make quicker decisions about where to file an email when you are processing your inbox plus it leaves fewer options and makes it easier to look for an email in the future.

Email set up
Email Inbox Control - Processing Emails
Process Emails 1-3x a Day

Your email inbox is where new emails land and are waiting for you to process them, that's it.

*Schedule in your calendar 1-3 times a day to keep your inbox at zero. Resist the urge to check your emails at any other time unless you are expecting an urgent message. We only do this to procrastinate on work, when our brains have decision fatigue or to look busy

Clear the handful of emails that have accumulated in your inbox since the last time you checked using the D method and you will always be at zero!

*Read our blog Productivity Mastery Key Three - Commitments to learn how to set up your calendar so you never miss a beat.

Either run the day or the day runs you.

Process emails

Productivity Mastery Key Five - ROUTINES

Read our next blog in our 5-part series Productivity Mastery Key Five - Routines as we discuss the final key to overcome your productivity overwhelm.

The secret of your future is hidden in your daily habits.

Claim Your Exclusive Productivity Mastery E-Book

I truly hope you found the information in this blog useful, helpful and transformational.

I want you to experience the freedom and success that getting organizing and more productive brings.

The whole reason my company exists is to support you to move from frustration and overwhelm
to confident and in total control of your work.

To claim your copy of our exclusive Productivity Mastery 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm e-book (valued at $19.99), use the link below to book your FREE 30-minute discovery call directly in my calendar.

You are ready for this!

Additional Resources & Links

Have a Question For Me?


If you have a question for me, use the comment box below and I will respond to you within 48 hours (or sooner).


I am here for you.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

Productivity Mastery - 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm
Oct 15

Productivity Mastery Key Two – Task Management

By Noreen Music | Productivity

Are you done with feeling so overwhelmed with your out of control email inbox, and the stacks of cluttered papers and sticky notes all over your desk?

Do you end your day with more tasks on your to-do list but you worked yourself to the bone?

Have you ever wished you could start your day well prepared, clear-headed, energized, and excited to make it happen?

You know what? You CAN.

Here's the secret keys.

5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm

By following the 5 key steps in our Productivity Mastery series, you WILL....

  • Create a vision for your life that you will be so excited for it will make you want to jump out of bed in the morning!
  • Know exactly what you are busy about....and get it done.
  • Take total control of the only thing we each have the exact same amount of every single day....time.
  • Get your email inbox to zero and keep it that way so your email isn't running you, you are running your email.
  • Unlock the secret potential of your future hidden in your daily habits.

Productivity Mastery Key Two - TASK MANAGEMENT

Task Management Key Concept - One-Track Mind

It is technically impossible for your brain to multi-task so don't even try. Trust me, it doesn't work and it causes more issues than it solves.

Use one task management system for all areas of your life - work, life, kids, home projects and so on.

Trying to keep a handle on all of your various tasks when they are scattered around everywhere or from memory is just not effective. 

That being said, you should take breaks and switch the project or content you are working on occasionally to keep your brain active. 

What is is not recommended is to try and do two or three or six things at once. You will not be effective, productive or accurate with any of them.

You need one master action/task list to draw from when planning your weekly and daily tasks and blocking your calendar covered in our blog Productivity Mastery Key Three - Commitments.

ONE well thought out, comprehensive and powerfully crafted master list driving your day-to-day work is what will move the needle on your goals, outcomes and your success!

Task Management One track mind
Task Management - List Types

In our first blog, Productivity Mastery Key One - Prioritize, you went through the effort of identifying, listing, prioritizing and "big picture" categorizing all of your tasks.

Continuing on with the great work you did under key one, let's finish defining and polishing your master action list so you can start putting it into action!

Project List

A project is something that has more that 3-4 tasks involved to complete it so it is these specific items that go on your project list.

A separate project list is important because it 
shows you the scale of exactly what’s on your plate.

It also helps with scheduling your calendar as you can determine if you have 5 hours in your calendar to work on projects or 5 minutes to knock off some quick to do's.

When it comes to naming your projects, name them something inspirational or what you would like the end result to be.

Keep the items on your project list high level. Don’t get too detailed as you will flesh out all of the finer details over time when you sit down to plan your week. 

If you get too detailed with your lists, things will change over the coming days, weeks and months so adding too much detail at this point is a waste of time. 

Think bigger picture here.

Master Task List

Your master task list is all of your other tasks not related to a project and need more than 2-5 minutes to complete. There should be one action per line but again, resist the urge to be too detailed.

You can categorize your master task list even further such as location, people, attention level needed, calls to make, etc.

There are many ways to categorize tasks - it depends on your tasks and what works best for your life and work style.

Do not include recurring or repeating tasks, deadlines, reminders, doctor appointments or special occasions on your master task list. These get set up in your calendar and a reminder will automatically pop up.

The only caveat to this rule is for example, when a family members birthday is coming up. You can list on you master task list "Birthday card for mom", "make dinner reservations", etc. when the appropriate time comes.

