Ten Strategies for Women Leaders to Work from Home Efficiently
Years before the COVID-19 pandemic started, I learned ten strategies for women leaders to work from home efficiently that may help you too. Seven years ago, I left my twenty-three-year banking career to start a bank consulting business, pursue my professional speaking career, and continue writing books. But it took me years to get used to working from home –by myself.
If you were one of the millions of workers who found themselves working from home, you had no preparation time and probably went through a difficult adjustment period —especially if you had small children at home. Though my children are grown, my husband and I started watching our grandson weekly so, in a way, we were also forced to adjust our schedule.
Regardless of your situation, these strategies may help you become more effective at what you do.
- Get organized: Organization starts in your mind and it takes practice to become better organized. Choosing the right method or system is crucial to help you stay on track.
- Make lists: Write everything down—from ideas and thoughts about specific projects to the detailed tasks that must be done daily. That way the tasks will not only get done but you will have the satisfaction of crossing them off your list.
- Create checklists: If you find yourself repeating certain tasks, create a checklist template where you list all the detailed steps for that process. For example, I created checklists for speaking events, onboarding consulting clients, and publishing books.
- Make decisions: Whether you are working for yourself or in a job, you need to be assertive and make decisions timely and effectively with the information you have at hand. Regardless of where you are working from, if you are in a leadership position, your employees expect you to continue making decisions as if you were onsite.
- Prepare mentally to be alone or not: Due to the pandemic, almost the entire world switched to working from home without proper planning. As a result, many workers were not ready to handle the emotional part of working remotely—whether because you found yourself alone or with all your children. Take the initiative to reach out to your co-workers and business colleagues when you feel alone. But also reach out for help with your children. We all have neighbors who may not have a full-time job who may be able to help out.
- Find efficiencies: We talk about finding efficiencies at work, but we need to implement efficiencies in your home life as well. For example, do laundry during business hours, order groceries online, and cook several meals at a time and freeze some for later.
- Stay focused and avoid interruptions: Even when you work alone, the cell phone and emails will be your main distractor. Sometimes you will need to turn off your cell phone and email notifications too.
- Use technology: Conduct virtual meetings when possible. Now that everyone is used to virtual meetings, take advantage of this incredible efficiency this change brought to us. Schedule virtual meetings that don’t need to be necessarily done in person. Reserve the in-person meetings for special occasions. If your job requires traveling, choose your trips wisely and use technology when appropriate.
- Time blocking: It is important to intentionally block chunks of time to work on specific projects. Doing so will help you avoid interruptions.
- Schedule breaks and an “end of day” time: Your body and mind need breaks to help you stay productive. It is also important to know that even though your office is in the home, you have an end time to transition from work to home life.
I hope these strategies help you work from home efficiently and effectively so you work successfully from wherever you are. Mothers around the world who have had to work from home are struggling to balance the work from their job and the home while taking care of small children. I want to thank all the mothers who make daily sacrifices for their families. Your efforts will produce fruit and your sacrifices will pay off.