If you aren't a self-proclaimed productivity guru like I am, please let me enlighten you to the ways I get laser-focused when working from home. Your search for ways to juggle kids and work during quarantine can stop here.
This is the secret productivity formula that enables me to get a ton done in half the time so that I finish early and enjoy family time. Unlike other productivity blogs, these productivity tips are sustainable. In fact, I wouldn't exactly call them tips but productivity hacks.
But don't let my excitement fool you, these tips are blatantly obvious you will wonder why you never thought of them before.
Let's get started!
Being productive when working from home with others and distractions around has been an ancient mystery to which many coaches claim they have productivity solutions. I have found that the secret formula lies in the boundaries you set with others and yourself.
The boundaries you can set with yourself are committing to a certain amount of time you will be laser-focused followed by a brief break to rest your eyes and mind. (Eyes especially if you are working from a computer all day.) When you take a 15-minute break to reset and stretch, you allow your mind and body to be open to creativity. Creative energy is what keeps us going. I follow a block schedule when working. From 8 am to 11 am (this has changed with summer here), I get zoned in with the exception of a 15-minute break every 45 minutes during this 3-hour block. I can get an incredible amount completed because I am zoned in and have removed distractions. I do these block schedules about 3 times a week.
Another boundary you can set with yourself is to commit to removing distractions. This includes but is not limited to putting your cell phone on airplane mode, turning off the TV, and closing out unnecessary browser tabs. The less we can reduce toggling back and forth between tasks, the better we can knock out the task at hand because we are concentrated on it.
Scientific studies show that when you toggle back and forth, it takes your brain more time "to warm up" and readjust between each task.
If you were to remain on one task at a time, you will be more efficient and proficient.
As for boundaries that you set with others, the best thing you can do is set expectations of your availability and prepare for what kids or others around you may need while you are working.
Setting expectations for your availability can be having a talk with your kids and telling them why the work you need to take care of is important and how it can benefit them if you can complete it distraction-free. You may even go as far as promising a quick activity that you can do during your 15-minute breaks like a dance party, a round of Uno, or some other fun activity your child may enjoy. Include them in the success resulting from your hard work.
When you are setting expectations with the kids, ask them what they will need for your 45-minute block to keep occupied. Have easy to clean up snacks and favorite toys at reach. Do what you can to minimize them interrupting you.
Setting boundaries with your kids can teach them how to set boundaries when they are adults.
Boundaries with others can also include telling friends and team members when you can't take calls or reply to emails. They will respect your time and know to only contact you if it's an absolute emergency.
If I had to sum this up in an actual equation it would look like this:
Preparation + Boundaries = Productiveness
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