Hacks To Be Productive When Working From Home
Being Productive in the State of Chaos…
This is a crazy and uncertain time. We have a hundred things on our mind and some of us, a hundred things on our to-do list. While working from home right now hasn’t been an easy accomplishment, even if you were already working from home, there have been a few things that I’ve found to make it easier and more productive.
To Do List (Find Your “Big Three”)
At the beginning of every day, write down your to-do list. Categorize those tasks from Top Priority, Important, and Need To Get Done. Your top priority should be the things that make you feel the most accomplished. It will move your needle most for your projects, profits, and productivity. I read an article by Jenna Kutcher that you have to have your “Big Three”. These “Top Three” are your top priority tasks (even if it is two or five). “It’s the essential tasks that progress your workload substantially, not the little, nitty-gritty stuff.” These should be the tasks that if all you did today were these things, you would still feel productive and accomplished.
Do those top priority “Big Three” tasks first thing! Yes, I said it, FIRST! Knock those time-consuming tasks out of the way before focusing on the small stuff. Did you know that in the morning, people usually have more energy and creativity? Channel that into your top priority tasks so that you can do them more efficiently! After that, work on your important tasks. Then, if you don’t make it to the need to get done tasks, those can be pushed to your top priority or important tasks list for the next day.
Create Your “Space”
In your home, you should separate your spaces. Have your workspace and your comfy space. For me, I set up my kitchen table as my “desk” and use that for most of my work. The couch is left for comfort and relaxation with very little work. Except I am currently writing this article from my couch, but I consider this more relaxing than work! My bedroom is for relaxation and sleep ONLY. I don’t bring work to the bedroom. I put on some Netflix (or Hulu), I play a few games on my iPad or read, and I sleep… that’s It.
When you create a separate space between work and relaxation, your brain creates recognition for when you are working (brain turned on) and relaxing (brain turned off). This way, when your brain is on, it is knocking out work and when It is off, it is recovering from your workday. I found this to also really help with your mental health. I will say on a beautiful day, I will work outside on my deck in the sunlight. You need fresh air and vitamin D whenever you have the chance, am I right?
Time Block Your Day To Be Productive
When you time block your day, It can really help with your productivity. Time blocking your tasks such as responding to emails, reading newsletters (or newspaper), working on your top priority “Big Three” tasks, breaks, wellness, drinking wine, or whatever else floats your boat, makes It easier to get It all done. You know your schedule better than I do, so block out chunks of time to get things done. Mine currently looks like this… I start my day with a cup of coffee and checking my email for urgent emails. From there, I knock out one or two of my priority tasks, take a break for more coffee or lunch depending on what time it is, and then check emails. After that, I knock out my third priority task and then check in with any staff members as needed. Throughout the day, I have calls and meetings as scheduled. I try and take a break for at least 10 minutes every hour to just get up and move so I’m not sitting all day.
There are so many different ways that you can set up your day to help with your productivity. You can time block your day to do admin activities in the morning, take a lunch break, and creative tasks in the afternoon. Set it up in whatever way makes your life easier. One way I set things up, is that I use different days for certain types of tasks. I do social media analytics on Monday and Thursday. Email marketing on Tuesday. Wednesday and Friday are for client/member work and strategy planning. Remember to take the time to figure out where your energy is throughout the day. Your energy can be spread out differently than how It used to be in your old work situation. I have seen a shift in when I am most productive. I used to be more productive in the morning and in the evening. Now, I am more productive in the late morning into the early afternoon (if I drink enough water). So you really want to be paying attention to your body!
Find Your Routine
I think having a routine in times of uncertainty can bring you a little bit of sanity. Whether it’s waking up and going to bed at the same time, eating dinner and lunch at the same time, or FaceTiming your loved ones on certain days. Everyone has a different routine. I wake up around 7, make coffee and start work around 8. I work with small breaks, take lunch around 12/1. Work until 4 with small breaks and then try to go for a walk if it’s nice. Then I have dinner around 6/7 and watch tv, read, or something relaxing until I go to bed. It’s simple, but its a routine. When everything is very uncertain, creating something that is certain can make all the difference.
Find a System That Works For You
At the end of the day, you need to find what works best for you. I have noticed that a lot of programs that I relied heavily on in my “normal” work-life aren’t working for me during this time. Everyone is different and your brain is honestly operating differently than before. Even if you are used to working from home, our brains are full survival mode. There is fear of death and/or uncertainty, you have to adapt to new environments and norms, and conquer stress from not only you but the people around you. You need to find what is best for you and those around you. Once you find that, it will help you be your most productive. Maybe you make a new schedule or you spend more time meditating, you switch around the kid time with your S.O., or you take a walk or run a few times a day. Whatever It is you need to do, figure It out and do It.
At the end of the day, listen to your body because it knows what you need. And guess what, it will tell you! Take a break if you need one. Go for a walk if you need some sun and fresh air. Find a way to work without staring at your computer as much if you need it. Everyone is different and everyone’s bodies and brains require different things in order to survive.
Comment and Tell Me, How are you staying productive and finding a way to stay sane during this uncertain time?