A Serial Procrastinator’s Guide to Getting Stuff Done – Home Office Edition
Getting Stuff Done— At Home!
Remote working is transforming workplaces, and teams are becoming increasingly distributed. These days, many people are finding themselves working from home. And when you are working from home – communication is key.
The world works better face to face, so when you cannot see your coworkers in person, make sure you turn the video on in remote meetings so that you tune in to all the nonverbal cues that would otherwise get lost. With the right Cisco Webex collaboration tools, you can have a meeting experience from the comfort of your own home that is just as good or even rivals in-person meetings.
Let’s face it – working from home can be pretty hard. There are the usual distractions, such as your kids and the Lego blocks they left behind that you stepped on (one of the most painful things known to humanity), and the piles of laundry that have accumulated for far longer than you wish to admit. Then there’s the worst distraction of them all – your brain. I don’t know about you, but whenever I have a task to accomplish, my mind goes into all sorts of directions. Recently, it’s convinced me to learn how to play the flute. Whilst I might be exploring my musical abilities, this newfound passion of mine is detrimental to both my family’s sanity and my productivity.
Apart from scheduling in breaks, meditating, doing yoga, staying hydrated and basically reaching enlightenment, here are some tried and tested hacks to increase your productivity. Getting Stuff Done 1 – Flute 0.
Easier said than done, but knowing what time of day you feel the most refreshed and energized is so important. We have all experienced what psychologists like to call flow, where you get into a state of intense focus and lose track of time and space. Whilst it might seem counterintuitive to track this, it can be beneficial to be mindful of when you experience this flow. Keep a little journal you write in at the end of the day where you reflect on when you did your best work, and what distracted you. Knowledge is power, and when you are aware of these things it can be easier to schedule in the more challenging tasks at a time when you are most likely to feel your best.
This one is crucial. When you are working from home, your professional and private lives get intertwined. I often trick myself into thinking I’m doing something productive when I’m mopping the floors or doing the dishes during my working hours, but what it ultimately leads to is me working longer hours overall to make up for the lost time.
Try to schedule in some dedicated time to get these chores out of the way at the start or at the end of the day, so they don’t take up precious mind space when you are working. Or, just leave it. Embrace the mess – especially if you are the lucky owner of a Cisco Webex Desk Pro where you can blur your background. I need one.
Many of you probably do this already, but writing lists are such an important tool to prioritize your tasks. As most of our days are spent in front of the computer, writing physical lists can be a nice break. The key here is not to write down everything you need to accomplish at random, but structuring your tasks according to importance.
You know best whether you want the satisfaction of ticking off all the smaller tasks from your list before you tackle the bigger ones or vice versa. I am all about delayed gratification and eat my vegetables before my dessert, so I go for the latter. You do you.
Aesthetics is Important
Our physical environment reflects our mental state, and when my desk is cluttered, I can assure you my mind is too. When we spend 8+ hours in one space, it should be a space that brings you inspiration and fosters productivity. Clean up your desk, surround yourself with things that spark your creativity and motivates you. Maybe even add a plant. Or a cactus, if you’re like me and every green thing you touch instantly withers.
In these trying times, the most important thing we can do is to be kind to one another. If your own, or your colleagues’ children barges into the room in the middle of a meeting, welcome them into the conversation. Laugh at the “oreiedjdenkdeiwe” message you receive because somebody’s cat has decided to walk over the keyboard. And most importantly, schedule in some time to have virtual coffee breaks with your colleagues, where you can share frustrations and joys together. Just be a nice person – this whole COVID-19 situation is scary and hard on all of us.
Find out more on what Webex is doing to support our customers in this time here.
Oct 12, 2021 — Niraj Gopal