If you find it hard to do even the simplest tasks throughout the day, it’s probably because you’re trying to do too much: Parent. Teach. Cook. Check on friends and family. Clean your house. Catch up on emails. Check social media. Do your work. Meditate. Read. Listen to a podcast. Check your mailbox. Exercise. Get dressed. Zoom call for this, Zoom call for that… This is the kind of shit that drives people crazy—I mean, how many roles and goals can you have in a single day? Especially while working from home.
Give yourself the grace of accepting that not everything you want to get done can be done in a single day—and that’s okay.
It’s okay if you’ve got some dirty dishes in the sink. It’s okay if you weren’t the perfect parent. It’s okay if you didn’t do “all of the things.”
You are a human being living through an unexpected pandemic of global proportions—cut yourself some slack.
Select the vital few things that matter most, and do those. Let the rest of it go. That’s the key to mastering both the art of accomplishment and the art of fulfillment. Here are some simple Working From Home tips to keep you sane as you make this happen.
3 Working From Home Tips to Keep You Sane
- Create systems around the things that matter most.
- Strip down your daily to-do list.
- Enter with excellence, exit with acceptance.
1. Create systems around the things that matter most.
Systems are rituals and routines that help you attain your long-term goals or maintain ongoing goals. This includes things like working out at the same time each day, spending 10 minutes meditating, taking a quick stretch break every hour, or setting a 10-minute timer to quickly tidy-up your workspace. It also includes things like blocking off 3 hours in the morning to do deep work, or having a designated day of the week to take meetings and return phone calls. Design and develop systems and habits around a few key areas of your life, and put those actions on autopilot. Speaking of few…
2. Strip down your daily to-do list.
Having a list is like having a second brain. But having a never-ending list will scramble your brain. Try what I call “The 1–2–5 Method” for list-making. Create a list of tasks for each day that consists of: One Big Thing (OBT), 2 Medium Things (2MT) and 5 Little Things (5LT). The structure that comes from knowing what needs to get done and how important each of those things is will provide you with focus and control over your day while working from home.
3. Enter with excellence, exit with acceptance.
At the beginning of each day, set your intention with an entry statement: “Today I will show up, take action, and do my absolute best. I am entering my day with excellence.” At the end of each day, release whatever stresses arose with an exit statement: “Today, I did my best. I’m grateful for what I’ve done, and I release any anxieties attached to what I haven’t. I am now exiting the day with acceptance.” Say these statements to yourself aloud or in your mind—the first one before you begin your day, and the last one as you end each day. It’ll help you enter with excellence and exit with love and compassion for yourself.
Read or listen next: The Ultimate Guide to Working From Home