I’m expecting a lot of burnout over the coming weeks and months. I’m hearing about the difficulties for managers who are stuck at home, still have to work and be productive, and are home-schooling and caring for children as well.
I have been working from home for over 18 years; I’ve managed two of my own businesses, several other businesses and a charity group, all while raising children. Not only do I now have the coaching skills to help people find their best solutions in time management, but I guarantee I have all the t-shirts from every challenge people are currently facing!
There was ONE core habit that made working from home a success, and to this day when I find I’m losing control of my days and weeks, I go back to same drawing board. It just works every time.
It starts with a pen and paper.
Draw a table with 8 columns and 10 rows.
Columns are labelled ‘Time’ and then Monday to Sunday across.
Row are labelled in hourly increments from 7am to 10pm.
Firstly, mark in priorities. By priorities I mean eating, childcare and exercise.
Then schedule in work items. Sometimes a few drafts are needed before you get a weekly schedule you are happy with.
An advanced and more flexible version of this is a whiteboard with coloured magnets for each item, e.g I use green for exercise, blue for admin work, yellow for coaching sessions, pink for CPD/reading time, red for networking, black for business development/bookkeeping. If something in your diary gets rearranged for whatever reason, just swap those magnets. This means you are forced to find time for whatever was pushed out. Or get rid of it if it’s not a priority.
Below is a photo of my whiteboard – I have blurred it as it’s a working one, but you will hopefully get the idea. (Do you see Lunch in purple writing? I love my food so it’s non-negotiable!). I have other whiteboards for monthly and yearly goals; all visible from my desk.
I have flexibility in my online coaching sessions, so if you hear of someone who is really lost in terms of their time management now (where they used to have structure and now that’s gone) please recommend that they have just one session with me and I’ll help them get on top of it.
Until next week, stay safe,
Image credit: Unsplash.com