Pending or Holding List

A pending or holding list is your list tracking all of the things you have delegated or are waiting for an answer on.

It could be a response or a decision you are waiting for or you need to follow up on a sales call or an outstanding payment from a client. 

Watch/Read/Listen To List

An optional list I find handy is a watch/read/listen to list.  

A friend might suggest a great Netflix series, your mentor recommends a business book to read or you hear a song on the radio and want to download it to your playlist.

Idea Parking Lot

An idea parking lot is where you put all those great ideas you have whose time has not come so you don't lose them.

Good lists will keep you focused on the right things at the right time.

Expert tip - makes notes on the go by sending yourself a voice note, jot it down on the notepad on your phone, send yourself an email or use an idea capture app like Braintoss (I use this app daily). Then when you get back to your desk, act on your note or put it in your task list to do later.
Task Management Organizing lists
Task Management Concept - Eat the Frog

This is a concept I use myself when I procrastinate on a project or task.

Mark Twain famously said that if the first thing you do in the morning is eat a frog, you can go through the rest of your day knowing the worst is behind you.

Your "frog" is that task you are putting off. When you "eat the frog" first thing, you are actually retraining your brain over time to beat procrastination.

Overcoming procrastination is important because when you tackle those ugly projects every single day, you WILL accomplish your goals and ultimately realize your vision for your life.

My business coach, mentor and dear friend, Shane Fielder, Founder of Samurai Innovation always says "Small steps, done imperfectly, lead to monumental results." So true, Shane, so true.

Eventually your ugly frogs will start to taste like chicken.

Task Management Killer - Distractions

Distractions will knock you off your productivity game every single time. It is critical to your productivity to ruthlessly eliminate and manage distractions.

Social media, YouTube and Google are all designed to keep you hooked and going down rabbit hole after rabbit hole.

While it's fine to check your Instagram or watch a how-to video on YouTube in your leisure/break time, if you need to focus on getting your important work done, these distractions are huge time wasters.

All those incessant dings, pings, pop-ups and notifications are another way we squirrel. Turn them off.

Work in a dedicated space. If you don't have a separate office, that's ok. All you really need is a flat work surface, a bit of storage space, access to an electrical plug, task lighting and a good chair. Set yourself up in a your bedroom, the basement or in any corner of your house that is away from the hustle and bustle.

Put your phone on airplane mode (it's okay to let calls go to voicemail). Block your calendar. Disable all pop-up notifications. Close the 23 open browser windows on your computer. Shut your office door. Make sure the kids are busy or looked after.

Task management distractions
Now What?
  • Every project and task from all of your various sources is on one list.
  • All of your tasks are categorized and prioritized.
  • You have organized your tasks into 3 - 5 different list types.
  • Next step is to put these killer lists to work for you by setting up your calendar and focusing on your planning routines!
  • Read the next posts in this blog series to master your productivity!

Productivity Mastery Key Three - COMMITMENTS

Read our next blog in our 5-part series Productivity Mastery Key Three - Commitments as we discuss the third key to overcome your productivity overwhelm.

Commitments.....your time isn't the main thing, it's the only thing.

Claim Your Exclusive Productivity Mastery E-Book

I truly hope you found the information in this blog useful, helpful and transformational.

I want you to experience the freedom and success that getting organizing and more productive brings.

The whole reason my company exists is to support you to move from frustration and overwhelm
to confident and in total control of your work.

To claim your copy of our exclusive Productivity Mastery 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm e-book (valued at $19.99), use the link below to book your FREE 30-minute discovery call directly in my calendar.

You are ready for this!

Additional Resources & Links

Have a Question For Me?


If you have a question for me, use the comment box below and I will respond to you within 48 hours (or sooner).


I am here for you.

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

WFH Series - Routines for Success
Oct 01

WORK FROM HOME SERIES – Organization & Productivity Solutions: Routines for Success

By Noreen Music | Offers & Discounts , Organizing Tips , Productivity

Have you established daily routines that keep you organized and productive while working from home?

Do you plan ahead for the next day the night before?

Work From Home Series

We are creatures of habit so it is important to maintain your work from home weekday routines as close to your normal work schedule as possible.

It is okay if you need to tweak
 some of your habits and routines to ensure working from home is a success for you.

Determine ahead of time when you will work by maintaining regular hours, keeping in mind that one of the many benefits of working from home is your ability to be more flexible.

Your daily habits and routines will make you or break you when working from home.

Organizing & Productivity Solutions: Routines for Success

Keep Your Same Morning and Evening Routines

Keep your same bedtime routine and go to sleep at the same time.

Get up on time (or early!) and get ready for the day. You don't necessarily need to wear a suit, nylons or your best jewels, but do your hair, put on a bit of make up and wear clothes you wouldn't mind answering the door or going outside for a walk in. 

The exception is if you have a video/virtual meeting - keep it professional by always looking the part even when working at home.

Maintaining your normal morning and evening routines while working at home will keep you from feeling you are on holidays and you will be super productive by getting a ton of work done!

