I have actually been working from home about once a week for the last few months. So, this whole mandatory WFH is actually pretty helpful to my productivity. I’ll share my biggest trick; test it out and see if it works for you, too.
We all know how easy it is to get distracted. This increases tenfold when you’re at home – there are dishes to be done and no one is there to hold you accountable. The first thing that you’ll need to do is find a place that’s all yours. Whether that’s your own personal desk, the kitchen table, or the couch, find what works for you and make that your official work-from-home spot. I have to have a clean room with sunlight, but that’s me. As with working in an office, certain things work for some people and not others. Working from home is no different. Find what works for you and stick with it.
When no one is there to hold you accountable, it’s up to you to find the motivation. My absolute favorite trick is one that we’ve discussed in the office but have never been able to fully execute. It calls for 25 minutes of silence. In an office with 7 people, it’s extremely hard to find that. So, I apply this technique when I work from home and actually have the ability to do it.
This glorious trick that I love so much is known as the Pomodoro Technique. “The Pomodoro Technique teaches you to work with time, instead of struggling against it.” What you do is find a task, set a timer for 25 minutes (I sometimes set it for a little longer if I know I won’t finish it in those 25 minutes), and begin. During this time, turn your notifications off, DND your phone, and play some quiet music in the background or through headphones. When the timer goes off, take a break. It’s really that simple.
This helps you to actually knock those projects out – one by one. When you apply this technique, you won’t start a task and then get sidetracked by an email that comes through. Everything is connected to our phone nowadays, so any ding – email, text message, snap chat, g-chat, etc., has the ability to derail your productivity. When I silence my phone and set a timer, I always accomplish more than when I don’t do this. The Pomodoro Technique calls for a 25-minute task, and when you finish it, you reward yourself. This can be a walk around the block, another cup of water or coffee, or a small snack. Whatever it is – make sure you enjoy it! You just knocked the first task, of many, off your list for the day.
Another important part of this process is to check off your tasks when you complete them. I like to write things down in order to keep track of them. In 2020, most people keep their checklist digitally. Because of that, I do both; that way I get the satisfaction from physically checking something off and my team gets a notification when I mark off a completed task on our task management software.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – find what works for you. The Pomodoro Technique is great for me so I wanted to share. Give it a shot and maybe you’ll have the same luck. The next few weeks are the perfect time to figure out what your secret is. You never know, a mandatory WFH could unveil new and exciting things for your personal growth and that of your business.