With the current state of society, more of us are working from home than ever before. This can take quite a bit of adjustment, especially if you’re not used to working remotely and find yourself becoming bogged down and unproductive.
So, to help you get adjusted to working from home and get back to smashing your goals, we’ve compiled a list of our top ten tips for working from home efficiently.
Tip 1 – Create work ‘anchors’ or triggers for your brain, such as a ‘start of the day’ business trigger
It’s important to keep that ‘work’ mindset when you’re not going into the office. Our brains anchor thoughts and feelings, which affect behaviours, so keeping your routine as close as possible to what it was will really help get you into the right headspace for working.
This includes getting up at the same time, working from the same designated space each day, and getting dressed for work (as much as the idea of working in pyjamas sounds tempting). It can also be helpful to have a ‘shutdown’ routine at the end of the day to help you switch back out of work-mode.
Tip 2 – Create a task list
Don’t get lost in the idea that you have no structure. Our team rely on the Ivy Lee method, where we list six main tasks and diarise them, with a set finish time for each one. This helps keep us accountable for what we’re doing. Then, it’s just a matter of ‘eating the frog’ and breaking large tasks up into 15-60 blocks, depending on how long you’re able to effectively concentrate.
Tip 3 – Schedule everything
Following on from our last tip of diarising tasks, it’s also important to schedule your time outside of just tasks. At ISR Training, we follow the 30/30/30/10 rule:
- 30% of our time is spent doing our job (for us, that’s sales training, for you, that’s selling)
- 30% is spent on training (individually or with the team)
- 30% is spent on developing the business
- 10% is spent on ‘you time’, such as breaks and accounting for when you just have to sit and stare at a wall for a minute.
It’s also important to schedule time to speak with your coworkers, whether it’s daily or weekly. Set a time and make sure everyone keeps it free to update each other on what’s being worked on, what’s coming up, and anything else important.
Tip 4 – Accountability
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that because you’re not physically in the room with your colleagues, what you’re doing isn’t seen. It’s important to retain that accountability over what you’re doing. To help, we suggest pairing with a ‘work from home buddy’. Send each other your daily tasks, and at the end of the day, have a quick catch up to outline what you achieved. This method of having someone hold you accountable for goals that you’ve vocalised can increase the likelihood of them getting done by up to 70%.
Tip 5 – Mindset
If working from home wasn’t necessarily your choice, it can sometimes be difficult to realise how fortunate you are. Especially in current times, working from home is a great opportunity – so try to look at it through that lens. Make sure to remind yourself that ‘you get to’ rather than ‘you have to’. So, you get to keep working while others can’t, rather than you have to work from home instead of going into the office.
Tip 6 – Prep
Preparation is a key component of any plan, and a lack of prep can be where your day working from home can get off track. Make sure you make your lunch the day before if that’s your routine, or in the morning before you start your workday. Additionally, make sure you set out any drinks, or snacks so that you’re not constantly interrupting yourself to go grab something. Having these things on hand will allow you to remain in the flow of your work, and accomplish more tasks.
Tip 7 – Think about your health
When working from home, it’s important not to slip into a sedentary lifestyle. Make sure you’re taking regular breaks (every 55 minutes is ideal), and for the most benefits, get away from your workspace. Try taking a walk outside and getting some fresh air before returning to your desk.
This period of spending more time at home can also be an opportunity for improved mental health and personal development. Take some time to invest in yourself – learn a new skill, practise a new language, or invest in a hobby that will make your company better in the long run.
Tip 8 – Remove distractions
Offices, as a place where we normally go to work, are typically free from distractions as a standard. Our home, not so much – especially if there are other people home while you’re working. Make sure there’s no TV or radio in your workspace, however soft music without ads can be helpful.
Other ways to remove distractions include shutting your emails down for ‘power hours’ of work, and setting aside specific admin time, and posting your schedule on the fridge so that other members of the household know when you can be approached (and when you need to focus).
Tip 9 – Video chat where possible
This tip is related to holding yourself accountable. Make sure you use Zoom, Skype, or another video platform to interface with your team or clients. It’s better to interact ‘face to face’ in this way, rather than just by messenger, as both parties have to be present in the conversation.
Tip 10 – Have visible goals
Having your goals out where you can see them is a great way to encourage yourself and keep yourself motivated. Methods like a vision board or something even as simple as a post-it note stuck to your monitor can remind you what you’re working towards and why you should stay productive.
We hope that you’ve found this article valuable while there’s so much uncertainty. To learn more about how we can assist you with your sales techniques so that you can take your sales efforts to the next level, read about our proven sales training, sales coaching, and sales courses. No matter if you are located in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast or anywhere in the world, we provide innovative and ethical sales training through our online courses or virtual training.