When working in an office setting the central calendar can dominate your day. My days in marketing were frequently a navigation of finding nooks and crannies to do my actual work between pre-set back to back meetings.
After years of having my calendar dictate the day making the transition to working for myself from home required new methods to manage my time. Now instead of working between meetings, it was finding time to dedicate between taking care of my kids. It’s easy to want to curl up on the couch or do laundry during nap time, but these three productivity tips can help you keep on track.
A Paper Planner:
Bear with me on this one. I hadn’t used paper since before joining the workforce and it felt a bit archaic honestly. After hearing countless times this was a key to productivity to working from home it was time to not fight it any longer. Using a large planner with a weekly view allows me to carve out blocks of time and see the week visually. I’m still a huge Google Calendar fan and use that for all family appointments, but found nothing works quite as well as my paper planner for work.
I have all my dedicated work time locked in for the week so I can ensure I get everything done work-wise. Does it work perfectly? No, but it’s certainly better than before. Also for my visual people or those who still have a love of stickers I recently fell for the 365 Happy Planner. This planner is a joy to layout and although it sounds funny I get excited to lay out my week because it’s so beautiful and functional.
An Accountability Partner:
This could take different forms. Generally, in work, you have a boss and you are accountable to them, or you have deadlines or goals you have to hit. When I was running a brand I had monthly business check-ins with executives and I knew daily where the business stood versus yesterday, versus last year my pulse was on performance and I was accountable to report results. If we were missing goals for any reason I better have my game-plan of what changes were being made to hit the goals.
Depending on what your work from home job is you might not have anything except your will to keep you accountable and on track. If you are one of those people who meet every goal you set for yourself more power to you, but more often then not holding yourself accountable doesn’t always work. Having someone else (a business partner, mentor, business coach) to check in with on a regular basis to review your goals, talk about challenges and even just recalibrate can be immensely helpful.
Writing Down Goals:
This ties back into accountability, but if you don’t have a roadmap of where you are going you are going to be stumbling along. Getting crystal clear on your goals and then laying out a tracking system is critical for any business. I created a formal goal tracking system similar to how I tracked business units, but it does not need to be that complicated.
Writing your top three goals and ensuring they are S.M.A.R.T. goals and you have the actions highlighted you need to take to hit those goals will help you focus. There are a lot of goal systems out there, but coaching class that was both informative, effective and had a good pace (it’s only two weeks) was Heather Quizel’s Level up Challenge.
Those are three tips that work for me. Curious what tips you’ve used that have helped increase your productivity? I’d love to hear what’s worked for you.
Until next time!