Working from home? Here’s how I do it!
I’ve been more productive than ever with these methods. Time to share!
You might have gotten a million tips already about how to work from home in the past week – but just in case you haven’t, I wanted to give a few tips on how I keep completing urgent and not-so-urgent tasks on a daily basis.
- Have quarterly goals
Having quarterly goals will help you plan time for non-urgent but important goals. Last year during Q3, I wrote down for myself I wanted to set up a system for this mailing list, make 3 personal pieces for my portfolio, get feedback from an industry professional on my work, and hit a certain income goal. Because I had this list to refer back to every week when I planned my next tasks, I had clear goals in mind and managed to complete them all (and even managed to make an extra piece for my portfolio!)
- Write down your to-do’s
Lots of people keep their to-do list in their head. I used to as well. As a consequence, unimportant tasks sometimes took up a lot of mindspace, and I could forget important-but-not-urgent ones. I now keep a to-do list that syncs across my iPad, PC and phone so I have it with me at all times, and write down everything. Tasks for at home, work, things I need to ask people or responses I’m waiting for.
I also add a date to them as much as possible so they pop up whenever I’m going to need them again. Otherwise they get lost in lists I never look at.
- Don’t just plan tasks. Plan the time for tasks
You know how you sometimes have a task list where you plan to write a novel, repair your relationship with that long-lost friend and end world hunger in one day? If you start blocking out the time in your calendar, you’ll quickly see how much time you can actually devote to certain tasks. Remember that this also goes for personal things – need to stop working early to entertain your kid, or take an hour in addition to having lunch to get groceries for the week? Put it in your calendar so you don’t run short on time.
- Reflect on what went right and wrong
When starting out with planning in your calendar, you’ll probably plan too little time for certain tasks. Or you do your fiction writing in the afternoon instead of in the morning one day and realize you did a lot better. Remember to evaluate your week and note down things that went well or need improvement, and look back at this when planning your next tasks. In the case above you could decide to move your standard fiction writing block of time to the afternoon, and give yourself an extra hour to actually reach your word count.
- Shut off distractions
We’ve heard it all before, but I’m going to repeat it anyway. I have most notifications (let’s say 90%) turned off on my phone. However, sometimes I’ll still have a news website or a chat program open on my computer while I’m working. I usually catch myself clicking through these distractions mindlessly when I’m looking to distract myself if I have them open. When I close it all off, the visual reminder isn’t there so it’s much easier to become engrossed in my work and spend ages doing the thing I’m supposed to do. If you find yourself opening a new tab and the first thing you type is “fa” (you know the website), you might want to use a social media blocker for a while until you’ve got that automatic response out of your system.
Those are the biggest takeaways from how I work! I hope you can use these tips to give some extra structure to these hectic times. Any questions? Let me know on social media or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!