In the last of my mini-series of articles on working from home, here’s a few thoughts on getting the most out of your working day, in particular your morning.
With the current coronavirus seeing many people working from home, the need to balance work and home life is just one of many new challenges many of you are undoubtedly facing. So, when the time and opportunity to work is there, making every hour and every minute count is paramount.
Starting with the morning. Getting your day going on a productive note sets up for the rest of the day. Even if your afternoon does not quite go according to plan (and let's face it, sometimes it doesn't), at least you will already have achieved something and the day is not a complete write-off.
Here’s a couple of tips to make your mornings meaningful and productive.
1. Have a list ready.
Before you end for the day the day before, make the next day’s to-do list. You can even split it down between morning and afternoon. One thing I do with my daily ‘to do’ list is to try and split it into three sections, listing:-
- Three or more things I need to get done that day
- Three things I would like to get done that day if possible
- Three things I know need to be done sometime
Then, review that list as you start your day, and try to stick to it. Make sure you are being proactive, not reactive to whatever the day throws at you.
2. Get a head start
One way you can get more done is getting started early. Even if it’s just half an hour early to work on assignments before you start receiving calls, emails, and having those around you also in close proximity, it is worth it.
And with working from home, this added time will become even more valuable with several demands on your time and space during the coronavirus lockdown.
So rise early, get the coffee on and get going.
3.Breakfast – have it, don’t skip it
What’s the old saying about breakfast being the most important meal of the day? Make time for it and get some nutrition and some energy inside you for the day ahead. It does make a difference.
4. Split out your day
Whenever possible, push meetings and admin tasks to the afternoon. Make those tasks what the back half of your day is about. Make the front half about doing creative work and completing projects—with a list of goals you want to accomplish before noon each day (see my note in 1. above)
5. Get some exercise
You may not realise it but exercise is very important generating energy that will carry you through the rest of the day. In fact, as part of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions, the Government recommend it for health and wellbeing. So take some time to get up and get moving, even if it’s a quick walk around your neighbourhood, a bike ride, perhaps doing an online gym class session or better still – my favourite – getting by water or in the countryside. Just remember to keep your social distancing.
6. Take some time for you.
It’s important to also leave a little bit of time in the morning to cultivate a positive mindset. Even if that’s just five minutes you spend reading, exercising or having a hot shower before you switch on the PC or flip up the laptop, a bit of time to yourself to take stock of things will do the power of good.
Those are some of my suggestions for starting the day in a good way and using your mornings more productively. Use them and you will soon begin to see the benefits.