How many of you work from home? I’ve been working at home now for the last 7 months and have to say it has its ups and downs. Although not without its challenges I have to say I don’t think I could go back to a cubicle. I love the commute (10 feet down the hall) and more importantly love the time that not commuting allows me to capture in a day.
Things I don’t like about working from home are missing out on the relationships that you build with people you work with along with the energy that comes from working around other people. One of the things that I miss the most is having the ability to lean back in my chair and ask a question of one of my office mates rather than having to spend hours trying to figure something out the hard way – not efficient. All that being said, in my case, the good far outweighs the bad.
One of the challenges that I’ve had that kind of surprised me was just staying productive. For some unknown reason, I had a lot of days where I was in front of my computer “working” all day but seemingly not getting anything done. I had to do a reset and start going back to the basics of time management to stay organized. I recently read an article in Forbes that I found made a lot of sense – you can check it out here . The article is focused on entrepreneurs but the principles apply to anybody really.
My problem with productivity was caused by trying to get too much done in the day and moving an inch in a hundred different directions instead of a mile in one direction. So here’s what I do now:
- At the end of each day I plan my priorities for the following day, I find by doing it the day before instead of the morning of, my brain has a chance to marinate on things for a bit. Starting the day by sitting down and figuring out what to do for the day always seemed to have me starting the day on my back foot.
- Have no more than 3 things to get done. Going one step further, prioritize these three things in order of importance and tackle the most important thing first – this way if my day goes to hell in a handbasket the chances are I’ve done the most important (usually most unpleasant) task of the day.
- Review your goals twice a day. I do this first thing in the morning and again mid-day. I won’t go into detail about how to set your goals, there are literally thousands of websites out there that will walk you through this, pick one and do it. Write them down review them. I have found that this one simple step has kept me on track more than just about anything. I think it helps to have a “why” behind all the hard work, what’s the point if you don’t have something you’re moving towards.
So that’s my working from home advice – it’s not for everybody but I recommend giving it a shot if you have the chance. If you work in an office that doesn’t have a culture of home office based work try to work out a deal where you can do it a few times a week to prove the concept. My ideal scenario would be to work from home 3-4 days a week and go into the office when I felt like it.