There are many things I have learned working for myself & from home, but the one of the highest value is that of productivity. When you work for yourself or have a huge amount flexibility in your job and location, it’s super easy to get off task really fast. Despite my planning somedays I find myself trying all excuses possible not be at my computer and get other things done. Having flexibility in my choice of what to work on and when is really a blessing, but the reality sometimes means juggling 5 things on the go, like last week when my family & I were in the worse part of our cold/flu illness but still having deadlines to meet. When your mind is jumping from task to task, it can be very hard to finish up one project or chore and move to the next. Did you know, that studies report, it takes our brain 20 minutes to properly refocus from one task to the next? I’m not quite sure I actually believe that, as I am able to make dinner, do a load of laundry and bath a child in a 45 minute window (those chores are second nature to me, so I am not really thinking outside the box). I am talking about trying to do household chores and your work projects, conference calls and meetings when working from home in the same timeframe.
This is what works for me – I have my workspace at home in designated place away from the everyday life – no tv, laundry, household chore list or tasks in sight. All my household chores have a schedule that begin & finish before or after my “at home workday” not pushed in between phone calls, writing or even doing the accounts. Bed making, laundry, meal preparation and other housekeeping tasks aren’t pushed into my “work” time. I schedule “like” works tasks on the same day, split projects into workable hour blocks and plan clients meetings on one day of the week.
Now, my weeks definitely doesn’t look like this every single week because life happens and you just have to go with it. I know my tasks might not apply to you directly, but the overall idea is…..where in your life can you schedule together “like” tasks to keep your focus for longer? Try checking your emails 3 times a day not mutiple times an hour, schedule calls for the same afternoon, plan your errands together – work or home life it doesn’t matter which, and take a little bit of time brainstorming what makes you & when are you the most productive in your life.