This is part of our Entrepreneurs Series. Now that you’ve set up your home office, keep that momentum going by building effective work strategies and home office routines.
The following tips invite you to think about setting up brain friendly work habits.
Establish Daily Routines
Routines increase motivation and decrease stress. However, building sustainable home office routines requires you to notice what fills the energy tank and what depletes it. Think about your level of interest in a particular task. For instance, what goes on for you prior to invoicing your clients? Does it take a long time to get started? How do you know when the task is complete? Is this the type of task best left for a particular day and time of day? With this approach, you are building routines from the inside out. There are many ways you can create your own routine: chunk your tasks by theme (writing, answering calls, meetings, administrative tasks), by energy, and interest levels. Create a game to make what you find draining a little less so. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to build routines – Perseverance sprinkled with play provide opportunity for growth.
Schedule Your Breaks
It is easy to become fixated on a task and lose track of time. It can also be difficult to switch from one task to another. Time awareness is central – Use a timer for your tasks and be sure to give yourself frequent breaks in order to take a breather to recharge for your next task. Set up small rewards throughout the day that are designed to give you a ‘reset’ to get back on track. A few suggestions might include: taking a walk around the block, making your favorite tea, listening to uplifting music, doing some jumping jacks or stretching, dancing like no one is watching, or burning a lightly-scented candle.
Prioritize Your Daily ‘To-Do’ List
We gravitate to what is most interesting in the moment and where we get rewarded, only to find that the bills were not paid, or a potential new client was lost in the shuffle. A lengthy ‘to-do’ list is ineffective when it comes to daily tasks. Identify just two urgent priority tasks per day. Don’t be afraid that it’s not enough to do… Tasks or “projects” have many layers. You may find that one priority task takes an entire day to complete or even carry over to the following week.
Create ‘Rules of Engagement’
Do you ever notice that the time spent on email and phone calls seem to expand infinitely? It is helpful to set some ‘rules of engagement’ around how you will respond. For example, generate an email stating when you plan to respond depending on urgency. You may set up incoming calls to go to voicemail and respond within a specific time frame. You can set up an “Admin” block within your schedule, twice daily, with a cap on the amount of time you will spend.
Working from home can be a fantastic option for entrepreneurs with ADHD traits. Setting up your physical home office, knowing the way you work best and implementing useful strategies and habits, finding places to outsource troublesome tasks, and hiring a professional organizer and/or coach can drastically increase your productivity, reduce stress, and aid in your overall success.
Michelle Intrepidi is an Executive Function Coach, at Intrepidi Coaching And Training.
Nancy Owens is a professional organizer serving Manitoba and Alberta. She can be reached at The Organizing Specialist.