Trying To Get Work Done
I’ve been thinking about the pluses of working some place other than my home. Sure working from home has its perks, but I’m starting to wonder if actually leaving my house and going to work each morning would be a really good thing.
Of course as I write this I can’t help thinking how absurd this might sound to some people. There are people who dream of working from home. What could be better than rolling out of bed each morning, putting a pair of pants on, grabbing a cub of coffee and waddling to the office.
I submit that structure, atmosphere and all that is involved in your space may be the reason this could or couldn’t work for you.
Why It Doesn’t Work So Well For Me
I have been working from home off and on my entire adult life. I have found that if I am not extremely intentional in how I approach my days and my work… I do other stuff first or instead of doing the work that needs to be done.
That is the biggest problem for me. I am by nature the type of person that says “I’ll do it later.” To be honest if there wasn’t deadlines I would seldom get anything done. The simple fact that I can go online and research and read about things that I am currently involved in is powerful. But it is also very apt to produce “bunny trails.” I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been working on something, switched over to the web to check on one part of that and then realized an hour later I haven’t done any more work on the project.
So What Do I Do About It
This is a question I am currently working on an answer for. I’ve tried several things and some of them have been extremely helpful.
Scheduling things, writing down what I want to work on for any given day and then sticking to that has been really helpful. The simplicity, yet thoroughness of the Storyline Productivity Schedule has proven to work pretty well for me so far.
Getting up earlier helps. I’m not usually an “early bird.” (That’s why I take more pictures of sunsets than sunrises!) I’d much rather stay up till 1:00 AM working on something than get up at 5:00 AM and work on things. But when I do get up earlier I tend to get a whole lot more good work done. (The distinction between good work and mediocre work is important.)
What I Haven’t Done About It (Yet)
One thing that I am currently in the process of figuring out is whether or not I should use a “block out” type of app on my devices. I think it could be very profitable to set myself a block of time to check my emails, make my rounds on the web and then lock everything down for a few hours so that I am “forced” to move on to other things. The biggest problem is that I haven’t found a good app that does this the way I want it to for Windows. (Any suggestions?)
This post is just about long enough for one day. If you’ve got any thoughts on being productive, or have a schedule, app or method that works well for you… I’d love to hear about it!
Jorge Silvestrini says
I believe it is all about how you are ‘wired’ and can do things. When I’ve been in the same situation, I set really small things to accomplish. Big projects turn into daily smaller projects. No internet for 45minutes… Turning of the Wi-Fi is a fun thing.
Old style just writing thing downs on a piece of paper and pen in front of me on my desk with the ONE WIN that I have for the day. For example today:
Copy (3) arrangements for the band.
Finish Contacts from iCloud
I’m tackling one thing at a time and 1 of the 3 of the arrangements are done. My goal is before 5pm all this is done. That will be a productive ‘day off’ for me.
Share your method Eldon. I don’t think there is a right or wrong, and just something that really works. Time Management Ninja has some amazing tips as well. Same as Chris LoCourto and others…
Eldon Yoder says
Thanks for the comment Jorge… Totally agree that a lot of this comes down to how we are “wired” and how we each “get stuff done.”
One thing I have appreciated about the Storyline Productivity Schedule is that it gives you room for 3 projects each day. Those are the main focus of my day.
Beyond that there are several smaller things… like emails, phone calls, invoicing, etc… that get added to a “to do list.”
I’m still trying to figure it all out. I’m sure it will take some trial and error, but hopefully I can turn my days into a more productive period of time! 🙂
Matt Quanstrom says
Working from home can be rather distracting, even if the house is empty! Recently I tried a free day pass at a “Coworking” space in my town. It was a pretty awesome place that provided a lot of different areas to work. Standing desks, sitting/cubicle setups, and couch/chair areas with coffee tables. There were a few white boards on the walls for use, among other features. To my surprise, I burned right through a lot of work I needed to get done. I was shocked at how productive I was. I haven’t decided yet if I will pull the trigger on that.
What helps me on my working from home, is not necessarily getting up extra early. I treat each working day as if I was “going to work.” I will get up and go through my morning routine, wear attire that are not my pajamas (except for certain days!), and I first go for a quick walk. This makes me feel like I am *going* to work. I get back home, and I am ready to start my day.
Not sure I had anything helpful to say, but just felt like sharing the commentary as I find myself in a similar situation when working from home.
Eldon Yoder says
Hey thanks for sharing!
I’ve not tried a co-working space yet. The closest one is about a half hour away… and its not too cheap. 🙂
I totally agree with the idea of going to work. Since I wrote this post I moved out of my folks house, but still keep my “work” office here at their house. Now each morning I get up, do some work in the silence of my house and then drive up to my folks house to “go to work.”
So far it seems to be working pretty good!