How often are you distracted by email, social media, Chatty Cathy, etc.? Do you have a plan for your day or do you just show up and let the day control you? I am guilty. For the past few years I have been working from home. I love it. It has many perks. However, there are also many distractions. We homeschool our two middle school children which means I often hear my hubby laying the smack down trying to keep them on track. We have two dogs and one is very yappy. A passing FedEx truck or garbage truck sends her into a spastic rage. Living in Florida now, my house has a pool. The raft. She just calls my name. UGH!! DISTRACTIONS. We all have them. Here are a few ways I have learned to manage, despite working at the Fitchpatrick home circus... I mean "home office".
1) Don't multi-task. Yes, you heard me correctly. I used to label myself the queen of multi-tasking. Really, that only meant I was a victim to my calendar and work projects. It led to brain fog and stress. I have learned I am much more productive when I schedule "blocks of time" to finish projects - one at a time. I stopped flip flopping between projects. If I can't finish a project in that block of time, I take a break and step away for a bit before starting the next and come back to the first one another day. This is usually when I float on Ms. Raft for a bit or help my hubby lay the smack down!
2) Don't check email first. Why are you checking email first thing in the morning?Don't you know that when you check your email you end up with more work to do?!! This can cause you to start your day feeling overwhelmed. Instead, develop a good list. I love lists! Start your work day reviewing your list and working on outstanding projects or those things you are procrastinating. Knock out some of those stressors before opening that inbox.
3) Don't overbook yourself. Let's face it. We have all been guilty of trying to squeeze too much into our day. Meetings, lunch dates, coffee dates, phone calls, social events, networking events, and the list goes on and on. Is your calendar controlling you or do you control your calendar? Distractions can come in the form of well intended people. For social butterflies like myself, saying yes too much can distract me from completing projects and even more importantly - creating healthy margin in my life. Remember, when you say yes to something you are saying no to something else. Evaluate your opportunities daily. Make sure you are maintaining a healthy rhythm.