Working from home can be difficult, so how do you keep motivated? Maybe the answer is putting a method to the madness.
In theory, that WFH life sounds great: You can wear your bathrobe all day and work while your cat lounges next to you on the couch, and you've got the "Little Women" soundtrack streaming on a loop in the background. It's all chill... right?
Alas, it's not actually that simple. How do people do this? How do you do Zoom meetings and answer emails and do your actual job at the same time??
It's a bit of a balancing act, yes. Especially when you know your bed is just a few feet away (and you could be there watching Netflix instead of listening to Karen complain about being quarantined in the daily work meeting).
So, you might be in need of some productivity tricks. Now, they might not work for everyone — but let's just say they're popular for a reason.
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Eat the Live Frog (aka Do the Worst Thing First)
If you keep putting things off and missing deadlines, etc, then this method might be for you. This productivity method is named after Mark Twain, who once said: "Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day."
In other words, try scheduling your tasks from the hardest to the easiest and "eat the frog" first; do the really hard thing — and everything else will seem so much easier.
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Rubber Duck Debugging
"Rubber Duck Debugging" is a fun term for talking through your problems with an inanimate object. Basically, you find an inanimate object (use an actual rubber duck if you like), and explain your problem. What the problem is exactly and why you're having it.
It might sound silly, but sometimes the simple act of verbalizing your issues will help you figure out how to tackle them.
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Are you more visual? Need to see your to-do-list before you can actually do it? Then this simple system is perfect for you.
All you need to do is divide all your tasks into three categories: To Do, Doing, and Done. Arrange them in a visual way; whether it be sticky notes on a white board, or the sticky notes app on your laptop and make sure you check it regularly and move things around when need be.
In his book, "Personal Kanban: Mapping Work - Navigating Life," Jim Benson explains: "Visualising work reduces the distractions of existential overhead by transforming fuzzy concepts into tangible objects that your brain can easily grasp and prioritize."
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The SMART Method
If you've got big ideas that need to be turned into actionable plans, this is for you. Whether you're trying to write that novel, or trying to construct a proposal and create achievable goals, this could work for you.
First off, SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, Timely.
As in, what would you specifically like to accomplish? Which measurable tasks can get you to the finish line? Who is assigned which role? What are the realistic challenges here? And finally, how timely is the deadline?
These are the things you need to ask yourself with this method. It can work for individuals and businesses alike!
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