So, we’ve all been there. Those all nighters in high school and college, when somehow, despite your best efforts, everything’s been left until the very last minute. In 2020, most of us have been reliving this lifestyle on a day to day basis. Working from home seemed like a great idea at first, but have you noticed how you seem to be working so much more and not less? It’s bleeding into all of your time. We’re here to try and put a stop to that. Let’s discuss.
Previously we’ve touched on some tips for working from home. Today, we’ll dig a bit further and look for some ideas on how we can gain control of our time. How can we be stressed all day long yet still procrastinating? This is when procrastination will really get you. If you aren’t careful, it will eat away at your free days and will act as a cloud hanging over every moment of your time. The stress of what hasn’t been done yet, what needs to be done, what could be done if you weren’t doing what you’re supposedly to be doing. It’s truly endless.
One of the major keys here is that you absolutely must gain control of your time. Have you noticed that time always goes the opposite of what you want it to do? When you want something to speed up, the seconds become heavier & heavier, while the opposite occurs if you are short on time, it appears to move faster.
Like many things, getting started is often the biggest hurdle in creating a task. We love this tip from PC Magazine “Deciding you'll sit down at your desk and start work at a certain time is one thing. Creating a routine that guides you into the chair is another. What in your morning routine indicates you're about to start work? It might be making a cup of coffee and taking the time to actually savor it before you start looking at your to-do list. It might be returning home after a jog. It might be getting dressed (wearing pajama pants to work is a perk for some, but a bad strategy for others). A routine can be more powerful than a clock at helping you get started each day. I say "morning," but not everyone who works from home follows a nine-to-five schedule. Yours might be a "getting started" routine at another time of day.” Routine can really keep your brain in check and also can help create boundaries from your personal and professional lives, even when they’re occurring in the same space. It’s hard to put on different hats within the same environment, it’s natural that it feels counterintuitive, because it is.
Write it down. One thing that we truly believe does work, and we know from years of experience, is the art of writing a handwritten list. We all know that there are many apps and methods to keep lists on our mechanical devices, but there’s something so satisfying about physically crossing out your task. Not only is it more satisfying, but if you keep the list next to your work (i.e. it moves with your computer), then you’ll have a constant reminder of sticking to the plan. If you use your phone, it’s easy to let the day have its way and never open up that app that was supposed to keep you on track.
We suggest you keep a few lists. To start, it’s crucial to do a day-to-day list and overall, must-get-done-at-some-point list. Starting small is a way. Another important note is that when you are writing your daily tasks down, you should set a time beside them. Even if you only loosely follow, you’ll at least have some attempt at a schedule and a general idea of how long each task should take you.
Working from home may really be that blessing in disguise that we all first thought it was before letting it go off the rails. Let’s do our best to grab hold of the reigns and make new ways of life truly work.