42% of the American workforce is or was working from home as a result of the pandemic. While the idea of being able to tackle the workday from the comfort of one’s living room has been something many have long hoped for, the reality is that working from home can be hard.
Not only is it difficult to separate personal from professional life when you’re working at your house but distractions are also prevalent when you don’t have the benefit of a dedicated office.
So, how can you organize your thoughts better and keep your sanity in tow during today’s unique circumstances? Keep reading to take in tips that’ll help you answer that question!
1. Keep a Running To-Do List
When you’re working, you’re likely asked to provide support in several different directions at the same time. As you prioritize those tasks, some things will inevitably fall through the cracks.
To reduce the number of lapses you encounter, keep a running to-do list you can quickly reference to always remember what is expected of you. That list can have everything from replying to emails to helping your child with a homework problem on it.
As you complete to-do list items, you’ll find it ultra-rewarding to check off tasks!
2. Reduce Stimuli/Distractions
When you lose track of what you’re doing to a distraction, it can take nearly a half-hour to get back into the same stride you were in pre-break. That toll loses your company money and puts you further behind at work which can cause serious stress.
Doing simple things like putting your phone on silent, putting locks on certain distracting applications (social media for example), and taking similar steps can all have an impact on protecting your focus.
3. Talk to the People You Live With
Technology distractions can be the least of your workday’s problems. Often, the bigger issue is being distracted by family.
Sit down with the people you live with as early as possible and let them know the struggles you’re experiencing with being distracted and how it’s affecting your life. After letting them know, work with them to come up with a system that makes it less likely they’ll ask for your attention when you’re focused on work.
4. Break You Day Into Chunks
Organizing your day is a great way to passively organize your thoughts. It lets you create partitioned moments where you can focus on single things.
For example, you might identify three times during your day where you check and reply to emails. Only during those chunks of time does your mind have to think about your inbox.
The same can be said about setting up meetings, attending them, managing your children’s needs, and more.
5. Set Alarms for Breaks
The more exhaustion you subject your brain to, the less focus you’ll manage to muster up. Therein lies the value of taking breaks just like you would when you were in the office.
Working from home makes it easy to forget about breaks so set alarms that tell you when to step away from your computer. It may not seem like it but by respecting your break periods, you’ll be able to stay mentally sharp which will make organization come easier.
6. Step Out of the House Now and Again
Are breaks in your kitchen or living room not refreshing your ability to organize your thoughts as well as you’d hoped? In those cases, we recommend scenery changes.
A small adjustment to your surroundings can bring about the clarity you’re looking for. Make your next break a walk around the block and see what happens!
7. Lean on Software
In the 21st century, several of the best organization hacks come down to adopting the right piece of software. Fortunately, when it comes to thought management, there is a nearly unlimited amount of digital tools you can use to get more out of your day.
https://setapp.com/apps/mindnode has an interesting tool you can sample for free. If that doesn’t resonate with you, type “organization” into your phone’s app store and see what other tools are available.
8. Ask for Support
No matter how hard you work at keeping your thoughts and life organized, you may find that you’re still falling short. If that sounds like what you’re facing, always be open to asking your supervisor or HR-partner for support.
These are very challenging times. Most companies understand that the stress their teams are under exceeds the arrangement that was agreed upon when team members decided to take on their jobs.
Larger companies tend to have resources for individuals working from home they can distribute upon request. Smaller companies may be willing to help you make adjustments to your day so you can juggle your personal and professional responsibilities better.
You never know unless you ask so muster up the courage to have a conversation.
Take the Time to Organize Your Thoughts and Your Life
A lot is being asked of us right now. So much in fact that the idea of hitting pause to organize your thoughts and your life can seem like a waste of time.
Believe us when we say it’s not.
By laying the foundation for you to be able to think clearly, you give yourself the opportunity to thrive at work as opposed to just surviving. That’s a benefit worth claiming.
We hope you found this post insightful and welcome you to explore more content in our blog if you’d like additional guidance.