This post lists some of the most important work habits I’ve learned to date. You might find them useful too. Motivation isn’t always enough by itself.
Set your routine each day and week
I still use an old-fashioned daytimer. I like things in print right in front of me. I use it for meetings, deadlines, and reminders of payments etc. No matter what mode you use, it’s well worth it. I set goals for the month, the week, and then I put red stickers on important dates. I find it most useful at the start of a week, or new month. Setting your routine will stop you from wasting valuable time.
There are some great Apps that will help you get organized. One is called Slack. This is a medium in which you can alert other team members that you communicate with, so you can keep them in the loop about your work. Another is called Trello. It helps you organize your projects on your desktop.
Things to avoid
Let your family and friends know when you’ll be working to minimize interruptions. If you have something important to do, do it and get it out of the way. Stress impacts creativity! Avoid checking email several times a day, unless you are expecting something very specific– It’s a time waster, and a distraction.
Schedule your breaks at the same time every day, if you can. Always spend some time outside…unless the weather is really bad. It will help rejuvenate you. Either start or end your day with some sort of exercise. You can use breaks to catch up on phone calls and social media.
Make your workspace attractive and clutter-free. At the end of each day, I clear everything off my desk and file it. I still use a file cabinet. I think I would be lost without it. Having a whiteboard and a cork board minimizes wasting time going through papers or files to find information that you need. For example, I spell the same words wrong over and over. I started keeping a list of words that I commonly misspell near my computer.
choosing the right workspace may be different for everybody. Some people work in buzzing coffee shops, or airports, and hotels. I like the sanctuary of my own home office space. It’s not quiet, but I work with headphones on. Sometimes it’s good to change things up. I like being outdoors, so I need to find a quiet park.
These are just a few tools and ideas to keep you organized. With practice, new habits can become part of your day.