5 Ways to Be More Efficient While Working From Home
A large portion of the United States has suddenly found itself working from home and adapting to a new way of life. How can you remain productive while working from your couch or kitchen table? These five strategies can help optimize your time away from the office.
1. Establish a routine.
A stable routine is always helpful, which is why having a habit machine — or system to help you build positive habits — is essential for those who are new to working remotely. Your habit machine will help you add more value to your daily routine.
The first step is a little counterintuitive to some: Lower the bar. Tell yourself, "I'm going to do this a minimum of one minute today, two minutes a day tomorrow." Set the bar low, but continually raise it to build momentum.
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2. Be a student of your calendar.
By far, the biggest change in productivity came for me when I started studying my calendar. This isn’t taking a look at your schedule, there are three things to focus on:
- Study the things you have planned for the day.
- Study the white space of your calendar. How can you schedule more of those four-minute calls or 19-minute meetings? How can you be more accessible to those who might need you? And don’t forget to ensure you schedule downtime or fun activities, too.
- Study your sleep. It not only is the restorative process, but it enhances your immune system, which is of the utmost importance. You need to build a consistent sleep routine that helps restore not only your physical being but your mental health, as well.
3. Master prioritization.
As you're studying your calendar, you must institute the “Do It Now” rule. There's an old saying: “Ask a busy person to do something for you and you'll be much more likely to get it done.” It goes beyond that, though.
You have to evaluate your tasks by urgency and importance in order to determine priority. You do this by analyzing the actuality of the situation or event in light of your own personal values, not the urgency perceived by others.