Author and entrepreneur Darius Foroux writes on his blog
that there’s a lot of useless
advice about how to work from home effectively, such as having a home office and using the right tools.
These tips are often impractical and overcomplicated.
We need to work with what we have, not what we want.
Foroux has successfully worked from home for over a decade, and he notes that in his experience there are three universal tips that will make it easier:
1. Adopt a “work first” mindset
Work first means that you’re committed to getting your work done no matter what.
Think about a past deadline you had to make. Or that time when your coworker was sick and you had to step up.
Did it matter where you were? Did it matter what you were wearing?
Of course not. When the stakes are high, we find a way to get things done.
A work first mindset means that you plan your day around your work. Your work literally comes first.
As Foroux puts it, this looks different for each person: “For me, it’s simple. I wake up without an alarm, have some coffee, and start writing. Only after I’ve done my writing, I move on to the practical things of life.”
2. Don’t overwork
Foroux notes that this can be a sensitive topic if you have a boss: “Some backward thinking bosses and companies think that you must work 8 hours a day because that’s what your contract says.”
And some entrepreneurs think that working harder is always the answer.
But Foroux asks: Have you ever used an activity log? Do you know how many hours you’re truly productive in a given day?
For Foroux himself, he starts fading at five hours: “After that, I start making mistakes and think foggy. The quality of my work will deteriorate if I work too much on a day.”
Each person is different.
Maybe you can be productive seven hours each day. That’s great. The key is knowing what works for you.
3. Experiment with different productivity strategies
There are many different productivity strategies. Here too, what works for other people may not work for you.
And what worked for you a year ago may not work for you today. We need to adapt our habits and routines to what life looks like today.
For example, does it make sense to put your head down and ignore the news during a pandemic?
Foroux argues that the key is finding a balance between what we control and what we don’t.
He acknowledges that this is hard, but that it’s useful to see it as a challenge.