Build Transitions In (and Out) of Work

Your previous morning commute not only physically got you to work but it also gave your brain time to prepare for work.

Just because you’re not traveling outside of your home to an office doesn’t mean you should stop a regular routine to start your workday.

Possibly you read on the train/bus or listened to music, podcasts or audio books on your commute. There is nothing stopping you from doing that same routine at home. Or you could change it up now that you are home and have breakfast with your family, walk the dog, workout or meditate.

At the end of the day, your commute home did the opposite. You had time again either on public transit or your vehicle to unwind and mentally process the day leading into your evening at home. This gives your brain time to reset and helps you transition back into your personal life.

When working from home, find something that will signal the end of your work day and the beginning of your personal time.

Go for a walk or to the gym. Watch the news. Change into your super comfy casual clothes. Do something that helps you decompress.
 

A Stress-free Day Starts the Night Before

Think about your current evening routines - what can you do the night before to make your next work from home day as focused as possible?

  • Do you set out a work outfit for the next day depending on any outside meetings or video calls?
  • Have you prepared a healthy breakfast/lunch/snack so you're not wasting your time during the day cooking?
  • Do you get your morning coffee/tea/breakfast ready after doing the dinner dishes?
  • Are your gym clothes set out for your workout tomorrow?
  • Should you set your alarm half an hour earlier so you can spend more time easing into your work from home routine?
  • Have you established the practice of journaling, meditating/praying or reading before lights out?
  • Do you go to sleep at around the same time every night and get a good 7-8 hours of restful sleep?
Being organized in advance keeps your stress levels down as you feel confident in your preparations.

You can't control a lot of things in this world but you can control how you set yourself up for success while working from home.
 

Routines to End Well

How you end your day is just as important as how you start it such as:

  • Keep the last 20-30 minutes of your day for tidying up any loose ends.
  • Jot down any last-minute tasks on your to-do list.
  • Make sure your email inbox is at zero.
  • Get any meeting notes ready for tomorrow.
  • Clean your desk off and tidy up your home office.
  • Organize your project folders and tasks in order of priority ready to start fresh in the morning.

Log Off at the End of the Day

Once your work is done for the day, tidy up, shut down and walk away.

Working from home makes it even more important to log off and set good boundaries.

We all need time with family, time in nature, time to exercise, time for self care, time for fun, time for creativity, time for our souls.

Make Your Routines Personal

Above all else, figure out what works best for you. 

Sometimes the answer is obvious, but other times you might need some inspiration from other people who are in the same boat.

Seek out a supportive community of other people who work from home, either in your company or online.

Working alone has many benefits but even the most introverted among us need social interaction. Stay connected and social with team members and colleagues, family and friends.

Evaluate regularly what is working with your routines so you tweak them as needed. Work and personal circumstances change therefore, your routines should also be adapted in response.

Work from Home "Homework"

  1. Create a work from home routine that fits with your life.
  2. Decide how you will transition from home into work and from work back into your personal life
  3. Challenge yourself to stick to your routines as much as possible!

Special Work From Home Offer

For a limited time, we are offering a personalized and professionally prepared Work From Home Plan for only $95+GST!

Your Work From Home Plan includes:

  • 60-minute virtual "in-home" workspace assessment
  • Personalized 10 point organizing & productivity plan
  • 90-minute virtual implementation session
  • 30-minute virtual evaluation call
Work from Home Offer

Book Your Discovery Call

Click HERE book your FREE discovery call directly in my calendar to see if we are a good fit to work together.

Be sure to take advantage of this valuable offer while it is still available.

Our Gift to You

Included with your personal Work From Home Plan, is our exclusive 33-page Productivity Mastery E-Book as our gift to you.

Your personalized Work From Home Plan, along with your copy of the Productivity Mastery E-Book, will provide you with powerful stress-busting organizing and productivity solutions to make your work simpler and your outlook more peaceful once you start working through them. 

You cannot buy our Productivity Mastery E-Book as it is only available to our Work From Home Plan clients (valued at $19.99).

Productivity Mastery - 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm

Additional Resources

Here are additional Freedom Living blogs and many other valuable resources for even more support on your organizing and productivity journey.

More Work From Home Blog Posts

The first blog in our Work from Home Series focused on Your Physical Space.

The second blog in our Work from Home Series focused on Your Digital Space.

The third blog in our Work from Home Series focused on Managing Distractions.

The fourth blog in our Work from Home Series focused on Getting It Done.

Book Your Discovery Call Today!

Click HERE book your FREE discovery call directly in my calendar to see if we are a good fit to work together.

We promise your personalized Work From Home Plan will transform your spaces from frustration to freedom and you will become a Productivity Master!

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

WFH Series - Getting it Done
Oct 01

WORK FROM HOME SERIES – Organization & Productivity Solutions: Getting it Done

By Noreen Music | Offers & Discounts , Organizing Tips , Productivity

Are you accomplishing what you need too while working from home?

Is your time being used as effectively as it was in your more formal office setting?

How are you handling the increased flexibility?

