How To Keep Focused When Working From Home
How To Keep Focused When Working From Home
By Marshall Krupp, Professional EOS Implementer
In collaboration with Ashley Berecz, Executive Assistant
This has been an unprecedented year. 2020 seems to have crawled by. With COVID, millions have either been furloughed or forced to make the abrupt shift to working from home full time. For many, the future looks very uncertain. When will society return to “normal,” or if anything, what will the new normal be?
Time is the most precious resource we have. It is ever moving and cannot be changed. We all have 24 hours in a day, yet some people seem to complete more tasks than others. The easiest task a person can accomplish by working from home is accomplishing nothing at all. According to motivational speaker Jim Rohn, “You either run the day or the day runs you.”Time is money and at the small risk of sounding redundant, the words are still true to this day and, dare I say, even more relevant now. Using these 5 tips to work from home, you will be on the right track to managing your time and success.
SET A ROUTINE
Your routine, while you were going into the office Monday through Friday, should closely resemble your routine now. If you wake up at 6:30 am every morning before heading into the office, you should still wake up at 6:30 am even when your office could only be a mere few feet away. Routine provides structure, counteracts boredom, and reduces stress. Having a routine causes you to make fewer decisions daily and ultimately frees up your time.
There is no right or wrong to prioritization, except no prioritization at all. Some prefer to tackle the small tasks firsts while others prefer to tackle the more audacious tasks and completing the smaller ones after. When prioritizing, keep top of mind a few things:
- Urgency of the task: Do you need to complete this task today? If so, in the morning or afternoon? Can one of your tasks wait until tomorrow? When looking at the urgency, make sure to ask yourself these questions.
- Estimated time to complete: Whether you have your desktop, watch, phone, or wall clock: keep an eye on it. The worst thing you could do is fall down a rabbit hole trying to finish a task to only realize you are now two hours behind.
- Be flexible and adaptable: Just because you set your priority schedule for the day does not mean that is how your day will shape up to be. Do not become stressed if your priority list changes throughout the day. It’s normal, and it’s important to note that it’s good to take a break if needed.
- Know when to stop and move on: Remember, time is money and there will come a point when working on a project where you become frustrated or exhausted. Understand that taking a break and circling back around to something is okay.
Procrastination is the worst habit that can become the norm! It is easy to do. How many of you have pushed off a project until the absolute last minute only to scream at yourself later on? No need to hesitate; we all have. Procrastinating among work, school, or life is normal; however, try to avoid it becoming a daily habit. When working from home, there is no supervisor down the hall to check in with you throughout the day. If you are late with an assignment that you were given ample time to complete, it will reflect on you and you alone. Instead, switch your mindset to one of urgency or break off each task into small chunks that can be easily completed until you have built up the whole project.
MAKE A DAILY TO-DO LIST
Either the night before or the morning of, set making a to-do list as your first task of the day. By writing down the top three or five most important tasks, you have an idea of what the layout of your day is going to look like. When you have a list prepared, your subconscious mind will automatically start to help you mentally prepare for the day ahead. If you take the time to make a list, you should find that the time to complete each item should lessen, and therefore your productivity should increase.
CHECK OFF TASKS AS YOU COMPLETE THEM
Many find the physical notion of crossing off an item on their checklist extremely satisfying. After creating a to-do list every morning, try to circle back to the list each time you complete a task to cross it out. By circling back to the list, you will also be continuously reminding yourself what you need to get done each day. Checking off your tasks provides us with the sense of accomplishment that we miss when we clock out and head home for the evening. At the end of the day and when you complete one or more of the three to five most important task that you have set for the day, delete them off the lost for tomorrow, elevate the ones on the list that you have not completed to greater importance, and add the same number of tasks that you deleted from the list. Now, clocking out is as simple as shutting your computer screen and walking away from your desk.
Working from home for many will not be the case forever and while studies show that many are enjoying the new work norm, some are having a hard time creating that separation. And, for some, the work from the home model will become the new norm. New norms require pivoting, acceptance, and new approaches to fit the situation.
Hopefully, these above steps can help you throughout the future of the COVID challenges or as it becomes your new norm.
Do you have any additional ideas on how to stay focused when working from home? We would love to hear additional comments and suggestions as we are also adapting to this new style of the working normal. We are always happy to meet with anyone, so if you would like to continue this discussion further, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.We will be happy to get back to you!
TractionPure2 is an affiliate of Peer Executive Boards and focused on “elevating entrepreneur businesses from complexity to simplicity” using the EOS® Model and Process. EOS®, the Entrepreneurial Operating System® takes entrepreneur businesses on a journey of mastery of the EOS tools which enables businesses to elevate their leadership teams to make better decisions, maintain a level of accountability, and attain greater success more simplistically. The components of EOS® are Vision, People, Data, Issues, Process, and Traction, which when used effectively attains a healthier organization with greater success. Marshall Krupp is the founder and Principal of TractionPure2 and a recognized Professional EOS® Implementer serving clients throughout the nation. He is also a national speaker, a past award-winning Vistage Worldwide Chair, and a past career in providing crisis management strategic service to businesses, governmental agencies, and not-for-profit organizations.