Do you have a set plan for each day or do you go with the flow? You might find that you’ll get more accomplished if you give your days more structure.
I’ve been working from home for several years now, both before I had kids and after as well. Before I had kids, I was able to let my days take me along for the ride. Don’t get me wrong, I had some structure with prioritization of my daily tasks and basic household upkeep but I had no idea what was in store for me after I had children. Structure and routine are now my two very best friends. Without them, we’d all crash and burn. Some of my very best friends work full time at an office and I’m in awe of how capable they are when it comes to keeping everyone in their houses alive. We all agree that the key to success is setting yourself up the right way for the week ahead. Forbes recently posted an article about how to start structuring your workdays and their tips are really solid. I’ve picked a few that stood out to me and shared my thoughts below!
1. Set Your Agenda Before The Workweek Begins
This is easily the most important part of setting up the framework for a successful week. Don’t wait until you’re in the thick of things to figure out what you want to accomplish for the week. Use Sunday as your planning day. Write down your goals for the week and consider meal planning, even if you don’t have kids! Knowing what’s coming takes the guesswork out of your day-to-day life.
2. Use Checklists
We here at AccelaWork are big supporters of having checklists. Sometimes, though, we tend to let our to-do lists weigh us down. The thought of this list can loom over you, giving you anxiety rather than helping you. Jack Klemeyer recognized this issue and thought of a helpful solution for when you become weighed down by your to-do list.
- DO IT – These are tasks that generally take less than a couple of minutes. Get them done and finished – or add them to your to-do list.
- DELEGATE IT – Ask yourself if you are the right person for this job. Perhaps someone else is better suited to complete the task more efficiently and better. Then give it to them.
- DEFER IT – Get it into the system you have for working through projects. Are some items ready to go on the to-do list? Or perhaps the task needs to be scheduled in the future. Decide and then get it where it needs to go.
These tips will help you stay on top of your checklists rather than burdened by your tasks.
4. Avoid Context Switching
I hadn’t heard of the study listed until I read this article and it makes so much sense as to why we get distracted and lose focus.
In a recent study, it was found that we spend an average of 1 minute and 15 seconds on a task before being interrupted, it takes an average of 25 minutes to resume a task after being interrupted, and heavily multitasking can temporarily lower our IQ by up to 15 points.
One way that you can help avoid this issue is by scheduling your tasks in blocks of time. Don’t answer your phone every time it rings. Ignore those email notifications, too! Select times of day that you will focus on those tasks. Schedule your meetings on specific days of the week and times that work for your own productivity. You will be the master of your workweek by using these tips!