There are times we can work at home regularly or periodically. We may need to work at home to help your family activities, work at home to help stabilize finances with your small business, or work during an intense period of upheaval (think virus.) Working at the office or working at home works best when you have processes, policies and organization about your time. By setting up structure, you are doing your best work. Here are some ways to establish structure that keeps you on track.
- Set hours for your office time. During this time, keep clear and established set ground rules for kids, pets and others in your home. Your work is your priority during these hours. Post your hours so that those around you know them. This un-distracted time helps you be more productive.
- Give yourself the opportunity for breaks, including lunch. Take a few minutes for a walk around the block or fresh air with a short break. You will return to your desk ready to tackle anything.
- Define what derails you. Distractions can range from kids and pets to doing the laundry. Its the little things that eat away at your day, so be sure you put the big things in first in your day.
- Use a planner that shows you time blocks to accomplish priorities. Having a time in the morning and afternoon with focused, big blocks for power periods helps you knock off the big projects in small manageable pieces.
- Set up an established work space. Working at home it’s easy to spread out in all sorts of spaces. Establish where you work and what you need to arrange around you to work efficiently. If you need paper, think about using a file cart for your paper management. If you are completely digital, keep your cords organized.
- Define your work every day with a list and prioritizing. Using the 3+3 method where you list 3 urgent items for the day and 3 bonus items can help you focus. Your list can be categorized by urgent, soon or later to keep your priorities uppermost. Set a time for weekly planning to keep all your items on a list and assign deadlines too. Ask yourself is this activity helping me reach my goal every day?
- Use technology to stay connected. There is Join.me, Zoom and Free Conference Call to “see” your colleagues in real life. Just seeing a face and reading body language will help you feel more connected that a phone call.
Setting up for success when you work at home makes your work more productive!