Saturday, May 16, 2020

Productive work from home guide

Productive work from home guide

My favourite lounge chair is also my office at home! 

Productive work from home guide

I used to be the kind of person where if the day doesn't start right or if I did not do enough preparation the day before, I wouldn't plan for the rest of the day to be productive. But when you're a young mom of 2 kids below 4 years old and also a young business owner leading a team of younger people, you gotta be prepared to expect the unexpected ...

Here are methods I use in my day-to-day. The habit of planning my work for the day has become a daily routine but I switch up my method of keeping myself on track depending on the day I'm about to have.

Method 1 - Division of Important // Urgent // Personal Goals // Ideas 

Productive work from home guide
This method is most useful during busy work weeks. It's easy to get caught up in the urgent things and I find myself capable of spending the entire day working on things that are urgent but actually don't make a difference to the business. Urgent matters are usually things that can be put on hold so I acknowledge it and write it down, but won't necessarily put all my effort on it first thing in the day.

Say it with me - urgent items may not be important items.

The important items are things that only I can do. So I work on it ASAP so the rest of the team can follow through on their end. This list are things that should take top priority. Get this done first!

I have the ability to work from day to night without stop, but it's not a healthy option for me right now as I am now an old lady so I also need to maintain myself physically, mentally, spiritually and lovingly. So even though I already know that I need to exercise, spend time with family, have regular meals and meditate daily; I still write it down as a daily personal goal else I will just conveniently "forget" about it by the end of the day.

I have never regretted skipping an urgent or important item; but I have regretted many times when I miss a personal goal. Are you like me too?

Ideas are for random ideas I may have as I work throughout the day. I write it down in this panel and explore it when I have the time.

Method 2 - Bullet Journal style 

Productive work from home guide
On days when I don't have so many things to take care of, I rely on a bullet journal style of listing down my tasks. It's fun to tick items off the list and those that are not completed will be brought forward to the following day. This method is especially useful when you're out of your usual work routine - maybe you're working remotely or have a short work day.

Method 3 - Hourly tracking 

I don't track my hours but I do plan my day by the hour through my phone app. Frankly, there are days where I completely miss 5-6 hours of my planned day due to a cute baby passing by, a sudden client call or just because I was tired and needed to rest. The method of hourly tracking is not to create a strict lifestyle regime but it's to keep myself mindful of the time.

Remember when you spent days on the sofa and watching Netflix the whole day? Through hourly tracking I ensure that I have time to watch Netflix, read a book, exercise and still get my house and work in order within 24 hours.

Here are screenshot examples of my days, but do note that I don't follow it exactly. I probably follow 60% of the scheduled time but somehow magically because I am aware I had something planned for that time, the days pass by with the feeling of accomplishments.

It also helps that throughout the day you get pop up reminders of things you are supposed to be doing at that moment.

Productive work from home guide

Productive work from home guide

Productive work from home guide

Apps that I use to stay productive 

Google Keep (this is FREE!) - I use this to take down notes like "buy milk" throughout the day and then consolidate all my thoughts by the end of the day so I never forget any thing
Timepage on iOS

Other apps that I highly recommend are Trello and Notion as well; I use these in my business work with the rest of the team. 

Can I have a career while working from home? 

Yes, but it depends on your industry.

Plenty of influencers make millions of dollars online and majority of them work from home.

I myself worked from home for the first 2 years of running the business simply because we weren't ready to afford having an office space.

But if you are a professional working in a large organisation, as a recruiter I wouldn't recommend full-time work from home options to any of my candidates, simply because if you're at home then you limit your capacity to grow, learn and lead.

Statistically, professional workers who stay at home may have better work life balance but they will probably not be promoted or gain more recognition in their professional career. As the saying goes, out of sight out of mind.

Even popular influencers need to step out of their home to learn about new product and services to influence, after all.

The world is scary, but for me, wasted potential is so much more scarier. So do balance your work-life persona well, dear reader.

On another note, I am SUPER EXCITED to be back in the office on Monday! 

Productive work from office


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