For many, working from home is a boon in family contact, life balance and improved concentration. But there’s also the opportunity to squander the business advantages it offers by scaling back in your expectations in performance this year. I’d argue that it’s a perfect time to smash records in sales and performance.
What I’ve experienced from working with my clients, who i’d assume are a good cross section of those working from home, are a number of glaring errors in productivity and performance that will, inevitably cost in the long term. Lets address a few:
- Doubling up as babysitter and exec. While being at home gives an opportunity to “hang out” with the kids, and this is a real benefit, I continually hear kids knocking on doors where my clients have chosen to meet with me. They seem to have no other way of finding out that dad or mum is on a call than opening the door or knocking, some screaming, to get attention. My suggestion would be a clearer boundary and more distinctive signalling when work is in progress. (armed guards can help)
- Back to back… Scheduling calls (now called meetings) back to back is as unproductive as shaving your legs with a blunt razor. Instead, force yourself off the last call five minutes before time, and schedule the next call five or ten minutes after the last. Instead of 10.am meeting, make it 10.05 or 10.10am – and instead of 9.00am -10.am meeting time schedule 9.05 – 9.55am. In between get up, kiss the kids, make tea, have a stretch and kiss a frog. Get away from your chair, desk and vent some steam.
- No off – On Switch. When we go into work mode we use parts of our brain that are unique. We do not use those same parts of our brain when we mow the lawn, make a cake, play soccer or shop for a new bike. And again, we use other parts of our mind to speak to family, make love and eat. Be able to switch quicker by labelling time. Love time, work time, kids time, cooking time, chill time etc. I’d say 7 time zones is excellent and choose a different mindset for each. Plus, there are NLP secrets to switching mindset such as clicking fingers, slapping your face (not recommenced) shaking hands, scratching genitals and pulling ear lobes. Whatever trigger you choose, link the physical action to the switch and very quickly just the action will cause the switch without a second thought. Edward Debono suggests changing hats but, indoors, hats? I’m no convinced. Stick to scratching genitals before you switch to Edward’s suggestion.
- Pig Poo boots…. The emotional baggage we have to deal with at work should never come home, just as a worker on a pig farm would never wear those pig poo boots into the house, you should never bring the emotional toilet of business into the house either. But you are in the house! Working from home, your pig poo boots are on in the house. So, isolate your work to a space and make that space noticeably yours, separate from the living areas and never in the bedroom. Out in the garage or erect a tent in the garden, whatever you do, keep those pig poo boots away from the family. They’re toxic and you don’t get paid to spread corporate bs through your house.
- Screen scream ice-cream. I have an iPhone Max, an iPad super, a MacBook air and a tv in the house, something is always on. My blue tooth is in my ear, my screen is in my face, I’m on, if i want to be, 24/7. So, I believe in Digital Detox for a few hours a day. In other words, go analogue for a bit. Write on ….. “PAPER” yes, it still exists in forms other than precious toilet rolls. Read a “BOOK” yes they still print them. And just because you’re getting used to looking like a ninja warrior about to do brain surgery on someone, you can still say “Hi” to real people in the street. You don’t catch covid from smiling.
- Practice the 100% rule. If you are talking to the kids, talk to them 100% each. No divided attention. no halves. If you’re in the kitchen with your partner, focus on them. Etc. If you give a kid 80% focus, it makes them more hungry than ever. Nobody likes half focussed attention. All or nothing. Never half. Better 5 minutes at 10/10 on your volume control nob for 5 minutes than 80% for 2 hours. One treats people as priceless, the other diminishes them and makes them scream for attention.
- Fatty… Well we all got fat over covid. The culprit is bread. You go to the kitchen, feel peckish, actually starving, need something quick so you can get back for the next meeting and whoosh, bread. Bread should be banned – it’s for kids.
Ok, well, it’s time for digital detox as I start my 30 minute pre bed rituals.
See you on the other side.