8. Find your productivity sweet spot
Being productive is a concern of everybody…well almost everybody who wants to be successful at what they do.
When work happens from your house, that concern becomes a need and you should really go in search of some productivity strategies that can work for you.
You are in luck because there are so many out there. Some are backed by science and even more just by experience.
The key here is to find those that hit your sweet spot and will not disrupt how you work with your team too much.
I’m not a fan of to-do lists because I write down the things to do and then they overwhelm me. What I do is have about 3 – 4 what I call “I will not go sleep until…” And then I don’t go to sleep unless I complete these carefully selected tasks.
And just for you, here’s the #1 productivity question people often ask me:
What is your best productivity strategy?
It’s very simple really…
I wake up early and when I start to work, I begin with the thing on my “I-will-not-go-to-sleep-until” list that’s most important or that I like doing the least.
I work until my energy begins to wane and then I switch to support things such as errands, cooking, resting and my hobbies. When the sun goes down, around 6 p.m. I start working again until it’s time for bed.
I also try not to mix work with household chores since that reduces my focus.
Wearing whatever the hell I feel like as long as I’m not going to be seen, also boosts my productivity.
9. Learn to manage and lead while working from home
In recent times, having to work from home is a sudden and unplanned event. You get that. What you don’t get is the size of the mindset shift that you have to make to manage and lead your team from home.
Here’s how this could play out.
You have problems with delegating. It was bad enough when you and your team were in one place, but now you’re all in separate locations. So how do you supervise them?
You expect them to follow set work hours and call you at specific intervals during the day, so you can convince yourself they’re working. Really?!
A better approach would be to:
1. Understand that your employees will be having some of the same issues you are – especially less than ideal workplaces. Get to understand some of their more challenging circumstances.
2. Forget about “set work hours” and set targets instead, allowing people to be flexible in how they achieve these. Do the same for yourself.
3. Establish how information will be accessed and shared. This is a big problem when people have to suddenly work from home, especially in small businesses.
4. Following from above, you need to find a way to be sure that your team’s computer and internet systems are able to protect your information. I’m still working out how best you can do this.
5. Remember that working from home amplifies any disagreements among your team since they are now apart and don’t even have to pretend to get along. This will impact overall “working form home” productivity and you must find ways to guard against it.
6. Don’t forget to establish a Team Communication System. This can comprise established regular team meetings as well as instructions on how and when you can be contacted outside these meetings.
10. You will suffer from “working from home” burnout
However much you love working from home, you will. It’s human nature.
Let me make a comparison for you.
I once had a job that took me flying across the globe quite a bit. It was so prestigious and powerful to be doing my work in so many countries and making a difference in the lives of so many people.
I was in hog heaven.
But as time went on, I begin to notice that it was taking me longer and longer to pack for the next trip. It got so bad that the thought of another trip made me feel to throw up. And I began to question what was the whole purpose of my work anyway…
You see, I was suffering from “missing home burn out.”
Working from home burnout is similar.
Do you have difficulty disconnecting from work? Are you ignoring your health? Do you feel frazzled and sleep deprived? When you begin to ignore messages, procrastinate on projects or find yourself avoiding work altogether, you have a full blown case of “work from home” burnout.
In addition to all this, you find yourself worrying about the state of the pandemic, which seems not to be even in the tunnel far less for you to see any light at the end of the tunnel.
So what can you do about all this?
Try everything in #7 above and include some time for a little harmless fun. A girlfriend told me gossiping helps.
Share how you’re feeling with your family and your team. My grandmother always said that a burden shared is a burden halved.
Take a vacation. I’m on holiday at least one day a week. At the moment it’s Fridays. After my workout and a good long shower, I get all dressed up and go for a drive in the country. Along the way, I take some of my “lick out” money and buy myself lunch.
By this process, I get as many as 50 days vacation a year, and a chance to avoid any kind of burnout.
How to make working from home work for you?
Simple. Or maybe not…
Your biggest problem will be the speed at which you embrace the fact that this is something over which you have no or very little control. That’s why I shared this information to jump start your consciousness.
But you’re a small business owner, remember? Your success is based on your ability to be flexible and adaptable. You can rise to any occasion and win every time.
Just remember that, if you have one, your biggest responsibility is helping your team through this as well.
It’s how you guarantee that you will have a business for the long haul…
As you learn and grow…
If you want to learn how to make money in a crisis…yeah even in a crisis like COVID-19, then you’ll love these 6 key strategies for making money in a crisis. Download them now!