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6 Simple Steps to Getting Things Done in the Chaos of Working From Home

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The alarm rings. You roll over, stare at your phone, debating whether to snooze it or get out of bed. This is your normal routine each morning but today is different. It is different because the only place you have to go is your living room. This is different because you have a choice. No one is expecting your arrival. No one will be waiting for a meeting or knocking on your office door to make sure you are on time. You are not alone. This is foreign territory for millions of people in the world today. 

The alarm rings. You now have a decision to make. Get going or hit snooze again. Many of us are entrepreneurs. We have been running to the rhythm of our own beat for years. It is in our DNA. But even more of us enjoy the routine and dependability of a normal, get up and go to work type of day. Many enjoy being given the routine schedule. We enjoy the meetings and projects that are scheduled for us.

Yet others, are the meeting planners. We thrive on creating our own day and business. These two approaches could not be further from each other, yet the situation we are facing currently has now thrown the idea of ‘entrepreneur’ into the laps of many who never sought to live this way.

So how do you function within this lifestyle? How do you juggle the convenience of home with the rigors of to do lists and project boards? How do you stay in contact with your co-workers and team? How do you ignore all of the household chores that now stare at you all day long?

Let’s explore your work from home survival kit by setting 6 essential rules for working from the place you’re really used to simply living in:

1. Get up and get that game time uniform on

This is the single most important detail of working from home you will experience. Every single work from home article you read will list this very rule at the top of their list, if not first. Why? Because getting up, getting dressed and preparing for your day like normal, shifts your mind into preparing for work.

The psyche of the mind is a very powerful thing. Do you change clothes when you workout? Yes. Partially for comfort and convenience but you also do this to reset your mind. Do you change clothes at the end of the workday? Sweats, a t-shirt, shorts, something comfortable to let you know ‘I am home.’

This very practice that you normally partake in applies to your mornings and workday regardless of where you are. Get up. Get dressed. Iron your clothes. Shower. Do your hair. Keep the very routine you would practice if you were heading to the office.

“Productivity is never an accident. It’s the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning & focused effort.” – Paul Meyer

2. Great planning means great vision

If someone were to follow you to your place of work and log your day for a week, one thing would become clear: you have a routine.

No matter what that routine is, keep it at home during your work day. Sure there may be some elements that vary. You may have children to tend to. You may have pets that need walked or taken out. You may have other family living at home. For the most part your routine can remain the same.

If you get a cup of coffee on your way to work or once you get to the office, do the same at home. If you check emails first thing, do the same at home. If you say hi to certain coworkers, give them a call from home. Do everything you can to keep your routine the same. It will help shift your mind into work mode and give you more focus for the day. 

3. If your phone rings, smash it

You don’t have to completely smash it. There are really good benefits to working from home but there are also major traps. The greatest trap is distraction. When you are at your normal place of work you have built in accountability that is impossible to replicate at home.

Your team is at your office. Your boss is at your office. They are not following you home during this season of work. It is up to you to hold yourself accountable. It is obvious that hours are wasted at work by surfing social media and chat among workers but this pails in comparison to the temptation you will have working from home.

Netflix, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, TikTok, the list of distractions goes on and on so you must set technology boundaries. Set times throughout the day allowing yourself space to peruse the social media world, then get back to work. 15 minutes of allowable technology will do wonders in keeping you on task and accountable.

4. Space: the final frontier

Clear a desk, empty a room and get organized. You have entered a new season of life, if only temporary, that can become a season of great empowerment and a designated workspace will open the door for just that.

Once you decide where you are going to work within your home, decide how you are going to work within that space. Do the things you would do at the office. Arrange your new area to replicate and simulate the actions and behaviors you would take part in each day. 

An uncontrollable lifestyle has been thrust upon you and now you are taking charge and creating as much controllable space as possible. Designate your space. Clear away distractions. Follow your routine and watch those project lists melt away.

5. What you put in is what you get out

Nutrition may be the last thing on anyone’s mind when discussing essentials at home but people love snacks and it’s easy to snack when you are home all day. Do not fall into this trap.

Food is fuel you need in order to thrive during this season of life. Set food boundaries in your house, especially during your work day. Meal prep like you normally would and in that meal prep select the snacks you would normally allow yourself at work.

Set your snacks in your designated work area so you don’t find yourself grazing through those cookies or pouring that next bowl of cereal just because it is available. You want to get through this season with your health in tact. Set your nutrition boundaries like you normally would and do not stray from them. Besides, those cookies will be there when you finish your work day. 

“Productivity is less about what you do with your time. And more about how you run your mind.” – Robin Sharma

6. Grab your jump rope in 3..2..1! 

Moving your body is an essential tool you can begin while you are working from home, then take to your place of work when your schedule resumes as normal. Many companies provide opportunities for their people to partake in physical activity but many do not. 

If you are normally not one to take walk breaks then start now! Use your work sprint timer and schedule to empower 15-20 minute breaks throughout the day that allow you to go outside and move. The sun is great for your body and mind and taking a short walk will do wonders for your productivity.

Even if your day includes working out before or after work, still plan some breaks for physical activity throughout the day. This is a great time to implement this healthy habit. Once you return to your normal schedule you can practice this habit at your workplace as well!