Work From Home Series

Efficiency and flexibility are two of the top 10 reasons that people enjoy working from home, along with shorter hours as you can accomplish more with less distractions, interruptions and meaningless meetings.

Sometimes this flexibility is too much of a good thing however.

When your office is always there, waiting, with that deadline looming over your head or that big project you want to finish, it's hard to just close the door and pretend you've left the office for the day.

Many people who work from home find they work more hours than in a corporate office as they spend more time working at night and on weekends.

It's there and you just can’t ignore it.

If you set clear boundaries between work and home and implement these organizing and productivity skills, you will keep a five-hour day working from home, as opposed to an eight-hour day and get far more accomplished.

Organizing & Productivity Solutions: Getting it Done

Schedule Your Hardest Projects When Your Brain is the Most Active

Determine the time of day when your brain is the most active and you are ready to accomplish your hardest tasks. It could be the first thing in the morning, just after lunch or later in the day.

Tackle your most difficult or least favourite project and the ones you have been putting off FIRST THING. By doing this, you are retraining your brain not to procrastinate and these unpleasant or stressful tasks get easier over time.

Save phone calls, virtual meetings, processing emails, reading articles/publications, etc. for the afternoon for example, when your brain is not at its peak.

To ensure maximum attention, reduce distractions by blocking your calendar, closing your door, turning off all electronic notifications and settle in.

You will be amazed by how much you can accomplish when you simply schedule your hardest work during your brain’s most active state and keep interruptions from stopping your flow.

Time Blocking

Use the Pomodoro technique by setting a timer for 25 minute blocks with a 5 minute break or 50 minute blocks with a 10 minute break. 

You can also work for one hour then take a 15-20 minute break or work for 30 minutes then take a 5 minute break.

Use the amount of work and break time that works best for you and what type of project you are working on.

Try Strict Workflow which is a chrome plug-in which enforces 25 minutes of distraction free work and 5 minute breaks repeating until your work is done.

You can also use Time Out for Mac which is an app that locks you out of certain websites when you should be working and locks you out of your entire computer when you need a break.

Task Management

Keep one to-do list which is driven by your vision and goals for your work. 

Arrange your to-do list by importance and this is what drives your daily tasks. This will shape your day and help you focus on what’s most important to you.

Aim to complete 3-5 tasks per day. 1 bigger task and 2-3 smaller tasks is ideal.

A great to-do list with tasks full of your critical work is the key to productivity.

Write everything down. When your brain knows you have all of your important tasks written down in one place, you relax. Yes you still need to do the work, but you are now working when your brain is most active with solid blocks of time to be productive and limited distractions.

Use tasks in Outlook, OneNote, Evernote, a paper planner/notebook or any other system that works for you. Your to-do list is the place where all of your tasks from various sources are captured.

When you have finished a meeting and have an action item(s) - record it on your to-do list. You speak with a customer and need to follow up - put in on your to-do list. You have a great idea in the shower - write it down on your to-do list.

Your to-do list helps you know exactly what you need to do and how much time you need to block in your calendar to get things done.

There is also a real rush in crossing off tasks and seeing how much you accomplish!

Keep a One-Track Mind

Multi-tasking is impossible. 

Our brains can only focus on one thing at a time (music playing in the background is ok). 

It's good to have a one-track mind. Be present and concentrate on the task at hand or on the conversation you are having at that moment.

Post your vision, goals and priorities where they are clearly visible in your work from home space. Refer to them when you are tempted to do unimportant "busy" work or if you get bogged down and overwhelmed by all of the tasks you think you need to accomplish in one day.

By consistently focusing on your important work, you will see your vision come to reality and this will keep you on track when you get the desire to multi-task.
 
You will accomplish far more by dialing in on one thing at a time, then juggling multiple tasks and completing none of them.

Work from Home "Homework"

  1. Track when your brain is the most active - is it first thing in the morning, after dinner?
  2. Schedule your hardest work during these times.
  3. Try using a timer or app to time block work and breaks.

Special Work From Home Offer

For a limited time, we are offering a personalized and professionally prepared Work From Home Plan for only $95+GST!

Your Work From Home Plan includes:

  • 60-minute virtual "in-home" workspace assessment
  • Personalized 10 point organizing & productivity plan
  • 90-minute virtual implementation session
  • 30-minute virtual evaluation call
Work from Home Offer

Book Your Discovery Call

Click HERE book your FREE discovery call directly in my calendar to see if we are a good fit to work together.

Be sure to take advantage of this valuable offer while it is still available.

Our Gift to You

Included with your personal Work From Home Plan, is our exclusive 33-page Productivity Mastery E-Book as our gift to you.

Your personalized Work From Home Plan, along with your copy of the Productivity Mastery E-Book, will provide you with powerful stress-busting organizing and productivity solutions to make your work simpler and your outlook more peaceful once you start working through them. 

You cannot buy our Productivity Mastery E-Book as it is only available to our Work From Home Plan clients (valued at $19.99).

