Working from home? It’s Time to Power up your Productivity!
As England moves into another lockdown, it looks like we will be working from home for the foreseeable. Time management specialist and best-selling author Kate Christie shares her top tips to power up your productivity when working from home.
Instead of a small minority of us working from home, millions of us are waking up day after day to find our home is also our workplace.
So, just how do you continue to deliver with great productivity and discipline, when the rules have so dramatically changed?
1. Time Investment vs Time Management
The great irony about ‘Time Management’ is how much time we spend thinking about how we could, or should, be managing our time differently to get more done. Was there ever a greater waste of time? Probably not. Now, more than ever, it’s time to switch your mindset from one of ‘Time Management’ to one of ‘Time ‘Investment’.
Time is the one asset we all have exactly the same amount of – no matter how savvy or wealthy you are. So from today it’s time to start thinking about your time the way you think about your money – as a precious, enormously valuable and limited resource that needs to be consciously invested for the greatest possible return.
For every task you undertake while working at home, maximise your productivity by asking yourself this question: Is this the best use of my time? If the answer is ‘No’, then choose a better option.
2. Plan to Succeed
Start with a master ‘To Do List’ of each task/project you have on your plate. From your To Do List, identify the top two most important tasks to complete tomorrow – look to prioritise revenue generating tasks or tasks with the tightest deadline.
At the end of each day:
- Update the To Do List with any new tasks
- Identity the two most important tasks for next day
If you do this every day, then by the end of the week at a minimum you will have completed your ten most important tasks for the week.
3. Focus on the Right Tasks
Maximise your productivity at home by focusing on the right tasks at the right time of day. Identity the time of day when you are at your absolute best – your most energised and impactful.
Lock your two most important tasks (see #2) into your calendar during a high energy period of the day – for example, if you are a morning person then this time is sacred and must only ever be devoted to your most important, revenue generating work.
Likewise, if you are more likely to have low energy in the afternoon, then use this time for your process driven tasks that don’t require your best brain.
4. Control Your Device Usage
Where’s your phone? Are you on it right now? I bet it’s within arm’s reach. While your phone is an essential business tool, especially when working from home, it also has the potential to be a massive productivity killer (think social media; news surfing; candy crush).
The average smart phone user checks their phone every 6.5 minutes – and this constant compulsion to check your phone will severely limit your ability to use your time well.
- Be conscious of your device habits – if you want to maintain your productivity at home, it is important to set boundaries
- work in 45-minute batches of time
- Single focus on the task and turn your phone off during each batch
5. Stay Sane
We are creatures of habit – and now is the perfect time to create some new habits:
- Get up and get active – exercise; eat well; meditate; focus; and have a set time to you sit down and start work. You are saving significant commute time, don’t waste this gift!
- Take regular breaks during the day – your day should be set up as a series of 45 sprints, not an 8-hour marathon.
- Set and smash your deadlines – prove to yourself that you are super productive, regardless of where you are working from. Now is the perfect time to curate how you would like to work in the future!