I am looking forward to a new year and new changes that come with it. Whether it’s a return to our everyday lives and open society or learning something new, I’m optimistic about what’s in front of us.
For some, a return to normalcy may be waking up, getting ready, and heading to an office while the kids head off for school. For others, normalcy may be nothing more than what you’ve been doing the past year, working from home while balancing work and life at the same time.
Whatever your situation, creating a detailed plan for how you want to divide your workday from your home life is an excellent way to start any new year.
Working From Home
If you have a need or plans to work from home, there are a few things to consider that will make your work more productive and your home life more enjoyable. The most important thing to remember is to separate your workspace from the rest of your life activities. Just as you don’t make your home life into your office, then the same should be true for those working at home.
When things change suddenly on us, we often do the easiest, quickest thing to overcome the challenges. But the ease of finding a quick solution may actually cause more difficulties down the road. Happiness and productivity may suffer as a result of us creating more imbalances in our work/life.
I’ve written about this before, and designing your workspace that is separate from home life will go a long way toward improving your productivity and happiness as a result.
Make A Permanent Change
For many people, learning some new skill or trade is a desire of theirs, but they see too many obstacles in their way. If there’s anything we’ve learned in the past few months is that we have a lot more on our plates than we thought but also a lot more time on our hands than we initially believed. There’s a thought exercise in psychology to ask, “what would you do if you had unlimited time?” Think about that for a moment. If you had 24 hours a day to do whatever you wished, what would you accomplish?
The reality is that we all only have 24 hours a day. Given that work is at least ⅓ of that time, you still have 16 hours to organize between sleep and however you wish.
Knowing that we all have 24 hours in a day, if your goal was to learn something new or improve on a skill you have, how would you go about getting that done?
Starting on something new can seem overwhelming. I get it. But it doesn’t have to be so stressful.
The answer to how you can get an enormous change done and make it stick is by breaking down large goals and making small tasks easier to accomplish. By taking it one piece at a time, you have a better chance of making those changes permanent. In fact, becoming more productive in all areas of life is best achieved as small incremental gains over time.
For example, a marathon runner doesn’t just register for the event, line up, and race. They have to train and prepare for the length and distance of the event. Even then, once the gun goes off and everyone is running, the distance is best achieved one step at a time.
Learning From Home
Every year people make resolutions. Some begin a different lifestyle, such as changing their diet or increasing their exercise. Some are interested in learning new skills such as drawing, learning to play music, while others may be more interested in computer programming games or animation. Whatever your interests, taking the time to learn step-by-step in small batches is an excellent way to learn with whatever amount of time you have available.
The goal shouldn’t be on the outcome like a marathon runner thinking about the distance they have to run. The length and task can seem unimaginably long.
Plan the distance and then focus on little steps as it were that can get you moving. Establish some “check-points” for you to know when you’ve gone a certain distance in your journey and help you pace yourself. Each little accomplishment will build a momentum you won’t want to break, and that energy will keep you moving toward your goal.