How to work smarter from home
Working from home has blurred the lines between where work ends and you begin. It’s harder to close your laptop. Those alerts on your phone are like wack-a-moles. Your home-office is now taking up your entire house (including your bedroom).
You may think these simple impositions aren’t a big deal, but energetically they make a big difference to your ability to separate life from work. The commingling of work and home is an imposition that exaggerates the sense of importance, value and necessity of your work to your life.
Take a look at these simple practices that will help you create physical, mental and energetic boundaries between you and your work, while guiding you to work smarter.
5 Boundaries for Work-Life Blur
Do Your Job and Not others’ Jobs
- Write down your job roles and responsibilities. Use your job description or contract(s) to determine this.
- Next: write down all the things you do when you are “working”.
- Refine your working list be limited to work activities to those that are required by your job description or contract.
2. Prioritize — (Try Brian Tracy’s) ABCDE Method.
1st — Take a look at your task or to-do list.
2nd — Mark each item with one of the following letters. Start with A and follow the alphabet to prioritize your tasks:
A — 1st Do what is Most Consequential to You (and Your Work Responsibilities↑) if not done urgently
B — 2nd Do What is Most Consequential to Others ( if not done urgently)
C — 3rd Do things that are Inconsequential but necessary or nice to do
D — 4th Delegate
E — 5th Eliminate
3. Learn to Coach Conversations — Here’s Some simple tools professional coaches use to have an effective conversation in less time:
- Identify and share the agenda and goals of a meeting to prime collaboration and engagement
- Tell attendees how much time you have for the meeting so they can collaborate to use time effectively
- Structure the process of meeting facilitation to create space for: collaborating, problem-solving and identifying next steps and accountability in the time allotted for the meeting.
4. Walk Your Talk — Use physical boundaries to align with what the life and personal space you need.
- When a convo or meeting needs to end, Stand Up to send the message in your body language.
- Sit back away from the screen when you can to create separation but still be engaged
- Take meetings over the phone when you can and get out of your house
5. Mind Your Time
- Try to schedule and maintain work hours that start and end at a consistent time on the days you work.
- Schedule & block out your calendar and take breaks (even if they are only for 10 minutes)
- Do a Time Robber Analysis (which is writing down what you are doing every 15 minutes during your work day to find out where your time drains are.
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