Staying Disciplined During the Nice Weather
One huge “challenge” when it comes to working from home is staying on track and focused throughout the day. This becomes increasingly challenging and important when the sun comes out and the air gets soft. Suddenly doing yard work seems like a lot more fun than sitting in front of your computer and phone! Heck, it’s even crazily tempting to blow off all semblances of work entirely and just take a hike with your favorite chocolate lab (not that I know anything about that – cough)
Fortunately for me I live in upstate NY. We only have 4 nice days each year – so fighting through them is pretty easy; relatively speaking.
Seriously though, getting work done for your business – especially if any of that work tends to be optional when the weather is nice can be a challenge for anybody. And while I exaggerate, we DO have more than *4 nice days per year in upstate NY so, yes, this is a challenge for me as well.
We get roughly 9 non grey days here in upstate NY in case you were wondering.
A Nice Weather Strategy That Works For Me
I love listicles. That sounds sounds a little off doesn’t it? In case you’re wondering what a listicle is, it’s an article that will list and layout several ideas and/or strategies for the reader to use in order to attack whatever issue the author is proposing to solve. Think – 9 Ways to Make A Trip to the Grocery Store Fun or something like that!
I am telling you about my listicles quite simply because this article is NOT one and I don’t want to let you down! In other words I am going to lay out one singular strategy that works for me and not several. The reason being? Quite honestly, it’s all I got! 😉
Ready for it?
Break Your Day Into Small Chunks
I know, nothing earth shattering here. But if you find a strategy that works for one arena of life or one challenge, you’ll find that you can apply it to several. Chunking is one of those strategies.
Before I get into the specifics of the way I apply it personally, which by the way is amazingly simple. So simple in fact that I only break it into 2 really important pieces. And they are only important (to me) in terms of placement. I just would like to point out that I am a realist. There is no possible way I am going to NOT enjoy at least a small portion of any nice day I find myself a part of. Did I mention I live in upstate NY? I know all too well that I only have about 3 more of these coming to me this year. There isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell I am going to entirely waste this one in front of a computer screen!
Now that that’s out of the way…
Chunk 1: Get Up Early
Oh stop. Don’t whine. You can do anything you set your mind to. Don’t puss out. Set your alarm about an hour-and-a-half earlier than you normally do. Use that first chunk of time to get as much work done and off your plate as you can before your normal morning routine needs to kick into gear.
Then, when it’s time to get the usual tasks accomplished – wake the kids, wake the spouse, make the breakfast, take a shower etc – or whatever the case might be, you’re already starting it with a sense of accomplishment. You already KNOW that you knocked a good portion of the work for the day out of the park.
Chunk 2: The Big Pre-Reward
Make this your biggest work chunk. In other words, you’ll still be sectioning off the remainder of your day into work and non-work sections as you see fit – or as you deem necessary, but this will be the biggest chunk right here. I usually shoot for about 2.5 to 3 hours (I’ll explain why in a bit).
I call this the Pre-Reward section because immediately following this chunk is when you should schedule in a nice way for you to get out and enjoy the weather. It can be a couple hour hike, an allotted time to do some yard work, maybe schedule an outdoor activity with a friend if you have other folks around that also work from home. Whatever you decide will be your drug of choice, you can now indulge in it entirely guilt free because you have already put out a serious morsel of work!
The reason I normally shoot for 2.5 to 3 hours is, let’s face it, if you are entirely focused on work for that much time you are WORLDS ahead of anyone that works a traditional job! Even if they happen to work in a cubicle. Heck, maybe ESPECIALLY if they work in a cubicle.
Getting the idea?
Once you make it back home from your “reward”, your morning excursion, there’s every chance you’ll come back rejuvenated and recharged. This is absolutely perfect because by working in only one more solid chunk of time you’ll have come close to accomplishing a full day’s worth of work. And, sine you started so early, you have a significant portion of the day to play around with in terms of how you master your time. While it might be necessary to get one more big slice of work time wedged in there, maybe it’s not!? If that’s the case you have a beautiful afternoon and evening to enjoy in any way you please and you get to do it with full piece of mind in the knowing that you struck and amazing balance of productivity and recreation.
How could you ask for more than that?
Do you know someone or someoneS that could benefit from this strategy? Please feel free to share it to your social network in any way that seems to work for you! Also if you have another strategy to share, feel free to do so via the comments.
Marc is a Dad, a Web Designer, a Creator of Branding and an occasional blogger . (and probably in that order!) with some affiliate marketing thrown in for good measure.
He owns Thirsty Fish Graphic Design, A one-man web design biz., based in Corning, NY which is in the heart of the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate NY.
He enjoys physical fitness and healthy eating to an annoying degree, playing guitar, playing piano, sketching and most of all hanging with his daughter doing just about anything!