As more people have adjusted to working from home this year, more and more of us are analyzing our personal work-related habits in the pursuit of increased productivity and improved performance. Everyone has a different working style and performs best under specific circumstances. Finding out what your style is and what environment creates the best conditions for you to execute tasks is largely trial and error, but trying approaches from successful peers is a great place to start.
The number one piece of advice I’ve received from my colleagues at Ideba (who are not new to the remote working scene) is to “Block. Your. Calendar.” On the surface this seems like a no brainer, but it’s easy to fall into the trap of budgeting enough time for each task with an associated deliverable and not leaving yourself enough time for your regular “downtime” tasks. These might be things like going through your emails from the day, making sure your files are organized, or making sure lower-priority tasks don’t fall off your radar. Or maybe you’ve found a good rhythm for breaks that helps keep your productivity up and want to make sure you have enough time built into your day to step away from the screen as needed.
When you have a heavy workload, it can be hard to remember to leave yourself enough time for these housekeeping tasks that don’t pay the bills, but help keep the ship afloat. Sometimes you can feel guilty blocking time out of your day to clear out your inbox or plan the next week’s tasks, but taking the time to make sure everything is accounted for can give you some extra peace of mind (which might help get those deliverables out the door faster). Your calendar doesn’t have to be restricted to high-priority tasks and meetings.
So, what are you blocking time for? I would love to hear what kinds of activities you make sure to give yourself time for and how they help you put your best foot forward. Send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Perri Read, Junior Consultant