Staying Productive Working From Home

When the doctor tells you what you should do to get better, do you toss the instructions or follow them to a T?

I can’t speak about your health—I went into planned giving marketing not medicine—but if you’ve been following my advice over the years, your work habits have improved. You’ve given up procrastination, distraction, and inaction. You’re like a well-oiled machine, turning out quality work.

If you once performed like an expert gymnast nailing every routine, you might have found that you’ve become a bit wobbly since you started working at home. Sure, there have been advantages—less time commuting, fewer office interruptions. But you don’t have the same interactions with staff; getting information and answers from them takes more time. Some of us are working much longer hours. I am guilty of that. And your new distractions are legion—the cat circling your ankles; thirsty kids; the dog that barks at every delivery truck. You monitor your neighbors’ comings and goings and muse about whether you should mow the lawn or clean that cobweb in the corner. The printer runs out of ink, and then clickbait leads you to a 60% blow-out sale you can’t miss.

Still the Same

Even in this different work environment, the principles I’ve promoted for effective time management remain the same; you just need to adjust them:

Prioritize

Set your goals, and see them through.

Set up an effective home work space

Invest in a good desk and chair. Keep them in a quiet spot. Have adequate supplies of paper, ink, and sticky notes on hand. (I suggest avoiding a candy dish.)

Set boundaries

Around yourself and those you live with. (A friend of mine wears a military hat when she doesn’t want to be spoken to!)

Avoid procrastination

Maintain a clear, crisp schedule, just as before.

Get adequate exercise and sleep

And don’t open the fridge every half hour!

If anything, you have more control over your productivity now than before. Use it to your advantage.

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Of course,  if you are a nut case, you can take extreme measures

(Visit our library at the Center for Major Gifts on personal and professional development.)

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