First steps in staying productive during the corona virus outbreak.
The corona virus has changed our lives quickly. COVID-19 has limited our business and work. We didn’t expect to work remotely, to take care of kids and work all in the same place-OUR HOME. For some of us, a make-shift home office and working remotely is the new norm, at least for now.
How can you get done the work you need to do? Meetings and conferences are canceled and you’re not sure how to fill up your time? Priorities at work have quickly shifted, what comes first? Here are some quick productivity tips to help you stay on track.
Create a routine-What is your ideal morning? Think it through, what do you need to do to start your day? Not everyday will be ideal but the routine you create will set the tone for the day. It can also communicate to other family members what they need to do. Write down what needs to happen and when.
It’s important when working from home that you take it seriously. Get out of your sweatpants or pajamas and get dressed. Get to your work, just as you would if you entered the office. Take a few minutes to settle in and get focused. This is a mindset shift. In the past, it was the commute and walking through the office door that prepared us. Now, we need to make the conscious choice to focus in on work.
Prioritize your day-Not sure what to do? Grab a sheet of paper and pen and write what comes to mind. It doesn’t matter if it’s personal or business. Just write it down. Then begin sorting those personal and professional actions. Put personal tasks aside. Sort work by like tasks, this is called batching. Batch tasks like calls, emails, tasks at my computer, tasks that do not require internet. Then, look at what needs to happen first. Start with your top three things to get done.
Focus-Once you’ve captured your three top things to do. Try using the pomodoro method. Set a timer for 25 minutes, work during that time, when the timer goes off take a 3-5 minute break. Here is a blog on the pomodoro method. This technique has worked well for my clients who work from home. Focused time on work that lead to short breaks and help balance out your day. Those shorter breaks can be used to do things like load and unload the dishwasher, switch out laundry and other small tasks that need to happen around the house. Those small household tasks feel like a priority because they beckon you. Don’t be deceived. Do them during a short break or after 5pm. They can wait.
Communicate-It’s the basis of all things productive. Communicate to your staff and co-workers about the work you are doing. Communicate ways you can work together. Communicate with your customers. There is so much to discuss, here is a short list:
Communicate how to use a web based platform for meetings and conduct virtual meetings. If you don’t know how here is a blog on virtual meetings.
Talk about what safety precautions to take if you are going into the office.
Discuss how to access shared files. This might be the first time staff is working remotely and needs this information. Basic? Yes, but share the information anyway.
Talk about how to find shared files. If you have no clear communication on naming your files and documents. Contact me directly for my file naming convention document. It’s a guideline to use for naming files that all staff can begin using for consistency.
Plan what the company needs to focus on, projects and priorities have shifted and will continue to shift. Even if you are just communicating the ways you can pivot business during this time lays the groundwork for the work to follow.
Communicate the protocol employees need to follow to minimize the spread of COVID-19. If you don’t know what to use, the protocol set by the Center for Disease Control is comprehensive. Their advice is the best way to minimize the spread of COVID-19. There is information on the symptoms and care if you or a loved one has the corona virus.
Wash your hands-You’ve heard this many times since the outbreak. Also, sanitize your work space, phone, keyboard, light switches, doorknobs.
These productivity tips may seem basic, and you are right, they are. When we are thrown off with something new and different it is the basic techniques we forget to implement.
Margo Crawford is a Productivity Coach with Wave Productivity. If you are struggling to stay focused, organized and productive at work during the COVID-19 outbreak, you are not alone. Margo works with entrepreneurs, small business owners and business professionals to help them get more focused, organized and productive in their workplace. Set up a consultation today. Margo coaches by phone nationally. Call 602-677-8275 or email [email protected].