I’ve been working as a freelancer from home for the last few months. Prior, I worked in the traditional cubical office space that many of you work in. I was used to the scheduled 8-to-5 work hours – with a few long days in there. But switching to working from home – on my schedule – has made for an interesting learning experience.
The number one thing I’ve learned: Take advantage of feeling productive when you have it. When I feel the urge to organize, I go with it. I organize like crazy. I don’t think, “I feel like organizing. But I’ll make coffee instead.” Nope. If I feel that urge to organize, you’ll find me organizing in the office or at my desk.
By taking advantage of these urges of productivity, I am much more productive than if I forced myself to be productive. Because I’m in the mode to do it.
I’ve also learned that I am much more productive in the mornings than I am in the afternoons. So I write articles, schedule interviews and do follow-ups in the mornings. Because I know it will be much harder to focus on these in the afternoons. Plus, because I am doing these in the morning rather than afternoons, I will get more accomplished than if I forced myself to do it when I didn’t have the productivity bug.
I’ve also noticed that I am much more productive on Mondays, and less so on Fridays. But my husband is the opposite. He’s much more productive on Fridays. He plans his schedule for big projects to happen on Fridays because he knows he’ll get more done. I, however, plan my projects for Mondays because I know that’s when I’ll get more accomplished.
All of this can translate to the office atmosphere. Pay attention to your moods. Pay attention to when you are most productive and take advantage of it. Like with writing, you can’t force it.
So, take a look at when you feel most productive – times of days, days of the week – and utilize them. You should feel you get more done by taking advantage of those times.
Maureen Alley is editor for Woodland Management magazine, and freelance writer/editor for other business-to-business publications. She was previously managing editor for Website Magazine and Residential Design & Build magazine. Alley has been an ASBPE member since 2006, and Azbee for the last two years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.maureenalley.com.