Staying Productive and WFH: It Can Happen
About two weeks ago during a conversation with a small business owner who I'm helping with her strategic sales plan, the topic of productivity came up and how to maintain it when working from home. We shared our thoughts, discussed some of the suggestions we had read about, and stumbled upon some fairly common tactics that, for whatever reason, were not getting the attention they deserved.
That's so sad for them, I thought. I should strongly consider promoting those under-represented tactics in a place where thousands of eyes will have the pleasure of reading them and thousands of brains will have the opportunity to process and act on them. I'm sure you can guess what's coming next. Yep, they're here, in my Blog. Without further ado, feast your eyes and brains on this brilliant stuff. Kidding, of course. But I am sharing in case anyone is curious as to what tends to work for me, the other small business owner, and probably many other work-from-homers.
Time chunking for high priority items. Not rocket science here. Just make sure you actually hold time in your calendar for the most mission-critical tasks, projects, and initiatives that fall under your purview. If you have it rated as important or if someone else does, then give it its fair due and block off time to devote exclusively to working on it. You'll be glad you did.
When you wake up each morning, do so at the same time you did when you worked in an office. Then take a shower for goodness sake and get yourself dressed for business. There's nothing quite like the feeling of prepping for and starting your day thinking, acting, and looking like you're ready to conquer the world. Just because you WFH doesn't mean that the "that's right, I'm a bad-ass" attitude should cease. Oh, but don't actually act like a bad-ass. People won't like you. It's really just a way to get yourself amped up. So, stop lollygagging around in your PJs and sweats and get to it like the pro you truly are.
This one's more personal and I'll share it with you only because a good pal, who we'll call "Carl", reminded me of it. I'm guessing most folks have a "home office" of sorts, either in the basement, guest room, or even an actual home office. Carl has the later and it's really nice. I mean really, really nice. There is absolutely no good reason for him to ever leave it. It's got mahogany wood, and french doors, a mini-fridge & pantry, beautiful hand-crafted bookshelves, and a big ol' desk that would make even George Costanza weep in envy. Trust me, Carl's a big hitter. But if you're anything like me, staying in one spot all day is simply mind-numbing. My remedy is to have multiple "home offices" within my singular home. For example, I'm writing this post from my gazebo-office. Later this morning, I'll head into the kitchen-office, and I'm sure at some point I'll visit the reading-nook-office or even the corner-deck-outdoor-Adirondack-chair-office. The point is to not let yourself go crazy sitting in one spot when you don't have to. You're at home, make the most of your space and get to know areas that you may otherwise have not had the chance to frequent. It's actually quite fun.
Once you find something that works, whether it's my suggestions or not, stick with it. Summon up the willpower to stay disciplined to the routine that allows for the highest level of productivity. This tactic is probably the hardest one to follow, especially when you WFH. I mean there are so many potential distractions - mowing the lawn, doing the dishes, taking a mid-afternoon siesta, starting that new-addition you've always dreamt about. But you must resist temptation and remember that you have a job to do. People are counting on you to do it well. So stay focused.
Well, there you have it. I hope this is helpful. Please share if you know someone who will find it interesting, comical, or valuable. Leave constructive comments. And don't forget to always strive to Achieve Greatness.