“Habit is the intersection of knowledge (what to do), skill (how to do), and desire (want to do).” via Stephen R. Covey
I am all about continuous improvement by making small changes. I believe small improvements will add up to something significant. With the shift to working from home (and will be for a while) I decided that I needed to focus in on how I could improve in this area.
Over the last six weeks, every Monday I posted a new habit on Twitter that I was focusing on to hold myself more accountable with #becomebetter. Below you will find each one of the habits I focused on, along with what I learned about myself. Maybe some of these habits can help you with your remote work situation.
Week 1: I needed to take control of my calendar so I started scheduling meetings for 45-50 mins to allow for more breaks and movement. When I calendared meetings I would start 5-10 mins past the hour and end five minutes before the hour. (Example: 1:10-1:55pm) This really helped me, especially on the days I had multiple zoom meetings back to back. The only problem came when I didn’t schedule the meetings, I still found myself sitting for multiple hours straight. In order for this to be more effective, others need to have this mindset too.
Week 2: In the beginning of COVID-19 I did a great job of reaching out to one coworker per day that I don’t see much anymore to check in on them. As the weeks turned into months I realized I stopped reaching out. I wanted to be intentional about reaching out again as it always made me feel good so I added this back onto my to-do list. Each morning the first thing I do before I start my day is to reach out to someone within my company that I don’t get to talk to as much. It starts my day off on a positive note which brings me joy.
Week 3: I started noticing that I had a “slump time” in the afternoon and needed a pick me up. I started to blocking 10 minutes to meditate to recenter my mind and goals for the day. This has been very effective and I found myself looking forward to that needed time.
Week 4: With traveling being a part of my job I had a routine that at the end of the day I would journal. I enjoyed this time of reflection and it helped me grow as a person. When working from home I had stopped journaling. I decided that a new habit I needed was ending the day with a meeting with myself to journal. I do a dot journal and write down two things that went went well, one thing I learned, one area of growth to focus on and one big idea. This new habit has helped me in two ways; first it helped me be intentional about reflecting and second it helped me have a conclusion to my day. Prior I had struggled with “shutting down” work.
Week 5: I started noticing that I had some of my best ideas when I was doing chores or when on a walk. In week five my new habit was to incorporate some downtime in the day such as a walk or even doing chores to help my brain unwind so I could produce better ideas. This also allowed me to get some things done around the house. These 10-15 minute breaks were great but I found I had a hard time scheduling them as meetings popped up often.
Week 6: I realized when I did get these great ideas, I had no time on my calendar to think about them. Which made my new habit in week six to focus on blocking larger chunks of time on my calendar to create and build out my ideas. I also have found this deep focus music has helped me during these larger chunks of time.
I feel I have made small improvements to my rework work life and at this time I am now going to focus on new habits to improve myself. I also would love to hear if any of these ideas resonate with you and/or what new habits have you created for yourself while working from home, leave them in the comments section!
Want to read more about habits, check out these resources: