While I think we are a while away from what is going on in the world right now becoming a new normal, we have had a few weeks to adjust to the global crisis and the impact on our community.
For me, working from home is no problem, I quite enjoy it to be honest. I have been known to sneak out of the office to keep working here at home with only the birds and dogs for company. It’s bliss, and an easy pivot.
What isn’t quite so easy to get used to, is working from home with other family members here. It was a bit of a shock to the system; every day felt like Sunday, breakfast suddenly became a social affair, business productivity was interrupted by veggie garden checks (admiring our progress) and coffee breaks became bigger than the work sessions.
I didn’t worry too much at first, I was meant to be in New York on holiday and then travelling for my mastermind and a conference in Florida, so I was owed a little down time.
Then we had a big chat about our plans and goals for the year, and how they had taken a major detour thanks to a certain virus, and we needed to take a detour right along with it.
So new plans were made.
We decided that we would set a clear agenda that included a few great productivity hacks. They’re working a treat, so I thought I’d share them with you.
1. Master your mindset
First off, we knew we had to address our mindset, just as we had during other major crisis we’ve navigated over the years. Not letting the panic and chaos consume us is vital to surviving the tough times. We don’t get caught up in the negative news loops, we know this will pass just as the recession and other tough times did, we just need to step up and do what we need to do.
2. Set up your workspace
Secondly, we needed to each get clear on our workspace and our work boundaries. If any of us are working behind a closed door then we know not to interrupt.
3. Stick to a daily schedule
We have set a clear daily schedule, just as we would in the office. We start on time, take limited breaks, and finish the day on time (Hubby and I aren’t so good at this bit but the rest of the team are spot on).
4. Communication often
Having managed a remote team for many years (the charity I founded in Vietnam), I know it’s important to maintain communication. We check in each morning with a plan for the day and we meet up again immediately after lunch with a progress update. These little mini accountability sessions are working really well.
5. Ignore the distractions
I know this can be easier said than done but it’s a must if you’re going to work productively from home. Give yourself time blocks for work and avoid the distractions until the time is up. Close off your internet, put your phone on flight mode, work in a quiet corner of the house where you can’t see the kitchen/garden/laundry or whatever else is screaming for your attention. I find 90 minutes is a good time block when I’m at home, I’ll work for 90 minutes and then take a break to indulge in the distraction, answer the calls, check social media etc.
It’s worth remembering that we are amazingly adaptable creatures, it doesn’t take us long to form new habits, to adjust to the changes in our environment, just look at the major cities that are deserted.
It’s a crazy time right now, we’re all making major pivots, and while the tips above will help you to adjust to working from home, it’s still a big adjustment. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
If you would like further productivity tips you’re welcome to download my eBook ‘Getting it Done’.
I hope you’re doing well, I’d love to hear how you are doing and how you’re adjusting to working from home.
Leave a comment and let me know.