I grew up with an extremely productive and amazing mother. She kept our home running smoothly while working full time as a mother, part time as a deli clerk and full time as the wife of a minister in a small country church. Sadly we lost her when I was 17.

The good news is that before she transitioned, I learned many, many lessons about how to get things done quickly and efficiently. Even though this is off-topic, I would be remiss if I did not mention the single most important lesson she taught me – I can accomplish anything I want in life as long as I have a burning desire and the faith in my universal support system. I still accept this as my truth. Thanks Mom!

My mother was uber organized and efficient. Years after her death I gasped when I learned that she used to wake up, get everyone up and out of the house and then go back to bed for a few more hours of sleep!

Here’s the lesson I took from that interesting factoid. My mom not only knew how to get things done, she also knew how to work with her unique bio rhythms. She did her morning mommy obligations like a champ and then allowed herself to go back to bed until her body was ready to move and groove – and she definitely did that once she was back up and working!

Since it is close to Mother’s Day when I write this  I decided dedicate this article to my mother and use her as a stellar example for how to stay productive while working from home.

If you are like my mom (and me) and not a morning person, save complicated tasks for later in the morning when you are energized and more alert.

Know your body ebbs and flows and plan your tasks according to your energy flow. Book your most difficult tasks when your brain is fully ignited.

If you are like my mom (and me) and not a morning person, save complicated tasks for later in the morning when you are energized and more alert.

Know your body ebbs and flows and plan your tasks according to your energy flow. Book your most difficult tasks when your brain is fully ignited.

This is not to say to wait all morning before you begin working. No – it pays to dive Into your to do list and make plans for what you will get done that day.

If you are able to begin a large project first thing, you will create some momentum and will be able to finish it by the end of the day. Studies show that when you tackle a few things at the top of the day, your momentum will accelerate for the rest of the day.

Even if you have taken on more than you can possibly accomplish in one day, you will still be able to see results of some of your projects either moving towards completion or done!

Here are a few more tips:

Make sure to stand up during important phone calls or zoom meetings. This will keep you alive and more animated and the person on the other end will definitely feel your energy!

 

This one is HUGEremove all social media links from your tool bar. Log out of every account while you are in ‘work mode’. Silence all bells, whistles and notifications.

You are working so don’t let outside social cues take your attention off of your projects. If not, you might subconsciously get sucked down into your social tube. If this feels like yanking a bandage off and you use Chrome and the incognito window to avoid any outside media distractions.

 

Make sure that you create a dedicated workspace, even if it is one end of your dining room table. Keep that area, wherever it may be, clear of clutter and open for business. Your couch or bed do not make the best office areas as you associate them with leisure and might fall into nappy mode.

 

Since you are working alone, it will pay to structure your day with a set schedule of breaks. It is easy to get bogged down and never get up and move about. Make sure to get up, stretch and hydrate throughout your day.

If you have roommates or family members set up a no distractions policy. Shut the door or if there is no door, hang a sign on your laptop when you are in deep thought and too preoccupied for random interruptions. This might sound like an impossible dream but after a week or so with your insistence on no interruptions, your people will at least interrupt less often.

Need to do the laundry? Use this task to your advantage. Use your laundry timer and commit to one task during the wash cycle and another during the dry cycle. Use the start of each cycle to begin a task and when the bell rings, finish that task and get up and move around. Then sit back down and begin your next task and finish before it time to take the laundry out of the dryer. This tactic will keep you on task and focused and is kind of a fun game.

Speaking of laundry – ramp up your professionalism and get out of your sweat pants. Prepare your day while working from home like you would if you were going into the office. Take a shower, get dressed and brush your hair and your teeth before you begin your day.

Kathi Burns
Kathi Burns

Would like to feel more organized? If so, Kathi is here to help you.

Kathi’s expert advice has been featured in national media outlets including Oprah Magazine, Martha Stewart Living and Better Homes and Gardens, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more.

As the author of 2 books, Kathi has also developed several online courses to help clients get better organized and energized in all areas of their home, life, and business.

Check out all of the systems you can use here

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