Working from home: Deep Space Three
A Guest Post by Howard SuissaEveryone has advice about being productive when working from home. People share best practices like they share influencer pandemic workouts. You too can be as productive and beautiful as me—if you subscribe to the notion that I know what the hell I’m talking about. Hit “Like” now and subscribe so you too can be unproductive as you read my productivity production.
I can honestly say that I’ve never worked in an office in a career position. Working for myself, in my own space, has always been my world. Sure, I work on teams. I meet with clients and suppliers. I’ve worked from my home office and on-site. In every situation, I’ve been responsible for being as productive as I possibly can without the structure that no longer surrounds most people in the way they’re accustomed to.
So here is my list of Top Three Things That Keep Me Productive.
1. HeadspaceYou are only as productive as you want to be. No one’s looking over your shoulder, you don’t need to impress anyone with your head down at the local coffee shop. Get into the headspace that the only person you have to impress with your productivity is you. I end every day by making a To-Do list for tomorrow. One that is actually doable. I only put things on it that I can absolutely accomplish in the daily timeframe. I break big projects into day-long tasks and get them done. I’ve found that having a list of two or three things that I actually clean off is better for my headspace and attitude than having a list of 10 things that rollover day to day.
I start every day like I mean it. You need to find your new routine. Don’t base it on your old routine. Spend a bit of time to really, truly design your new-reality routine. How do you schedule your commute decompression into your day when you don’t commute? What start time makes sense to your new rhythm? What self-care do you need during the day to keep a good rhythm going?
Kids – I can’t really speak to that. I don’t have any. I can only imagine that they’re different than dealing with cats.
2. WorkspaceNot everyone can have the luxury of a fully-featured home office. But you don’t need one. You only need one from X-a.m. to Y-p.m., then pack it up and go home. The kitchen is a coffee shop, the living room is a boardroom, the dining room is a restaurant. I take my laptop from the office when I go for a coffee and make it an hour or hour-and-a-half excursion to the kitchen. This isn’t a laundry break. Don’t put away the dishes. These space shifts tie into #1 above. You’re in your headspace that just happens to be where your home is, in its parts, but aren’t your home during the hours of X to Y.
I find that finishing one task creates a great opportunity to make a move to the “coffee shop,” so to speak. This physical separation matches the mental one as I move from one thing to another. Grabbing my notebook, or laptop and taking a coffee break to the kitchen lets me decompress from the last task and allows me to plan for the next. When I get back to my desk, work starts in earnest.
Kids… Yeah, again… now part of the workspace. I hate to say this is a you problem, but…
3. BodyspaceI’ve found over the years that having a standing desk has been one of the single greatest things I’ve done for myself. If you look at the design of furniture, especially the desks most of us have in our homes, the dimensions were designed back in the 1700s—for writing. Sure, you can get a computer desk with an under-mounted keyboard tray… which sucks. Or you can get your legs out from under the desk, then put your keyboard and monitor into the perfect positions.
If you do move to a standing desk, plan on doing it over a period of time. You can’t run a marathon without going for a jog a couple of times first. Or something like that. Get a pair of comfortable shoes and take breaks at your “coffee shop” to take a seat. Step back and forth as you think. Dance. Do Figure 4 glute stretches.
I slip my shoes on and off during the day and do tree pose during video conferences. It has become a game to see how long I can stand on one leg.