Four Solutions for Getting Results While Working From Home

When I traded my 2-hour commute into Manhattan for my 100 step walk to my home office, I thought I was in for the time of my life! “Working from home will be amazing!” I thought to myself, as I felt I was intentionally making this move as a gain towards “reclaiming my time.” I didn’t imagine that the distractions of the house would outnumber the distractions of meetings and email pings and desk visits from co-workers. I can remember feeling the walls closing in on me, as I had deadlines in front of me, and the dryer buzzing from the laundry room, not to mention my Fed Ex guy ringing the doorbell in the middle of my uber essential conference calls!

What in the world was I thinking when I left the safety of an office? I thought that if I had total control over my time, I could inevitably control more of my destiny and my direction. Some of this is true, but not without real intention and focus. I quickly learned that the distractions of the office weren’t what was pulling me away from work, it was more my inability to center in on my time so that I could meet my outcomes (ouch!!!!). Yes, I was suffering from a self-diagnosed case of “she is not focused” syndrome, and if I were going to gain the direction and progress that I need during this new season of working from home, I was going to need some help.

So I asked myself a few questions:

  1. What type of environment do I need to create at home to thrive in my work?
  2. What are some of the accents that make the ambiance inviting for me to produce results?
  3. How can I optimize my time and efforts working from home to ensure that I remain dedicated to reaching my goals?

Asking these questions was a complete game changer for me. My approach to working from home became less about me avoiding distractions and more about me working towards my goals. I stopped thinking about all of the household duties and errands that I accused of snatching my time and focused more on setting an atmosphere where I can thrive and feel more productive.

Here are a few solutions that helped me center in on my results while I work from home:

  1. Set an atmosphere that makes you feel comfortable and centered so that you can move towards your results. When I’m cleaning the house, all lights are on, the place smells like cleaning products, and the windows are open to allow in fresh air. When I’m working, I like the lighting low, I prefer the blinds open with the windows closed to isolate sound, and I trigger my senses with my favorite scents which are my Mokara candle by Voluspa and my Glow Lueur spray by West Elm. I also keep my favorite journal, my task notebook, and my pen case directly alongside my computer, cell phone, and charger to make sure I can jot notes or reference documents or decks as needed.
  2. Schedule for the WIN! As the host of two podcasts (The Grace Podcast and The Great Girlfriends), I grew madly annoyed with my landscapers coming off schedule and complicating my recording schedule! If someone rang the doorbell, I would scream because the distractions interrupted my thoughts and ultimately my recordings! Scheduling matters, even more, when my sitter arrives home in the afternoon with our kids and they decide to invade my workspace with their questions or conversations about their day (I’m a mom, I secretly love seeing their little faces, but they can quickly pull 90 minutes of results time away from me!). So I got smart: I schedule any calls, recordings, or critical quiet time on dedicated days and in hours where I have minimal interruptions. For me, that’s typically before 12 pm and/ or after 8:30 pm. I have dedicated do not interrupt time between 6-8:30 pm to enjoy my minis and I manage my other responsibilities around that time. I also schedule dedicated days towards my different projects each week, all calls during certain hours each day (unless it’s urgent), and household duties on two days during the week where I can GET IT DONE. Schedule your meals, your exercise, your breaks, and all of your work responsibilities to ensure that you’ve tied the results to your time.
  3. Silence the NOISE! We are such a responsive generation, jumping every time we’re pinged, and continually checking in so we don’t miss out. Social media has moved us into a digital frenzy where we’re locked into a call and response system that is moving us away from getting our work done! According to comScore, nearly 20% of total time spent online in the US across both desktop and mobile devices is on social platforms. Facebook, alone, makes up 14% of total time spent online, according to comScore. WOW! If we’re going to move smarter towards our goals, we’ll need to silence the outside voices and posts that are taking our attention. I’m urging you to set “Do Not Disturb” time during the day: that means putting your phone on airplane mode, turning off alerts, and shutting down all notifications so that you can be present and focus. I started doing this about three months ago, and I have drastically increased my productivity!
  4. Take your schedule day by day! When you work from home, you tend to push harder than ever to get more results faster. It’s easy to feel isolated from the outside world and believe that you’re getting behind because you can’t see what everyone else is doing! Set your macro priorities, and take micro steps each day. Don’t let the weight of the finish line overwhelm you and keep you from getting started each day. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

I’m fully convinced that as you center in on creating the right atmosphere, take control of your time, quiet the outside influences, and pace yourself, working from home can actually “WORK” for you! I’d love to know some of the ways that you’ve managed to work successfully from home. Share your favorite tips for working from home below!

Oh and don’t forget:

  1. If you love this article, check out the following episodes from one of my podcasts:
    The Grace Podcast: EP 7: Look Into the Light
    The Great Girlfriends Show: Ep 36: Girl, Get Out of Your Way – No More Self Sabotage
    The Grace Podcast: EP 14: The Optical Illusion of Fear
  2. Don’t forget to connect with me on Instagram and Twitter
  3. Send this article to all of your favorite girlfriends!
  4. Leave your comments below!

Be bold, be BRAVE!

 

 

Sybil.

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