Productivity Mastery - 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm

Additional Resources

Here are additional Freedom Living blogs and other valuable resources for even more support on your organizing and productivity journey.

It's True: You Can be Productive While Working From Home and Here's How

7 Tips to Conquer Your Clutter

Perfectionism is the Enemy of Productivity

Top 10 Productivity Secrets to Reduce Stress and Leave the Office on Time

How to Get Your Email Inbox to Zero

Check out our DIY Resources page for various apps and other resources to help you manage your distractions.

To help you organize even more areas in your home, download your copy of our FREE guide Keeping Your Home Organized Through Every Season.

Read the next blog in our Work from Home Series which focuses on Routines for Success.

The previous blog in our Work from Home Series focused on Managing Distractions.

More Work From Home Blog Posts

The first blog in our Work from Home Series focused on Your Physical Space.

The second blog in our Work from Home Series focused on Your Digital Space.

The third blog in our Work from Home Series focused on Managing Distractions.

The fifth blog in our Work from Series focused on Routines for Success.

Book Your Discovery Call Today!

Click HERE book your FREE discovery call directly in my calendar to see if we are a good fit to work together.

We promise your personalized Work From Home Plan will transform your spaces from frustration to freedom and you will become a Productivity Master!

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

WFH Series - Managing Distractions
Oct 01

WORK FROM HOME SERIES – Organization & Productivity Solutions: Managing Distractions

By Noreen Music | Offers & Discounts , Organizing Tips , Productivity

How many hours a day do you spend on social media or watching "how-to" YouTube videos?

Have you set water-tight ground rules for the other people in your home?

Are the dings and pings coming from your electronics interrupting your concentration?

Work From Home Series

The issue with your brain is that it is conditioned to seek out distractions.

It has become a daily habit for many people, dare say even a compulsion, to obsessively check social media, have multiple browsers open, allow all notifications from apps, multi-tasking, etc.

When we work from home, this type of chaotic environment undermines our attention and constantly takes us away from focusing and completing our important work that move the needle on our projects, goals and the bottom line.

Organizing & Productivity Solutions: Managing Distractions

Reduce Distractions

Exercising control and managing distractions in your home environment is a serious advantage to working from home.

The secret to excellent time management is actually mind management. That means eliminating, reducing and managing distractions that repeatedly tempt your mind to wander.

There is no one asking you "just one quick question" or telling you about the fantastic movie they saw on the weekend but there are distractions when working from home that will derail your focus if they are not managed.

Managing distractions allows you to concentrate on one task at a time and keep your work flowing to stay on the productivity track.

Suggested Ways to Manage Distractions
  • Close your email.
  • Turn off all phone and computer notifications.
  • Keep social media tabs closed on your laptop to prevent temptation and only check your social media feeds on breaks or after work hours.
  • Keep the TV off (background music is ok).
  • Do your hardest work when your brain is the most active.
  • Focus on one task at a time.
  • Ear plugs or headphones - helps with noise and makes you feel like you have more privacy, helping you focus.
  • Take regular breaks.
  • Pay bills, do your online shopping, go to the gym or run other personal errands during scheduled breaks or when you are off the clock.
Schedule Breaks

Scheduling shorter and longer breaks while working from home is vital for your focus and productivity.

It's easy to get distracted by the many things that have to be done around the house during the day so use your short breaks to throw in a load of laundry, sweep the floor or check your social media (checking work email is NOT a break).

Take longer breaks to eat lunch (not at your desk, please) or to leave home and get some fresh air - go for a walk, run an errand, just leave.

Without regular breaks, the output and quality of your work substantially decreases.

If distractions during the day are unavoidable, ask your employer about working evening hours or alternate remote locations.

Boundaries

We already know that distractions will knock you off your productivity track every, single time. Attention management is a powerful tool and is the secret sauce of people who are productivity masters.

Create boundaries and ground rules for family/kids. Ask yourself what boundaries you need between work and your home life.

If anyone else is going to be at home when you're working, they have to be clear that when you're in your work from home office, you're working, even if it looks like and feels like you're hanging out at home. 

When you are sitting down to focus on work, turn off your phone and TV (background music that isn't distracting is ok). 

Minimize your email inbox and turn off all notifications. You get to decide when it is convenient for you to return phone calls and process your emails.

Resist the urge to check your social media accounts, the stock market or Google as these things are all designed to keep you going down as many rabbit holes as possible for as long as possible.

Block time in your calendar to complete work and stick to it.

Work from Home "Homework"

  1. Make a list of your worst distractions.
  2. Write rules and clear boundaries on how you will counter your biggest distractions.
  3. Make an agreement with yourself to stop doing these things.

Special Work From Home Offer

For a limited time, we are offering a personalized and professionally prepared Work From Home Plan for only $95+GST!

Your Work From Home Plan includes:

  • 60-minute virtual "in-home" workspace assessment
  • Personalized 10 point organizing & productivity plan
  • 90-minute virtual implementation session
  • 30-minute virtual evaluation call
Work from Home Offer

Book Your Discovery Call

Click HERE book your FREE discovery call directly in my calendar to see if we are a good fit to work together.

