WFH has created opportunities and challenges and we try to learn from both.
Default meeting times <30 minutes. A couple years ago I switched my default meeting times to be 25 minutes instead of 30 and 50 minutes instead of 1 hour. This builds a little buffer into my day and helps me avoid being a couple minutes late to the 2nd of back to back meetings. I recently shifted to 20 minute and 45 minute defaults. There’s nothing that can be done in 60 minutes that can’t be done in 45 - if you’re focused.
End meetings early. This is one of my favorite things! In WFH, sometimes I’d feel that meetings would drag on to their full allotted time with very little benefit. Have an agenda for all meetings and when you’re done with the agenda, the meeting is over. Even more fun than ending a meeting early is canceling a meeting altogether. Every Sunday I look at the week ahead hunting for meetings to cancel.
Meeting free day. Pick one day a week when the entire company agrees to schedule no internal meetings. I’d suggest Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. I am amazed at how productive I feel when I can commit that much time to getting stuff done instead of being on a video. If you’re up for a challenge, when you do have internal meetings, limit them to certain hours of the day. Say, 10-12 and 2-4.
Throw your laptop away. I’ve noticed (and heard from many others) that in a quarantine WFH environment, work often becomes the default way to spend time when you’re done binging Netflix and TikTok. Up to a point, that’s ok. But when you’re done working, put your laptop in a drawer and leave it.
Meditate. I find my most productive hours are in the morning. That’s when I do my best working “on the business” and not “in the business.” Several months ago I started taking 20-30 minute power naps in the early afternoon and felt amazing when I’d get back to work. These days, I don’t actually fall asleep, so much as I turn off all my devices, close my eyes and meditate. When I’m done I feel so much better.
No matter who we are, we only have 24 hours in a day. Let’s endeavor to make the most of that time by focusing on what truly matters.