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Be effective, not just busy while working from home

More simple strategies for work from home wellness

Working from home has its challenges. Managing your time, focus, energy, motivation and effectiveness are high on the list for those we work with. Follow these tips to perform at your best for more of the day, every day.

Set short, effective time targets

Don’t worry about your time management being perfect every day. It’s not possible and it doesn’t have to be. That said, you do need some type of framework to help you manage your time and most importantly, manage your effectiveness. We find working in short bursts of focus can be very successful.

1. Plan 2-3 days ahead and break each day into sections of 60-90 minutes. Take charge of what you do when and, wherever possible, play to your strengths during each time slot. For example, schedule no calls at times when you know you’ll feel focused for your best planning, strategy or project work. Book calls at times when you’ll benefit from feeding off the energy of others. Or you can set other days up the opposite way around by arranging calls when you know you’ll be on top form to inspire others, and protect some quiet times when you want to brainstorm new ideas without interruption.

2. Give yourself a minute or two to transition between tasks. Pause to review what you’ve done for the last hour and what you intend to do for the next hour. Be sure that you’re investing your time in the right way every day. These pauses to prevent misallocation of your most valuable resource i.e. you, can save you minutes each day and hours across a week.

3. If you do have days where there is a large gap between what you thought you’d achieve and what you actually managed to achieve, make a quick note of what you’d do differently next time to avoid a repeat of this situation. Busy days when we don’t feel in full control can be stressful but taking charge of how you’d fix the situation in the future will instantly reduce any stress.

Set 3 priorities for each day

Then tackle the most important one first. By doing this you start the day on a positive note and will feel good for the rest of the day. If you resist what’s important, procrastination will sap your energy and not only will you not do as good a job with the important task but you’ll also won’t be fully committed to everything else that gets in the way of what you know you really should be doing.

Keep moving

Working at home can mean more time on a laptop than ever before. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Chances are you don’t always need to be at your screen to be working. We all think and work better if we keep blood and oxygen circulating around the body and brain so make plans to move while you work regularly throughout the day.

1. Whenever possible (local lockdown rules permitting) take a task with you and get outside for a walk. Maybe even sit in a park and take a few deep breaths. You’ll probably find that you’re more creative with solutions to a whole range of issues than if you remain staring at a screen for ages.

2. When you change your physical space you can also try changing how you work. If you usually organise your thoughts by typing on your phone, take a note pad and write on that instead. Or shape up ideas on plain paper in pictures or a mind map. Or talk through your ideas aloud – don’t worry, no one will listen. There’s nothing like putting thoughts into spoken words to sort out the good ideas from the not so good!

3. Even if you only have a moment or two occasionally each day, get up, stretch your arms above you, stand with good posture, roll your shoulders, circle your arms and take 10 deep breaths. It’s an instant energiser that always leaves you feeling calmer, more focused and more likely to make good decisions.

© 2019 The Tonic (Trainers) Ltd

Tel: 020 8995 1302