Be sure to take advantage of this valuable offer while it is still available.

Our Gift to You

Included with your personal Work From Home Plan, is our exclusive 33-page Productivity Mastery E-Book as our gift to you.

Your personalized Work From Home Plan, along with your copy of the Productivity Mastery E-Book, will provide you with powerful stress-busting organizing and productivity solutions to make your work simpler and your outlook more peaceful once you start working through them. 

You cannot buy our Productivity Mastery E-Book as it is only available to our Work From Home Plan clients (valued at $19.99).

Productivity Mastery - 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm

Additional Resources

Here are additional Freedom Living blogs and other valuable resources for even more support on your organizing and productivity journey.

To help you organize even more areas in your home, download your copy of our FREE guide Keeping Your Home Organized Through Every Season.

More Work From Home Blog Posts

The first blog in our Work from Home Series focused on Your Physical Space.

The second blog in our Work from Home Series focused on Your Digital Space.

The fourth blog in our Work from Home Series focused on Getting It Done.

The fifth blog in our Work from Series focused on Routines for Success.

Book Your Discovery Call Today!

Click HERE book your FREE discovery call directly in my calendar to see if we are a good fit to work together.

We promise your personalized Work From Home Plan will transform your spaces from frustration to freedom and you will become a Productivity Master!

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

WFH Series - Your Digital Space
Oct 01

WORK FROM HOME SERIES – Organization & Productivity Solutions: Your Digital Space

By Noreen Music | Offers & Discounts , Organizing Tips , Productivity

Do you have access to all of the digital information you need to complete your work at home?

Is your team communication suffering since transitioning to remote work?

Are you drowning in emails?

Work From Home Series

We will be focusing on another critical aspect of your efficiency and productivity - setting up, decluttering and organizing your digital space.

Working in a cluttered physical environment is not conducive to you having a clear and focused mind and the same applies to your digital space.

When your digital space isn't under control this leads to confusion, missed requests and deadlines. A disorganized and chaotic digital space means you are not working at your full potential.

You waste time looking for what you need. You become unfocused and unable to process all of the information sitting in your email inbox, cloud folders and reference files. 

Now you have a big mess.

Cleaning and maintaining organization in your digital space is important for you to get more productive in your work. 

Do it today!

Organizing & Productivity Solutions: Your Digital Space

Digital Access to Information

Ensure you have all of the proper digital tools, software and hardware you need to complete your work at home such as computer, programs, apps, VPN (if required), remote server access, electronic chargers and so on.

Set yourself up with all of the technology you need to attend virtual meetings/training sessions, etc. from home.

Use cloud-based file sharing such as Dropbox, Google Drive or Trello.

Having the digital equipment you need will ensure you have access to all of the information required to complete your work without missing critical information or suffer delays.

Communication

Working from home means that the more effortless opportunities to communicate such as impromptu meetings, casual water cooler conversations or quick updates are greatly reduced.

This calls for an intentional increase in communication with team members, your boss and direct reports.

Whether your company uses video conferencing apps like Zoom or project management tools like Trello, fully embrace this technology to stay connected and have your voice heard albeit from afar. Use these tools for meetings, collaboration and to keep socially connected with your team.

Establish how you will stay connected with your boss/team/subordinates in advance. Determine what makes the most sense for your work and the communication levels required to keep your company goals, projects and bottom line in mind.

Video Conferencing Set Up Tips

We have all been on more zoom calls these days than ever before.

There are a number of things you need to set up to make a good impression or provide a great experience while either attending or hosting a virtual meeting.  

Lighting for video calls is not to be understated. Poor lighting is distracting and takes away from the conversation. Don’t have your back to a window as you can’t see your face in the dark. Use natural light, unless it's too strong, then close the blinds and use a table lamp or a ring light in front of you.  

Move close to your Wi-Fi router to improve your connection speed.

Consider limiting kids gaming and streaming to keep a more stable connection while you are on Skype, FaceTime, Slack, Zoom or Google Hangouts.

Keep background noise to a minimum and prevent the kids or dog from interrupting video calls and meetings as much as possible. You may not hear the dishwasher running or traffic from an open window in the background but your computer microphone does.

You don’t necessarily have to dress formal but keep it professional, wear a little make up, brush your hair and avoid wearing busy patterns.

Remove Unnecessary Files, Photos, Programs & Apps on Devices

Keep your devices clean with only the files, apps and programs on that you actually need and use.

Delete photos you have saved in the cloud or already shared on your social media feeds. Delete all of those apps that you never use. You really don’t need all of this clutter.

If you feel compelled to archive old project files or photos from when your kids were little, download them on a USB stick and keep one copy in a fire and waterproof safe in your home and keep one copy with a trusted family member or friend for safekeeping.

This keeps your digital devices fast and working well as they don’t like clutter either.

Email Management

The amount of emails sent in a day around the globe is staggering and I'm sure you get and send your fair share.

Drowning in email communications is common and it can be extremely debilitating.

