I work from home. Studies have shown we only have 3-4 hours of excellent work (Fahey, 2018) inside of us each day. This means that half of an average 8-hour day you are probably not working at your highest level. This fact is not surprising to me. I have been learning this past year that I am great to work until about noon if I start at 8. After that, I am not as productive, and it feels more like drudgery. Learning how to work around my energy levels and brainpower is changing my life and how productive I am.
Be Intentional About Tasks
I am a content manager who does a variety of tasks. I have found that I write blog posts more productively in the mornings, so if I have a blog or article to write, I do it first thing to take advantage of the more focused brainpower. Anything that takes my full attention gets done within the first two hours of my day. Some tasks don’t take as much brainpower, such as scheduling posts, email creation, contracts, proposals, and my own social media, and I save them for late morning and afternoon.
Time Block Like a Clock Maker
I wholeheartedly believe that time blocking has changed the amount of work I can get done. I sit down on Sundays and look over what is due and needs to be worked on for the week. Sunday-Thursday evenings, I time block what is on my schedule for the next day. I put the tasks in order of brainpower and attention, and block out how long each task should take and what time I should be working on it. I normally am ahead of schedule, but it gives me a list to work from, which keeps me on track.
Set Work From Home Boundaries
Setting boundaries is not easy for me. It is something I have had to work on with my business coach over the last few months. I had to permit myself to set boundaries on my time and talents, and it has made a difference in my day because I have a set start time and an ending time that is non-negotiable. I share these boundaries with clients during my Discovery Call, all proposals, and my contract to have clear expectations.
Although I work from home, I know I shouldn’t be working 24/7. When I started back full-time from home last summer, I worked all the time. I didn’t have boundaries. Anytime a client messaged me, I responded – even in the middle of the night. All of this changed when I started working with a business coach. She helped me to see I had to run my business like a business. By understanding when I am most efficient, time blocking, and setting boundaries, I am able to not only do an excellent job for my clients but also give full attention to my family during my “off” time. What are some systems that work for you? Leave me a comment.