One of the challenges when working from home is learning to be fully responsible for your own workload. Juggling multiple tasks is much harder when there is no boss leaning over your shoulder. So how do you stay on-task and make sure everything gets done? Here are some powerful tips.
Eat the Frog
One crucial tip from Mark Twain is to always tackle the biggest and most difficult task first. This means that you’re going to tick the biggest item on your to-do list off first, which in turn means that you’ll have started the day by being hugely productive. That also means that if you run out of time, then the hardest job (and usually the most important therefore) will be done. AND it means that you can tackle this job while you are fresh and before you get tired by the end of the day.
Big tasks are better behind you, than in front of you!
The One Minute Rule
The one minute rule dictates that any job that will take less than one minute (shooting off a quick email, fixing a broken link on a website) should be completed right away. This is such a minor interruption to your day as to not have a negative impact on your workflow. BUT by completing it now, it will be one less thing that you have to do.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t switch tasks however. If you are deep in work, then turn off notifications and deal with the one minute tasks when you finish.
Finally, there is one other category of task I would like to address: the zombie task.
So what is a zombie task?
Essentially, this is any kind of task that doesn’t require you to be particularly focussed. For example, you might need to edit an image, or you might need to collect email addresses into a spreadsheet. These are jobs that you can do while doing something else.
These can be structured differently in order to allow for additional productivity, or even some kind of downtime. Writing, coding, or communicating for long stints is tiring and can get dull, so why not treat yourself to an episode of your favorite show while you do your web design? Or better yet, listen to something on a podcast that you can then use in order to better inform your next piece of work?