Mitch Gray is quickly becoming a leading voice in leadership and business culture development. Using his experience from over two decades of leadership in both retail business and nonprofit companies, Mitch teaches leaders how to better engage and empower their teams to take productivity and performance to the next level. Mitch is the creator of Shift Culture Consultants and the host of The Mitch Gray Show podcast. Subscribe to The Mitch Gray Show podcast: http://bit.ly/themitchgrayshow or for more tips and strategies for leadership and cultural development, go to www.shift.llc to sign up for free tools and our newsletter.  

Success Advice

5 Things You Can Learn From The 5am Club by Robin Sharma

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It has been said by Robin Sharma, “5 AM is the time of least distraction, highest human glory, and greatest peace.” This also happens to be the central idea or the core value he has discussed in his book, ‘The 5 Am Club.’ Speaking of early mornings, at what time do you wake up? Are you annoyed by the fact that you wake up on the edge of time and then rush to work in haste? 

The life lessons put forth by The 5 AM Club are exactly the learning and motivation you need to challenge your complacency. In your race against time, you may not have the time to read this fabulous book. So, we have summed up the key book’s takeaways for your convenience.

1. The vigor of waking up early

This is what the book’s most fundamental advice to everyone is. Waking up at 5 am every day can work wonders to avert failures and make success a natural habit. When we wake up at 5 am, we have more time on our hands than others. Besides, this is when we have minimum interruptions and maximum powerfulness of the mind. 

To add, the early morning peace is priceless! You can schedule your most important tasks of the day between 5am, and 8am. This book teaches us in the simplest way, how we can train our mind and strengthen it to deliver the highest productivity by waking up early. This energy that you have when you wake up in the morning and the few additional hours in your day are what serve as perfect ingredients for success.

“The secret to productivity is simplicity.” – Robin Sharma

2. The power of finding the right balance in life

The book talks about a precious lesson of finding the right balance within. We often talk about the need for mindfulness and achieving the right mindset to perceive things. But this book goes a few steps ahead of our usual approach to life. It highlights the vitality of mindset and introduces the concepts of heartset, healthset, and soulset.

These terms may seem new, but they are self-explanatory. The idea of heartset endorses the essentialness of emotional stability and well-being. Next, the perspective of healthset indicates the need to look after physical health. At last, soulset is an attribute of spirituality. As explained in this book, success prospects can be enhanced big time by achieving the right balance between these internal virtues.

3. The iconic 20/20/20 modus operandi

What is the first thing you will do if you start waking up at 5 am every day? Did you ever spare a thought about it? This book has the answer to this question, and you will be convinced that it is a great way to begin your day!. The author suggests that you should split the first hour of the day into three equal parts of 20 minutes each.

In the first 20 minutes of the day, you should prioritize your physical fitness and exercise. In the next 20 minutes, you should energize your soul and spirit via self-reflection and soulful meditation. This will prepare you for the rest of the day and will enable you to bolster your commitment and focus. In the last 20 minutes of the first hour, you should read and learn. But what are you going to read about in those 20 minutes? Read about successful people and their inspiring journeys to the pinnacle of success.

4. The significance of a proper sleep schedule

In this book, there is a mention of ‘a ferocious global sleep recession’, which is intriguing and enlightening. It hints at the state of sleep deprivation that this world is sinking into gradually. We often associate success and hard work with the notion of staying up all night and testing our endurance beyond limits. But that is not the right approach to accomplishing success, or rather, it is a flawed methodology.

Sometimes even if we do not have any critical work, we keep whiling our night time on social media or television. What are we gaining from it is the real question, and I am afraid the answer is nothing! We learn from this book that it is critical to look after your sleep cycle and start your day at 5 am afresh. Sleep and rest are indispensable for mental and physical well-being, or your productivity will decline.

“If you want to have the results only 5% have, you must be willing to do and think like only 5% do and think.” – Robin Sharma

5. The art of evolving

The book sheds light on the need to be spiritual and master self-reflection. However, do you realize the purpose that the routine of reflection each morning serves? The idea is to keep learning, keep reflecting on the mistakes and keep evolution an ongoing process. You should evolve every day and strive to be a better version of yourself every day. So, one of your primary goals after waking up should be to reflect on your actions and missed opportunities of the previous day.

To recapitulate, The 5 AM Club is a must-read book if you are a passionate reader. It has the prowess and charm to refurbish your perception of life altogether. Even if you cannot read the book for some reason, make sure you incorporate the above key takeaways into your life. By starting your day at 5 am, you can rediscover your lost soul and enthusiasm, and you would not have complaints to make about the lack of time. If you can own your mornings, you can go places on the ladder of success, for excuses are only for those who are not committed to their goals.

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Prepare Yourself for Prosperity With These 6 Success Habits

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Success stories don’t come from naturally successful people. They come from ordinary people with starry eyes and big dreams who stayed true to their end goal and consistently put in the work. They are just like you and me. What sets them apart is their mindset — a success mindset. (more…)

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How to Overcome the Emotional Rollercoaster of Success

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If you’re reading this, I’ll let you in on a little secret: you’re a human being. You have feelings, emotions, beliefs, complexity, and a mind that’s always racing. Your feelings at any given moment in your life have the power to affect what you do and how consistently you do it. (more…)

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5 Important Choices that Make Life Worth Living and Success Taste Sweeter

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As we start another year, you’re probably thinking about your life goals, dreams, aspirations, and what you want to accomplish. We know that New Year’s resolutions have gotten a bad reputation because most people lose focus after the first few months and the first signs of resistance. (more…)

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