I have been working remotely for over 16 years. My mother had a successful career from home for most of my childhood. I hope the things my mother taught me and that I continue to do may be useful to you:
Build a clear set of routines that shape your day
Have a clear start and end to your day, get up, get dressed. If possible, have a distinct place to do your work (preferably not the bed or a sofa).
Plan your ideal* week
Your schedule should be based around your most important commitments and fit your energy patterns. If you don’t know what good looks like, you won’t be able to achieve it. What does your ideal week look like? Include regular breaks, that includes a longer one around the middle of the day (lunchbreak??) and a decent walk outside. You can use this template to draw it out.
Chunk your time
Break down your tasks into achievable chunks. The human brain can only really focus for max 40-50 minutes in one go.
Where you had co-worker distraction to remind you to take a break, now you could use your children's boredom levels, they have a natural focus rhythm.
When my daughter was younger, I would start her on an activity and at around the 40 mins mark she would come in and ask to do something different. That was the time we would sit and have a break. I would set her up again and the next hour carried on that way. This only works obviously with children you can leave to their own devices. It does sometimes work if you are sitting with them as they see your focus and can often get on as you are role modelling the behaviour, they act accordingly.
Or give yourself reminders (the pomodoro technique may be your friend).
Humans are not machines; your brain and body can do deep focussed work for ~4 hours (probably less) and we all know that work fits the time you give it (Parkinsons Law).
Leave the rest of the day to recharge, be with your children or have scheduled social time.
Do your 'one thing'
Productivity is not being busy, it is about doing the right things with the right effort. Plan your day to ensure you do the most important thing that will progress you forward, first. Perhaps, releasing the pressure may mean you get to do your second thing too.
In these unprecedented times, focussing on our family as well as holding down a job, we need to give ourselves a break and feel proud that we achieve one thing a day!.
*Ideal is a dynamic concept that shifts as life changes.
To go about creating your own structure, you can go through it step by step on this webinar - https://youtu.be/cyFQxBvIJcU
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