Working from home has been a way of life for many successful entrepreneurs, sales professionals, and consultants for years. However, for many workers who now find themselves lucky enough to still be employed with the opportunity to work from home, it is a brave new world out there (or should I say “in” there?).
By now you’ve seen the memes of being sequestered at home leading to various forms of sluggish unproductivity.
The uncertainty associated with the pandemic and the fluctuating economic markets can easily equate to a huge mental and emotional rug-pull for many. What can save us from landing hard and getting hurt is having a routine.
As the mock vacation transitions back to the updated reality of great uncertainty, those that will win the day will get their new routine in place sooner rather than later.
Chances are, before the crisis, you had a routine of sorts that included things like getting ready for the day, attending to kids and helping them get ready for their day, commuting to work, working at the office and all it entails, perhaps hitting the gym, then back home and time with the family. Now it’s all confungled and commingled together in one location. If life wasn’t a blur before, now any lines of demarcation have surely evaporated.
I am going to suggest developing a relevant routine for yourself through the process of what’s known as segment intending. This works brilliantly during times of certainty and has been slightly augmented to support you during times of uncertainty while working from home.
1. Take inventory of your goals and the action items which need to get done that can actually get done at this time. It’s times like these that may contribute to the delay of the goal, it doesn’t have to deny the goal. Stay engaged.
2. Get clear on what you can actually do given the current circumstances and immediate environment. Add those items to your to-do list and calendar for the week. Don’t confuse what you think can’t get done with what can still get done. Phones still work. Make those calls. Products and services are still needed. Help people buy what they need. Relationships still need to be nurtured and developed. Reach out and connect. Plans still need to be strategically thought through. You still have to take care of your health besides washing hands. Eat healthily, drink water, breathe deep, supplement, exercise, and get the sleep you need.
3. Keep a list of what you can’t get done now, due to current circumstances, but still needs to be done at some point when things shift. And they will. Change is inevitable. Revisit that list each week as circumstances change allowing those items to find their way back on to the to-do list for that week.
4. Set up your environment so it contributes to your success rather than contaminates it. Designate locations in your home with what you need to get the job done. Limit or eliminate things that distract you and your focus. There is plenty of evidence to confirm the environment will outpace and outsmart willpower. Take into account the people in your environment. See them as people you get to serve and who can serve you. They may not be the detractors and distractors you might be making them out to be. Set clear boundaries in relation to space and time. Ask for what you need. When we get what we need we are more happy and happy people are productive.
5. Segment your week and days into blocks of time that allow you to bring your best self to what’s needed in the current situation. Notice your new rhythms and energy dictated by the quarantine. Place work accordingly on the best days and in the best times of the day in your calendar. Learn to see your weekly calendar as an inspiring collection of small sprints rather than an overwhelming collage of a marathon. Give yourself the right buffer time needed in between to acclimate, activate and accelerate through each segment.
6. Identify who you have to be during each segment to successfully get done what you want to get done. Do you need to be resourceful? Courageous? Compassionate? It may be different for each segment.
7. Notice any resistance to the items not getting done and adjust either your mindset, skillset, or will set so you can get them done. Keep in mind your environment affects all three, so it is best to start there. Choose the PATHS of least resistance meaning the five areas of your environment you may be able to adjust. PATHS is made up of People, Actions, Thinking, Habits, and Systems. Make the improvements needed. Avoid putting it off.
Now is the time to calibrate your routine in relation to proximity and resources to continue being successful. Borrow the seven suggestions above and do your best.
Remember the Stockdale Paradox which states: “You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”
We all are resilient beyond measure in so many different ways. Take care of the greater good by taking care of yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically. Now is the perfect time to claim your power to succeed.
Make it up, make it fun, and get it done!