How are you going in ‘ISO’? For some working from home is not new, however for many of you and your teams, this will be a new experience and there is bound to be uncertainty about how you should go about your day to maximise your productivity. So I want to share with you 5 productivity tips for working from home.
Create a master to do list and identify the 2 most important tasks for tomorrow (see #2 below) and lock these into your calendar for when you are likely to be at your best. You only want to use your best brain for your best work. If you are a morning person, undertake your hardest, most important, revenue generating tasks in the morning and leave your administrative and process driven work for the afternoon.
Your brain loves a deadline. A deadline provides focus and motivation to get the task done. At your workplace, often this focus and motivation comes from being surrounded by your colleagues and managers who are also working towards their own deadlines. When you work from home, it can be a lot harder to maintain the same level of focus towards completing a task – the day feels longer, there are more distractions at home, and there is less external accountability. To stay focussed you need to set your own deadlines each day. Remember Parkinson’s Law: the economic theory that a task expands to meet the time made available – that is, if you don’t set a deadline, the task won’t happen.
Now that you are working from home you can change your morning routine to maximise your productivity. All of a sudden you don’t need to rush out of the house to make your train or to fight against the traffic. However, it’s important not to let your morning fritter away because there is no longer a sense of urgency to get to the office. Get up at the same time and use the extra time you have saved from not commuting to your advantage – add in some exercise; eat well; meditate; focus; and have a set time that you sit down to start work.
Batching is the process of grouping like tasks together and then blocking out slabs of time in your calendar to complete the tasks together. Batching allows you to have one longer concentrated period of time allocated to dealing with tasks in bulk as opposed to jumping in and out of smaller, like tasks repeatedly throughout the day. Batch periods of time to deal with: emails; calls; customers; billing; planning; delivery; compliance; social media and so on.