It’s a terrifying time in our lives right now. You certainly don’t need me to remind you of that! But one thing we know for sure is that whenever we experience fear or anxiety, our productivity decreases because of it. For the foreseeable future, our typical day just won’t be normal at all.
I think it’s more vital than ever to remain productive. Easier said than done I know, but I believe we could all do with staying focused if we’re going to get through this.
While going through my regular morning routine, it got me to thinking of what I’ve been doing to achieve this myself. So, here are a few pieces of stellar advice I’ve picked up and would like to share with you.
1. Be crystal clear on your plan for the day the night before.
Make sure that your plan makes sense in the context of your goals for the month, quarter and year. Then you won’t have the paralysing question mark over your head “Should I really be doing this right now?” (Sander Zaydman, Director of Lifecycle Marketing, Inman)
2. Dress for work. Act like you’re in the office.
Oliver Squires, SVP Sales from Ebsta’s big tip: Start the day as you mean to go on. Complete the simple little tasks. Get dressed!”
Take regular mental and physical breaks.
Create your own rules for working
A few of mine are:
Keep iPhone off until 9:30
I do not work with my smartphone directly next to me. Leaving across the other side of the rooms is ok.
Stop working by 8pm most days
Work on just one thing at a time. Get it over the line
Clean your workspace as you go. Square up papers.
No Youtube/Social media outside designated breaks. E.g 12:30-13:30 and 20:00 -22:30
Email: check @ 10. Check and Respond at 3pm.
3. Create a solid morning routine.
Create a bootup process and build robust systems around your morning routine. This frames the day in a way where you are proactive vs reactive. “Sander Zaydman, Director of Lifecycle Marketing, Inman”
4. Start working before everyone else.
The feeling of being even 45 mins ahead of everyone else will propel you into your day.
5. Have proper lunch and recharge for round 2 hours in the afternoon
“You need to take time to recharge,” Says Steli Efti, CEO at Close.io. I can’t even tell you how many times leaders who don’t work remotely ask me: “Aren’t you worried that your team goofs off if they’re working from home?”
For us, the challenge has always been on the other end of the spectrum. Ensuring that people do take enough time off, don’t skip dinners, get enough sleep, and build and maintain healthy routines.
I think a lot has to do with choosing the right people from the start. (Those that want to make an impact, not those that want a paycheck), and building the right culture.
6. Set a definite stop time for every day and stick to it.
I try to never work past 8pm. Keeping this in mind adds intensity to my day and gives you the evening to relax.
7. Choose a Reward for the Week
It can’t be something you were going to do anyway like go out on Saturday night. It might be that you’re going to treat yourself to the Premo Gin instead of the standard stuff.
It might be that you’re going to get a Deliveroo rather than cook. Make it clear and exciting with clearly defined criteria to give it to yourself.
8. Define your working Time Frame and Breaks
Especially lunch. Cook for yourself. Turn off your phone and listen to some music. To have some headspace. Try not to be always “On” with news, social media, youtube etc.
Even 4 minutes at the start of the day will give you a mental launch pad to keep calm. Ideally, take a few short meditation sessions throughout the day and one that is at least 10 minutes.