Stress about what you didn’t get to or the fires you don't know about that are buried in your email inbox keeps you up at night.

Chronic worry about not getting back to your boss or missing a critical deadline is a constant dark cloud over your head.

Your digital world is completely out of control and it doesn’t feel good.

Follow These Simple Steps to Control Your Email Overload

STEP 1: Mass Delete & File
STEP 2: Process Remaining Emails One by One
STEP 3: Set Up Processing Folders
STEP 4: Set Up Reference Folders
STEP 5: Only Process Emails 1-3x a Day

Maintain the order! Schedule in your calendar only 1-3 times a day to process your emails to keep your inbox at zero.

Resist the urge to check your emails at any other time unless you are expecting an urgent message. You generally only do this to procrastinate on work, when your brains has decision fatigue or to look busy. 

Commitment Management

Structure your work from home day like you would a regular in the office day.

When working from home, you are your own personal commitment manager so it is up to you to schedule your calendar to what suits your workload and family commitments.

A solid calendar showing all of your work and personal commitments helps you avoid over-scheduling and double booking.

Schedule and attend virtual meetings only if absolutely necessary. Use your goals to be clear around what's important to you and as a filter for what you say yes to and what you say no to.

You are seriously still a good person with a kind heart even if you (nicely) say no.

Fixed Calendar

Move to a fixed calendar as this is a real game changer.

Block your calendar for your various projects or tasks when you know your brainpower is at its peak and when it's not.

Try scheduling your calendar using themes such as "Marketing Mondays" or "Catch-All Fridays".

Remember that we are not able to work more than 20-30 minutes at a time on one project so set time limits on longer projects, take breaks and switch projects/tasks during the day to keep your mind activated.

Schedule in recurring tasks, reminders and breaks. Without breaks or a short 10 minutes to put a load of laundry in to break up your day, you can be quick to lose focus or burn out.

Plan uninterrupted periods to reflect and be creative. Make yourself a priority by scheduling in your workouts, downtime, family and fun time. This is your life and calendar after all.

Don't forget to leave white space in your calendar for the unexpected, travel to and from appointments/commitments and time to go dark and take a break.

Down time is critical to reduce stress and increase your productivity levels. It also helps to make sure you feel confident when shutting down at the end of your work from home day.

Stay Connected

Working from home can be isolating so it is important to keep ties with people both at work and socially.

Keep connected socially either in person or virtually.

Go for a walk. FaceTime a friend for a coffee date. Set up a Facebook group for your book club or women's group to regularly converse and stay connected.

Work from Home "Homework"

  1. Delete all unnecessary files, programs, apps, and photos from all of your devices.
  2. Clean out your email inbox, set up folders.
  3. Clean up and set up your fixed calendar.
     

Special Work From Home Offer

For a limited time, we are offering a personalized and professionally prepared Work From Home Plan for only $95+GST!

Your Work From Home Plan includes:

  • 60-minute virtual "in-home" workspace assessment
  • Personalized 10 point organizing & productivity plan
  • 90-minute virtual implementation session
  • 30-minute virtual evaluation call
Work from Home Offer

Book Your Discovery Call

Click HERE book your FREE discovery call directly in my calendar to see if we are a good fit to work together.

Be sure to take advantage of this valuable offer while it is still available.

Our Gift to You

Included with your personal Work From Home Plan, is our exclusive 33-page Productivity Mastery E-Book as our gift to you.

Your personalized Work From Home Plan, along with your copy of the Productivity Mastery E-Book, will provide you with powerful stress-busting organizing and productivity solutions to make your work simpler and your outlook more peaceful once you start working through them. 

You cannot buy our Productivity Mastery E-Book as it is only available to our Work From Home Plan clients (valued at $19.99).

Productivity Mastery - 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm

Additional Resources

Here are additional Freedom Living blogs and other valuable resources for even more support on your organizing and productivity journey.

More Work From Home Blog Posts

The first blog in our Work from Home Series focused on Your Physical Space.

The third blog in our Work from Home Series focused on Managing Distractions.

The fourth blog in our Work from Home Series focused on Getting It Done.

The fifth blog in our Work from Series focused on Routines for Success.

Book Your Discovery Call Today!

Click HERE book your FREE discovery call directly in my calendar to see if we are a good fit to work together.

We promise your personalized Work From Home Plan will transform your spaces from frustration to freedom and you will become a Productivity Master!

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

WFH Series - Your Physical Space
Oct 01

WORK FROM HOME SERIES – Organization & Productivity Solutions: Your Physical Space

By Noreen Music | Offers & Discounts , Organizing Tips , Productivity

Have you found yourself working from home for an indeterminate amount of time?

Are you still working from your dining room table or off the corner of your kitchen counter?

Does your current home office space work for you for the long term?

Work From Home Series

The ongoing global pandemic continues to keep many of us at home and the future continues to look uncertain. What will our offices look like in 3 months, 6 months or a year from now?

What we do know is that working from home is the new reality.

