With the ever-changing fast pace of the world and the work environment, people now have the opportunity to work from home. Aside from the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a whole host of reasons why one might choose to work from home. It can be because there are better financial opportunities for people to work from home. It could also mean that you presented your boss with a solution that would make you more productive by spending less time commuting to and from work, or it could mean that you have your own business and you now have a home office. Whatever might be true for you does come with its perks and challenges. Notwithstanding, I believe that working from home is a game-changer if approached in a strategic manner. There are many opportunities for growth for individuals and companies alike.
Working from home is an attractive opportunity, but it is not ideal for everyone. Some of the requirements can prove challenging and complex to even a seasoned and experienced business person. If you are planning to work from home or you are already working from home, here are some good questions I think you should be asking yourself. Am I creating the right environment for myself? Am I willing to roll up my sleeves every day to get my work done? What are some of the steps I need to take daily to manage distractions? Would an accountability partner help me stay productive and accomplish my goals? What can I do when I feel isolated?
Don’t be scared, these are all very good questions and relevant to your success working from home.
Here, I will share five tips to add to your toolbelt to help your stay productive on a daily basis whilst working from home.
1. Pray without ceasing
Prayer is what gets me through my day as I work from home. Working from home can be a roller coaster ride. It can get lonely. It can be distracting. Months could go by before you are able to book a client, or there can be challenges with deadlines. There can be a mixture of good and tough days that will definitely weigh any individual down. Prayer is the difference-maker and the change maker. Prayer calms the spirit and sets you back on the right course so you can produce exemplary work. When my mind is at peace, my productivity soars. With a thankful heart and a spirit of gratitude, we can all achieve more than we could ever imagine.
2. Manage your priorities with a calendar
Plan your day to prevent working around your day. Sometimes we have the tendency to work on the fly. That can throw us off in unbelievable ways. A calendar helps you to stay on target. It is a visual reminder of what your day or week will look like. I use a calendar. Too much happens in a day. A calendar protects me from the pains of overbooking, keeps me on time with clients and helps tremendously with my productivity. I can track how I spend my time because time is money.
Get into the habit of setting your weekly schedule on a Sunday evening. Schedule time for follow-up, for cold calling, for responding to emails, building out your content (if that is something you do), scheduling your reading time. I am also a firm believer in reading daily. It doesn’t have to be a complete chapter, but read something relevant to what you do or something that will up-level your growth and abilities.
3. Set deadlines
If you are someone like me, you need deadlines. In the past, I would plan out the completion of a task with all good intentions only to lose a whole day, sometimes a full week, without getting done what I needed to get done. Bad habits slowly crept in because I lived in a universe where I called the shots. I did not place a high demand on myself, nor did I place a high enough importance on what I needed to accomplish. Needless to say, that did not work out too well for me. That is when I went back to “ole school.”
I started setting deadlines. I didn’t do it all at one time, I graduated slowly by setting deadlines in increments. For example, finish this task in three days, make this call by 2 p.m. today or by Wednesday. I set reasonable deadlines, breaking myself into a habit that I had to re-learn. Setting deadlines was not new to me. I simply got comfortable with shoddy work and decided that this was not me.
4. Include an exercise regimen and meditation into your day
Working from home gives us more control of our time and our schedule, so I strongly recommend that people who work from home find the time to exercise.
The routine for most individuals who work from home is to spend more time than usual in a chair, or seated at a library, or perhaps at a coffee shop. I am not a health expert, but there is more than enough evidence as to what a minimum of fifteen minutes of exercise can do for our blood circulation, heart health and brain health. If working from home forces you to sit for long hours in a chair, it would be wise to get up and stretch, squat, do some sit-ups, or even perhaps jog on the spot. These activities will give you a huge burst of energy, especially at times when you feel very fatigued, drained or experiencing brain fog. Exercising will keep you mentally sharper. Just 15 minutes of exercising, coupled with another ten to fifteen minutes of guided meditation, can increase momentum and productivity. Meditation gets me back to the center. It helps me relax. I normally set a timer for an exercise break. I add exercising to my schedule daily, and since it is so important to me, I exercise in increments. This makes it easier for me, and I don’t see it as a draining task. To increase productivity, beat the mental challenges of working from home through exercise.
5. Get an accountability partner
Having an accountability partner can be very impactful. The right partner can push you to accomplish more. That individual can make you more aware to help you think in a different way and bring new perspectives that will challenge you into getting better results. To stay productive, look for a strong accountability partner, someone who has an understanding of your business and what you want to achieve. However, do not be opposed to someone who has experience in a different field or industry. You require a partner who will add value to you, give you feedback, and help you cross the finish line. Create an environment to share updates. Schedule check-ins. Your accountability partner should have good questions for you, just like you should have well-prepared questions. Follow the advice of your accountability partner and take action. Measure your performance, which will tell a story.
We do not have to do “work from home” alone. We should always test our strength and ability to produce more. We can definitely stay focused and increase our productivity with an accountability partner, our personal cheerleaders.
Hope this can help make a difference in managing your productivity.
Author: Maggie Jean
Maggie Jean has served at top executive-level jobs in the banking and retail industries for several years. During her career, Maggie most enjoyed training and preparing emerging leaders to be able to perform in higher roles of responsibility and accountability. As of now, Maggie is the CEO of her own business, MJ’s Coaching and Business Solutions LLC, where she provides services and solutions tailored to small and mid-sized businesses to train and develop high performing leaders. Leaders who will function well under pressure, manage time efficiently, improve employee and customer engagement, and increase productivity. Maggie Jean is a certified and licensed facilitator at the executive director level with The John Maxwell Team. Maggie Jean is a leadership development consultant and owner of a company that provides small and mid-sized companies with the services to train, develop and equip high performing leaders. Alongside running her business, she provides coaching to individual business owners. She is a licensed and certified facilitator with The John Maxwell Team. She can be contacted at 281 838 2959 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.