I have experienced a summer “slowdown” despite not having a proper holiday, which is time away from my home and the people I see all the time! I am struggling to find the energy and motivation to get back to work so have decided to use my behavioural change expertise to create a recipe for change in my working life.
1. Re-set my limiting beliefs
None of us knew how long lockdown and the impacts of this dreadful virus would last, but as we drift into the 6th month of working from home, we can no longer pretend this is temporary. I need to reframe my working habits as “accepted practice” and not treat each day as if it didn’t matter because I will get back to “normal” soon.
- I have more time as I am not commuting, so I will get more done.
- It doesn’t matter what time I start and finish as I am not constrained by my commute.
- It doesn’t matter what I am wearing, I am not in the office with anyone.
- I am not really alone, I am on Zoom with my colleagues all day.
- Time taken for activities is expanding to fit a longer working day, so I need to set interim deadlines and focus on getting things finished at the end of every day.
- I have the same amount of time I have always had, so I should boundaries to create a pattern to my working hours.
- It does matter what I am wearing because it affects my view of myself, so I should dress for the job I do not the location I am in.
- I am physically alone so I need to create events where I interact with others, even if this is just a quick visit to a coffee shop.
2. Create my environment to match the way I want to work
I have no boundaries between my home and my office. My work things – IT, stationery, books and notes are in different rooms. Not having everything in one designated office space is having an impact on how “professional”, especially when I have to leap out of my seat to go and get something that would normally have been on my desk.
In change management, our physical environment is an easy lever to support a new way of working. To support greater professionalism from home, I have made a list of all the things I perceive a well organised person would have easily to hand on their desk and I have bought a toolbox and filled it with every piece of stationery, charger cable, scissors and stapler than I need. I have put a calendar and a clock on the wall, and I have my Kanban board of all my outstanding work hanging above my laptop. I already feel more prepared for work!
3. Establish processes that support my ideal way of working
Working from home has destroyed the set times that I did many of the little tasks that now interrupt me and destroy my concentration. For example, I used to use my commute to do lots of emails to stakeholders, I would use early mornings to do my big thinking and create new courses and I would use the end of the day for planning and administration – banking, timesheets etc.
It is time for me to get some structure back, set time aside for these regular tasks and gain economies of scale from grouping them all together. I know this will make me feel more productive, and I will have the satisfaction of getting things finished.
I hope this has given you a few ideas, share your inspiration by emailing me what works for you and I will collate all the ideas and update this article firstname.lastname@example.org