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.
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.
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
Our brains can only focus on one thing at a time (music playing in the background is ok).
Work from Home "Homework"
- Track when your brain is the most active - is it first thing in the morning, after dinner?
- Schedule your hardest work during these times.
- Try using a timer or app to time block work and breaks.
Work From Home Plan
We offer a personalized and professionally prepared Work From Home Plan for only $497+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
My Gift to You
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.
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