Optimize Productivity When Working From Home

written by   Nwando Eze   |   Productivity
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1) Create a dedicated space:

No matter how small, having an area in your home dedicated specifically to work is critical to ensuring optimal productivity. It does not have to be a large space. If you have a small apartment it can be a small corner of it dedicated to just your work. If you have a busy home with lots of loved ones, making this spot as private and as quiet as possible will be key. Again, the size does not matter as much as the fact that this space is just for your work. If you live alone, you may get away with designating this space on the dining table. If you have a busy home, you may not. Or perhaps you could use the dining table when the kids are off at school. Be creative in trying to identify a space that will physically remove you from distractions. Designating a space allows you to transition more easily, physically and mentally, to work mode when in the space and out of work mode when you leave it. Training your body to make this transition may take a little time but eventually the more you do dedicated work in this designated space, the more your mind and body will associate it with productive work. Creating a dedicated physical space also extends to creating a dedicated virtual space. If you are a writer, have only your word processing program open on your computer while writing to avoid distractions. If you are a programmer have only your programming platform open and everything else closed. When the inevitable mental To-do list clouds your creative flow, create a physical to do list on a sheet of paper and write things down to complete once you are done with work. See Getting into and staying in creative flow. If they are a distraction, disable the email pings on your computer and phone.

2) Designate dedicated work times:

Designating worktimes on your calendar increases productivity. Be specific as you can. And place it on your calendar as opposed to just on a sheet of paper. The benefits of placing it on your official calendar are twofold. First, the act of scheduling out your time is the most important use of your time. Time is our most valuable asset. Unlike money or other assets, it cannot be replaced once gone. Taking the time to schedule out your time is the best use of your time. Secondly, placing your work times on your calendar gives it credibility. You’ll be more likely to do productive work during that scheduled time, even when the inevitable distractions around the house pop up. As you schedule time for work, also schedule time for other wellness activities like working out, mealtimes, spending time with family, etc. I take breaks in-between meetings to share a book with my toddler. Again, placing them on the calendar will prioritize these wellness activities. You’ll have more focused during your work times and less likely to be distracted or feel guilty because you have already designated time for family, wellness and rest.

3) Have a dedicated stop time:

Burnout ensues quickly with remote work if there is not a dedicated stop. This means having a time in the day where you stop work, checking emails, virtual meetings and work phone calls. This can be difficult because we all have our work on our mobile phones via email, etc. that can make unplugging difficult. If you need to, put yourself on away mode in your email and meeting platforms. If possible, have a designated work cellphone you use for all work-related matters that you can leave in your physical workspace when you reach your stop time for the day. Nothing in existence can go on perpetually forever. There is a time and a cycle to things e.g., day and night, a time for childhood, middle age and your silver years. In sports you have on season and off season. The OFF time is rest time. It allows you to be your best self during your ON time. Don’t minimize it.

Triple C Action Points

1) Designate a dedicated workspace:

Experiment with different spaces in your home until you find a comfortable workspace that you are most productive in.

2) Designate dedicated work times:

Practice putting everything you do on your calendar. From workouts, to work times, to lunch breaks etc. For things you need to do consistently, make them recurring events on your calendar.

3) Designate a dedicated stop time:

Define this time and put it on the calendar. When it reaches, leave all your work-related items at your workspace and end the day.
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Hi, I’m Nwando Eze a board-certified physician and Certified Physician Executive with a Masters in Public Health and Business Administration. An accomplished author and speaker, I’m passionate about nurturing early careerist into young leaders, coaching leaders into becoming the best, well-rounded versions of themselves, improving justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in leadership and helping leaders live a well- rounded life.

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