For employers, working from home can boost productivity, reduce turnover, and lower organizational costs, while employees enjoy perks like flexibility and the lack of a commute.

So now is the perfect time to create a super organized and highly productive home office space to set you up for long-term success.

Here are my proven organizational and productivity methods to help you get organized, stay productive and create a balanced routine to crush your work projects all from the comfort of your own home office.

Read on if you want to transform your work from home office into an organized, functional and highly productive space that inspires you!

Organizing & Productivity Solutions: Your Physical Space

Set Up Your Physical Space

If you don’t have a home office already set up, pick a location in your home that is the most conducive.

If possible, it should be a private space dedicated just for work where you can have peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the household, kids, TV, and where distractions can be kept to a minimum.

Proper lighting is also critical. Access to natural light during the day is best but if you are working where there are no windows or at night, good overhead lighting with a task light for your desk work surface is critical to avoid eye strain.

Having a clear desk or table surface to place your computer or laptop on plus a notepad and a few basic supplies close at hand is all you need on top of your work surface.

Basic Ergonomics

Your work from home space needs to be set up so that you will be physically comfortable working in this area long-term. 

Arrange your workspace with proper ergonomics in mind so you don't end up experiencing back, wrist or neck issues.

Reducing the chance of injury and being comfortable allows you to stay productive and focused. 

  • The weight of your arms should be supported at all times.
  • Your monitor should be at eye level with the top of your computer screen to keep the weight of your head supported.
  • Your monitor should be at least an arms length away.
  • Minimize glare on your computer screen and give your eyes a break periodically by looking away.
  • Use proper lumbar support to avoid slouching.
  • Avoid leaning and reaching to get close to your work.
  • Use headphones or your speaker when talking on the phone.
  • Your feet should reach the floor with your legs at a 90 degree angle. If not, use a footrest or lower your keyboard or chair.

Declutter

If your work environment is disorganized and cluttered, declutter your workspace.

Solid productivity practices rely on creating an environment that is favourable for efficiency and effectiveness. When your space is cluttered, this actually hinders your brain from functioning at its best.

Start with removing any obvious trash. Clear away any unnecessary clutter from the top of your work surface and only store on top of your desk what you use daily.

For organizing your papers set up 4 file folders or boxes - 1 for important & urgent, 1 for important & not urgent, 1 for not important and 1 for agonizing.

Keep a notepad handy as you sort through your papers and write down any to-do's as you go so you don't get sidetracked.

Group similar items together then put them away.

Daily items go on top of the desk, items you use several times a week go in a desk drawer close by, items used once a week or once a month can go in a cabinet close by, items used a few times a year can go in the least accessible cabinet and rarely or never used items can be archived.

Tidy, clean and disinfect your space regularly to keep clutter and germs at bay.

This will keep you happier and healthier while working long hours in your home work space.

Supplies

Invest in your home office. Request or purchase the equipment you need - monitor, keyboard, mouse, a good chair, printer, software, dedicated phone line, internet connection, stationary supplies, etc.

Find out if your company has a budget for WFH equipment? Do they require you to have a separate computer for work versus personal?

As this is your home office, add pleasant scents, plants and motivating images to make it a space you enjoy and are inspired being in.

Work from Home "Homework"

  1. Declutter your space!
  2. Set yourself up with all of the supplies you need.
  3. Check your ergonomics to prevent injury.
     

Special Work From Home Offer

For a limited time, we are offering a personalized and professionally prepared Work From Home Plan for only $95+GST!

Your Work From Home Plan includes:

  • 60-minute virtual "in-home" workspace assessment
  • Personalized 10 point organizing & productivity plan
  • 90-minute virtual implementation session
  • 30-minute virtual evaluation call
Work from Home Offer

Book Your Discovery Call

Click HERE book your FREE discovery call directly in my calendar to see if we are a good fit to work together.

Be sure to take advantage of this valuable offer while it is still available.

Our Gift to You

Included with your personal Work From Home Plan, is our exclusive 33-page Productivity Mastery E-Book as our gift to you.

Your personalized Work From Home Plan, along with your copy of the Productivity Mastery E-Book, will provide you with powerful stress-busting organizing and productivity solutions to make your work simpler and your outlook more peaceful once you start working through them. 

You cannot buy our Productivity Mastery E-Book as it is only available to our Work From Home Plan clients (valued at $19.99).

Productivity Mastery - 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm

Additional Resources

Here are additional Freedom Living blogs and other valuable resources for even more support on your organizing and productivity journey.

More Work From Home Blog Posts

The second blog in our Work from Home Series focused on Your Digital Space.

The third blog in our Work from Home Series focused on Managing Distractions.

The fourth blog in our Work from Home Series focused on Getting It Done.

The fifth blog in our Work from Series focused on Routines for Success.

Book Your Discovery Call Today!

Click HERE book your FREE discovery call directly in my calendar to see if we are a good fit to work together.

We promise your personalized Work From Home Plan will transform your spaces from frustration to freedom and you will become a Productivity Master! 

Find your freedom.
Live your life.

Noreen

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