316 days ago the American public saw its first national shutdown to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. As a result you and millions of others found themselves having to conduct day-to-day business from home or make periodic trips to a nearly-empty office.
Today, we give you five practical ways to succeed and operate at your highest potential in the ensuing months until face-to-face meetings resume.
‘Groundhog Day’ your schedule-
Groundhog days repeat themselves over and over in an endless loop. However there’s a silver lining to repetition- it is efficiency. Waking at the same time each morning helps ensure your body and mind are ready to focus on the tasks at hand. Also, a good night’s sleep helps your brain consolidate and process the previous day’s events into meaningful data.
Work in ‘bunches’-
Your efficiency increases when you in concentrated bursts. One such method is the Pomodoro Technique. Basically, you break your workday into 25-minute segments with 5-minute breaks between each block of time. Segmenting your day into 25-minute blocks helps to increase a sense of urgency and focus for each task. This often helps break the infamous habit of ‘multitasking’- which is a myth in itself. Knowing you have only a 25-minute block you’ll find yourself less inclined to mindlessly surf Facebook or needlessly rechecking your previous emails- both of which are acts of task avoidance. Pick a task, set your timer for 25 minutes, and get cracking on your to-do list. After four pomodoros take a longer 15-minute break.
Embrace video communication-
Salespeople found at least one unforeseen benefit in the pandemic- less phone reluctance and increased connection with potential customers. Phone reluctance is highly-contagious and unfortunately, there are no known antibodies to fight off this sales-inhibitor. Enter video communication. Originators have reported a stronger sense of connection with potential borrowers being able to read their expressions and body language no longer fretting if the person on the other end of the phone line is bored, angry, or simply disinterested.
One-way video communication tools such as Loom have proven to be effective tools to engage homeowners and have helped demystify explaining loan features, benefits, and projected benefits.
Check-in with your manager or team members
Just because random conversations no longer take place around the water cooler doesn’t mean you have to lose connection with the key colleagues. Schedule recurring meetings with your manager, processors, and sales team to review the previous week and set goals for the next. Use an agenda to keep your meetings brief, informative, and memorable.
Evaluate and refine
Write down the common shortcomings you encounter when working from home (WFH). Is it the neighbor’s barking dog? Perhaps playing some white noise would help decrease aggravation. Is your desk being washed out with daylight at the same time each day? Look to adjust the location of your desk or invest in an affordable lighting kit and a temporary window covering. Keep note of your WFH challenges to help you strategize.
Until in-person meetings are safe and practical you’ll be continuously improving your skills as a remote worker, salesperson, and communicator. Take advantage of this season and create your optimal Work From Home day using these and other productivity tips.
In the meantime, as my friend Rob says, ‘Stay Positive & Test Negative’.