There are so many benefits to working from home. If you have a family, the flexibility of a work-from-home opportunity allows you to pick up the kids from school, make sure they’re getting the support and nutrition they need, and save on childcare. Working from home also provides MilSpouses the geographic flexibility, in many cases, that they would require due to frequent moves that come with the Military lifestyle.
For many, working from home has its distractions as well. There are so many other things that need to be done around the house, it can be hard to focus on your work.
Here are a few ways to help you stay on course, allowing you to get your work done while maintaining all of the other elements in your life that require your attention.
Strategize your agenda
Have a dedicated planner or daily agenda to help you maximize efficiency. Arrange dedicated blocks of time in which you’ll be able to work with minimal distractions. Give yourself breaks for food, errands, exercise and small tasks you want to get out of the way. If you map out your time, you’ll feel more organized. There’s a dedicated time for everything to get done. Another way to maximize the effectiveness of this process is to set alarms on your phone marking the start of your next task.
Also remember, things happen. Kids get sick and have to come home from school early sometimes. Now and again, you’ll lose track of time with a specific project. You’ll get stuck in traffic on your way back from the grocery store. Remain calm. Just take a look at your plan for the day and re-assess the projects that are most important. Get those done first.
The Pomodoro Technique
This time management technique is magical. Use a timer, stop watch or your cell phone to mark 25 minute intervals in which you are dedicated to a single task. Focus on this single project 100%. Once the timer or alarm goes off, move on to a smaller project like starting a load of laundry or watering the plants around your house. Then, come back for another 25 minute block of pure focus. You’ll be amazed how much you get done. Your efficiency levels will go through the roof!
Find your happy place
Where and how do you work best? If you focus better with background noise, by all means turn on the TV…in another room.
If you work better in silence, make sure you’re in a silent, distraction-free room.
Feel inspired by nature? Work outside.
Whatever conditions work best for you, create your perfect work space. Working will be so much more enjoyable if you’re able to complete tasks in optimal conditions for a shorter period of time than multi-tasking while there are distractions for a longer period of time.
Combining the Pomodoro Technique with conditions that work best for you will help you produce better work in a shorter amount of time so you can do more with your day.