1 Set small, achievable daily goals. Ideally set yourself two ‘thinking’ goals in the morning and two ‘doing’ goals in the afternoon. Often we drift into work via e-mail and misuse optimal time-slots. Thinking, analysing and being creative is best done in the morning. ‘Doing’, admin and less taxing stuff is best done in the afternoon. Variety is important in home working/studying. If your work does not have much variety, then make sure you pepper your day with some other activites in small regular time-slots.
2 When you’ve achieved these goals two morning ones and two afternoon ones – treat yourself in a way that suits you. Music, games, jokes websites, crosswords – whatever is your thing. Reward yourself often! If you’ve not achieved your goals then you’ve been wrong about what you can realistically achieve. So, set yourself less onerous goals and exceed them, rather than setting more taxing goals that you struggle to achieve. This is a kinder psychology to build on and will reap you dividends in building good home-working habits.
3 Have verbal contact twice or more on your first day then every day at least once in your first week. You’ll evolve a nice habit for when chat is helpful to the rhythm of your day. Also don’t be afraid to ask people for things. Do this lots and people will ask you back. Mutual help and positive networks are out there to be harvested.
4 Get up and move around every hour – set an alarm to make yourself do this. Do some vigorous stuff for a couple of minutes if you like. I knew colleagues who did star jumps or other exercises for 2 minutes 4 times a day! This is very little time, but really good for mind and body. However just a stretch and a wander is really good too. You will find that this actually helps with productivity and creativity, as well as with your body and posture. You’ll find that you’ll have some great ideas in these slots when you are a little removed.
5 Always eat lunch away from your desk – and….always eat lunch!!
Tips supplied by Jim Simpson