"SURVIVING WORKING FROM HOME" SERIES (4/4): TO BE PRODUCTIVE, YOU ALSO NEED TO REST. HERE IS HOW.
(Article en français ici 🇫🇷 )
After about 10 years working in different types of open spaces in a previous 'life' evolving in different marketing positions and now after 4 years being happily self-employed working in different places around the world also having a shared photography studio, I do know oh so well how overwhelming it can get to get things done in a 'non-office' environment.
So I decided to share all my favorite tips & 'no BS tricks', in this blog post series to help you go through, in the best possible way, the coming weeks!
This is one of a 4 articles series. Check out all the other ones HERE.
When working from home, you might realize that there is a challenge of separating "work time" to "non-working time". And I feel that there are 2 types of people:
The people who have a hard time to STOP: The ones who never take proper breaks, don't take proper lunch (great read for you there) and who might feel completely overwhelmed at some point of the day (Hello "6 pm break down drama time", I am looking at you)
The people who have a hard time to START: The ones who start to procrastinate right off the bat by doing some cleaning.. laundry (useful read for you there) who do take breaks that end up slowly swallowing the entire time available in the day and they end up super frustrated for not being able to do more (I happened to also have had those days as well.. nobody is perfect)
Here are 'tried & approved' techniques (after 4 years of home office experience) for both types of people.
FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE A HARD TIME TO STOP
MAKE YOUR TO-DO & THEN TAKE OFF 3 THINGS 🎯
We have ALL heard: You are running a marathon, not a sprint, so manage your energy...
But still, I know some of us try to solve all their challenges & projects in one day and start their day making a massive to-do list, completely over-optimistic with their time. And we will then find those people completely overwhelmed and frustrated at 6 pm in the evening when just 1 item has been checked.
THE WINNING TRICK
Have you ever heard that quote by Coco Chanel to describe the French way of simplicity in fashion?
"Before you leave the house, take a look in the mirror and take one thing off."
Do the same with your to-do list.
Let yourself write that over-optimistic to-do list in the morning (you can't help it anyway) and then take away 3 things. By having a shorter/more focused to-do from scratch, it will help you feel better in the evening when you will see most of it crossed in the evening!
WHEN YOU DO TAKE A BREAK, TAKE REAL ONE 🌳
I used to be that kind of person who would tell myself "Ok, I take a break and while doing it I can read that article about whatever business thing or entrepreneurial other thing' or checking my pro social media accounts.
Nope. No no and BIG NO.
THE WINNING TRICK
When you take a break (see the 'Time Chunking technique' at the end of this article), do OFF SCREEN.
If you have a manual job, do something that doesn't require any manual activity ( for instance call your mum or your friends - Very trendy these days).
If you have a non-manual job, do something manual (Do some meal prep, a 30min online yoga class, etc..>>> a GREAT app for work out classes is Down Dog ).
BUT I DON'T HAVE THE TIME TO TAKE A BREAK!
When you feel you have a LOT to do, there is the feeling that you have NO TIME to waste on a break.
False. You will actually waste more time by not taking breaks.
By taking that 10min real break, you will be much more efficient and faster afterwards on what you have to do (and not take 10hrs to 'tirely' write that email !).
Also, if you have a creative job, we all know that the best ideas (or problem's solutions) are found during time off.
THE ' 6PM NERVOUS BREAKDOWN' MASTERING TECHNIQUE:
It's 6 pm, You realize that most of what supposed to do is not done, because what you have been doing took 3x the time you allocated for it... and you have that daunting feeling that you are stuck not moving forward.
At that moment, you most probably also have the feeling that you are a failure anyway and that 'Who do you think you are to imagine that you will achieve whatever you want in your life anyway??!!!'
THE WINNING TRICK
As my kickboxing instructor would say 'STOP BABY-ING YOURSELF'.
So stop the 'poor me' thing happening and proceed :
1: When was the last time you drank water? 💦
More than 2 hours a?
DRINK a glass of water. NOW.