How to “trick” yourself into keeping your work resolutions
The past week, your inbox has likely been full of articles about tips to help you “trick” yourself into keeping your exercising and dieting resolutions for 2016. In this season of resolution madness, how can those of us who work from home “trick” ourselves into keeping our work resolutions?
Resolution #1: Spend more time at your desk
One challenge of working from home is the presence of distractions that constantly call out for our attention.
Whenever piles of laundry, dirty dishes, unreturned personal calls, or your adorably needy puppy are trying to pull you away from your desk and work, try tricking yourself into staying seated and on-task:
The trick: View the distraction as a reward
Laundry might not seem like a very motivating reward, but anything that your inner procrastinator desires to do rather than work can become a mental incentive.
Instead of giving in to the distraction, tell yourself you can do that thing once your work is finished. (Note: We cannot guarantee you will still want to do the laundry when the time does come around to cash in your reward.)
Resolution #2: Set better work/life boundaries
When your business is in its all-consuming infancy, it can be nearly impossible to have separate work and personal lives. If 2016 is the year you want to begin bringing your work and home life into balance, try the following:
The trick: Pretend your inbox is empty
The ding of an email notification can be difficult to ignore, and if your notification settings are set to constantly remind you when you receive an email on your work account it will difficult to not respond right away.
If your business is at the point where email replies can be limited to standard business hours, try turning off push notifications for your work email during evening hours, or, even better, don’t forward your work email to your cell phone at all.
Resolution #3: Be more efficient during the workday
Have you ever gotten to the end of a 9-hour workday only to realize all of the things you meant to do that day are still left undone? There hundreds of apps to help you with time management, but try this trick to use your time most efficiently.
The trick: If it’s taking too long, skip it! (For now)
If you are trying to draft an important proposal or contract, and the words just aren’t flowing, you might actually be focusing too hard. Try moving on to another task and returning to the item at hand later on. Research shows that when you concentrate on one thing, your brain creates thought pathways that result in the same lines of thinking over and over again.
If you hit a roadblock, shift your focus to another task so your brain can think more creatively about the project that you put to the side, and inspiration might hit you out of nowhere. You might be able to complete both tasks in the time it would have taken you to struggle through the first item.
These are some of the tricks I use to stay on track when working from home. How do you plan to keep your work resolutions?