Working from Home: Time Management

Create a productive workspace

When it comes to managing time while working from home, your workspace is a powerful tool. It’s the physical and the mental boundary that you create between work and your personal life. As much as possible, you want to keep work in your workspace. Your workspace is the home for work and the home for everything else is, well, everything outside of that workspace. Each person reading this is going to have a diverse set of budgets and available space. So, the best way to approach this is to first start with the ideal and then we’ll work backwards from the ideal, helping you find adaptations that work best for you. 

The ideal workspace is a designated room with doors that’s relatively soundproof and removed from the rest of the house. This means it’s not in an open traffic area. It’s not close to the front door of your house or apartment. It’s a space where you can close the door and shut everything out. You also have enough space for any other resources or tools that you need to perform the kind of work that you’re doing at home. In summary, the ideal workspace is a home office. Set aside only for work. 

Try to adapt this as best you can to your situation.

But what if there’s no way to find extra room in your house? Then designate a space for work and nothing else.

The stronger the visual divider you can create, the better. You’re probably not comfortable with marking the floor with tape to designate the workspace but at least mentally, create a boundary line around this desk. This communicates to you and others, when I’m in this space, I am only doing work. When I’m outside of this space, I’m only doing other things. Create a clean separation in your mind. 

Now, what if you don’t have a desk and you’re in the habit of sitting on a couch or in your bed. I believe it’s important to change that habit. Certainly, do not work in bed. This creates all sorts of sleep issues, which could hurt your performance in the long run. Doing work on a couch is usually going to create poor posture and makes it harder to make a transition mentally between work and your personal life. Get a simple desk and a comfortable chair instead.

By clearly creating this workspace, you establish a boundary of stability. It gives you your headquarters. From this foundation, we will build all the other strategies of effective time management when working from home.

MAKE THEM LOVE YOU AT WORK

Learn how to be great on the job every day, in every situation.  Make people love you at work, in a totally professional, platonic work-appropriate way.

Is all about being generous, taking initiative, focusing on forward momentum, and being transparent. That is the gift of great on the job, and we’re going to talk today about putting that into practice immediately.

IT´S ALL ABOUT PRACTICE

Generosity, initiative, forward momentum, transparency. Those are skills that you don’t need to learn.

But the thing about it is, they’re not skills that everyone puts into practice. They’re not top-of-mind everyday. And once you start thinking about incorporating the gift of great on the job, your antenna’s going to go on high alert when you see your colleague who isn’t generous. When you notice that person on your team who’s not taking initiative and drops the ball. Or you will be really mistrustful when you don’t have full information, when the boss isn’t being transparent.

Here´s how to practice everyday in all of your interactions so that you are the person at work that everyone loves. In this post we will only be talking about Generosity, but you can go to the full course and activities in the course section.

GENEROSITY

What do I do, besides sharing my time and energy? How do I put that into action every day?

Here’s what you do. Every conversation you start, whether you’re calling someone on the phone or you’re stopping by their desk, the first thing you need to do is ask them if they have a moment to speak. It is the generous thing to do. Don’t launch into the conversation, don’t start talking and telling me about this important piece of business. Ask me if I have a moment to speak.

And when you’re sharing information, when you have 10 minutes worth of information to share and I have about 30 seconds to listen to you, lead with the punchline. Tell me front and center what’s new, different, or important. That’s how you’re a generous communicator. Don’t make me guess at why you stopped by my office. Don’t make me sit there wondering why we’re having this conversation, what are we talking about? The way to be a generous communicator is to organize the information so I know exactly what I need to do next or why I have to listen to you.

What about on a personal level? What about you being generous? If you think of the most successful leaders, you’re probably not saying to yourself, oh, generosity. That’s what’s at the core of that person. But generosity is the key to getting ahead at every level in every organization.

Share your time generously, roll up your sleeves, do whatever it takes. Share your expertise, mentor others, stay to help out the team. Be someone who shares credit broadly. Give props to everyone on your team. Don’t take credit for yourself, give it to everyone else. Share your network, make introductions amongst people. Always be looking to connect other people.

And here’s generosity in the most simple form. It’s walking in every day and asking yourself this question, how can I make my team’s life better or easier? How can I make my boss’s life better or easier? How can I make my client’s life better or easier? If that is the question that you ask yourself, you are going to be the person that people love.