Are you waiting for this damn Pandemic to end? Are you screaming enough! enough! I want my life back? I can’t give you that but I can give you survival tips to greet a new reality
Last newsletter I gave 10 tips to business success. Many of us have been working from home for the last 11 months. Some love it some hate it but for those of you who are dealing with a brand new world; there are ways to make it better, maintain sanity, reduce procrastination, and increase motivation. This is a new world that offers new opportunities. I offer some tried and true tips to ease your way through, to adapt and perhaps to enjoy the journey.
Create your space
Makeshift doesn’t work. You need a designated area. Staples has created work stations that are inexpensive so has IKEA. Find a spot, preferably not in your bedroom unless you have a separate sitting area. Some work areas are like Murphy beds and fold up and away
Your space should also be welcoming, by a window or in front of a nice picture. There needs to be convenient storage for your printer, paper, files and whatever else you need. Ideally there is a nearby closet, if not there are great storage baskets.The key is to make it convenient and easy to work.
Not everyone has a home office. You need to create something that is just yours and not the kitchen table. This allows you to have your things in your space. In addition doing work in bed or sitting incorrectly causes pain and decreases performance As an aside you may want to provide a workspace for your kids. The portable desks are inexpensive and gives them a sense of ownership as well
If you live with other people especially children they need to know what can not be touched and when you can not be disturbed. Some people have used fold able screens or drapes to separate themselves physically.
Boundaries also cover when you will and won’t work.
What hours are dedicated to work and what hours are for family or exercise or just R&R?
This is where planning and schedules are crucial
Negotiate with family to identify when you are available and when not. Be flexible
Some people put up signs others wear headphones to say they can’t be disturbed.
Empower children to be responsible and when you can help. It gives them a sense of pride as well and keeps you from being a helicopter parent
Set a schedule that is posted. Identify what can be changed and what can’t.
Create task lists that can be checked off. A great app for tasks is Rememberthemilk.com
Be more productive
This means work smarter not harder productivity does not equal hours worked.
What time of day are you most energized? I am not a morning person so I do “busy” work then in preparation for more in depth later
Use the Eisenhower model.It helps you prioritize and clarify tasks Delegate as much as you can.
Take breaks go for a walk or whatever clears your mind Ideally once every 60-90 minutes
Estimate how long tasks will take and group accordingly
Create weekly brainstorms with co-workers or colleagues
Get an accountability partner
Missing office sounds? https://soundofcolleagues.com/# https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuwGT88P-RU
Talk to neighbors
Have a weekly lunch with colleagues using zoom but focus on the same conversation you would have face to face.
Avoid Zoom burnout
Reduce the number of video meetings. For quick questions use the phone or send a text.
Set an agenda and stick to it If need be continue a conversation off line by phone
Be prepared, whether you are leading or a member; know why you are there and what you contribute
If you are zoning out take notes or ask questions using active listening
As a leader end with a summary that includes proposed tasks and dates.
Remember this is new to many people we are all trying to figure out what we like and where we are going. Be kind to yourself. You may like where all of this goes