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22 October, 2020 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career Management, CEOofYou, Working From Home, Your Career Success
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Four Steps to Overcome Work-From-Home Deficits

Posted October 22nd, 2020 | Author: John G. Self

Our current business climate – how and where we do business – has not recovered, as evidenced by the number of empty office buildings and the number of companies extending work-from-home mandates, some through the end of 2021.  A few companies are suggesting that work-from-home arrangements for back-office functions may become permanent.

 McKinsey & Co reported that 90 percent of the executives surveyed believe “the Covid-19 crisis will fundamentally shift how they do business for five years.”

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While all of us are anxious for a return to normal, even a new normal, the likelihood of that happening any time soon is not particularly realistic.  Many infectious disease physicians say we can expect to have some restrictions on social distancing at least through the fourth quarter of 2021, depending on the effectiveness of whichever vaccine is approved. 

There are some obvious career management implications and incorporating those into your strategy – for advancement or just survival – will be vital.  

To be successful, executives and managers must master two crucial soft skills:

  • Time management
  • Prioritizing workflow

Not everyone is good at managing their time or understanding the importance of specific projects over others.  Working in an office provides the necessary structure for many workers to be successful.  Working from home can exacerbate that weakness.  The important thing here is to recognize that challenge and act.

Here are four steps you can take to ensure your work-from-home performance does not slip.

  1. Be honest with yourself.  Most people who struggle with time management know it. What they may not know is that they are certainly not alone.  Look for the tools that can help you offset this deficiency.  If you have a good relationship with your boss, confide, and ask if the company has any resources to support this change in the work environment. 
  2. Do your homework.  While many companies have online productivity suites, including calendars, to-do lists, reminder alerts, this may not be enough for some.  Additional tools may be necessary, such as a traditional daily planner/time management journal.  There are hundreds of these systems (physical diaries) in the marketplace. Some are expensive.  Do your homework and pick the one with a design structure that aligns with how your brain works
  3. Be brutal. Once you design a system to advance projects and plan your day, then you must follow it.  Period.  We all procrastinate.  Understand where and when that urge strikes you and take steps so that whatever processes you develop will not easily allow you to push work to another pile on your desk versus the completed/outbox.   
  4. Develop a daily routine.  This can be the hardest part. I know.  It is something I have struggled with throughout my career.  Without reservation, I can tell you that the days/weeks that I take the time to review my projects and plan my days – and then actually follow through – are my best, my most productive.  Having a physical planner/organizer is not worth much if it sits on your desk, covered up with project work product.

Note: I use the AmazonBasics Soft Cover Journal.  It is a best buy, cost-wise, and its flexible layout seems to play the nicest in the sandbox with my brain! 

There are other fine planners that I have tried in the past: Full Focus as well as Self Journal (No, I do not have an interest!). Neither fully aligned with how I tend to work.

© 2020 John Gregory Self

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