Work-from-home was already a burgeoning phenomenon before the 2020 lockdowns. However, that iteration differed by one crucial factor: everyone wasn’t home at the same time. In the typical work-from-home scenario today, spouses, housemates, children, and myriad domestic distractions compete for our focus. Use these strategies to minimize disruption and maximize productivity without compromising your obligations.
As the name suggests, this technique allocates blocks of time to a particular task or project. It divides the day into periods where your focus is solely on a specific objective. It works by facilitating your transition from dabbling on a task to being “in the zone.”
Deciding on the duration of a time block is as dependent on your work style as it is on the magnitude of the job. Consider your personal ability to concentrate and the time it takes for you to become engrossed. If you struggle to focus when you begin, a one-hour block may be insufficient to extract the most from time blocking. Longer stints may produce the best results.
In the isolation of your home, it may seem more efficient or time-friendly to complete individual tasks instead of utilizing team resources. This inclination to micromanage is the enemy of effective leadership. Remember, only you stand at the pinnacle with the vast oversight of that position. The onus lies on you to bring all the parts together and not lose yourself amidst individual machinations. Drive your team to produce results by selecting the best people and then delegating to each the responsibilities for which they are best suited.
An unfortunate tendency of late has been for leaders to disproportionately delegate to team members who are single or do not live with children. The implications of bias aside, your emphasis should be on choosing the most professionally-capable candidate, not the most convenient target.
Discipline is the essence of all success, in every field. It is what drives you to keep at a task to the end of a time block; it fights your reservations when you are loath to delegate, and battles that sudden urge to clean the closet and mop the floors when you are supposed to be working.
Crucial to discipline is the ability to defer gratification. To cultivate a strong sense of discipline, work for consistently longer periods. Don’t take that break now; take it in three minutes now, five minutes later tonight, and 10 minutes later tomorrow.
Extend that current of discipline to everyone in the household. Introduce them to the concept of time blocks, demarcate physical boundaries within which every individual has to remain during study/work hours.
Just as people are a product of their environment, the quality of the work we do mirrors the environment in which it was produced. By applying these techniques correctly and consistently, you can perform to your best abilities no matter where you are. For more ideas about how to be as productive as possible, please see my articles.