It’s going to be 75° today. The sun is already blasting in my office window at 7:30 AM. When I’m working at home, it can be hard to focus, especially if there’s someplace I’d rather be, like out on my bike. We all have work to do, but it’s hard to get stuff done if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing. This is even harder if someone else is dictating your schedule, meetings, conference calls, commutes etc.
There are a few things that I do daily to make work more enjoyable. Since they’ve become habits, they take very little effort but are a crucial part of getting stuff done.
Work in zones.
I divide my day into three zones: prime time (for me, mornings), the dead zone 3PM to 6PM and home (evenings). I like to get the tough stuff out of the way in prime time. I like to schedule one big task during prime time. The best tool I’ve found for this is a free product called Momentumdash. Once installed it presents you with a beautiful image, and reminds you of your focus each time you open a new tab on your browser. I also plan for the dead zone each day, scheduling the easy stuff, or a workout, during my least productive times.
Don’t work off big to do lists.
I treat to do list apps as a catch-all for any necessary task that takes over a few minutes. If you stay focused on the big stuff, sometimes you find a little items on this list fall away. At the end of each day I’ll take some time to plan the following day, pulling some of the most important tasks off the big catch-all list and writing them down in my notebook. I put the heavy-duty stuff in prime time. The act of pulling tasks off an overflowing digital list and writing it down in a notebook, gives you a more realistic feel for what can get done in a day.
Throw a tomato at it. [Read more…] about Working Lean – 8 things I do to make work fly and enjoy life.