Time Optimization

Optimize your workday (wherever it takes place)

In 2022, a hybrid schedule in the work world is commonplace. But whether you’re in the office or not, savvy leaders like you know that it’s about getting the most out of your workday.

The environment in which you work does shape your output. There are certain things that are easier to do in an office setting, and other tasks that are better suited to remote work. The trick is navigating both to maximize your effectiveness.

Here are some things you can do to ensure you’re always performing at the highest level — wherever work physically occurs.

#1 – Get outside

Getting some fresh air is a great way to recharge. See if you can find a little time on your lunchbreak to walk around the block. Even walking in your backyard can be beneficial. If you have a regular standing meeting and the weather is nice, why not take that call as you check on your garden? Sunlight equals happiness. Go outside and smell the flowers, literally and figuratively. People tend to come up with good ideas when their minds are at rest. Allow yourself a little respite in your day. This is positive energy that can propel you all day long.

#2 – Meet face-to-face

One of the downsides of working from home is seeing your mail carrier and not many others. When you’re heading into the office it’s important to make up for lost time. So plan ahead. Align your days with the colleagues you work closest with, and try to do the same with any direct reports and your supervisor. All of our new-fangled tools are great. But there’s still something to be said with seeing people face-to-face, however old-fashioned that may seem. Especially if you have a key meeting where you’re trying to persuade people. Be there in person if you can.

#3 – Connect with a colleague

It’s fun to work in gym clothes at home but you probably miss seeing your favorite coworkers in person. When work feels stressful, there’s nothing like a good laugh to keep you from crumbling. So it’s always a good thought to call a coworker (you can use Teams or Zoom if you’d like too). Even if it’s just for five minutes to say hello. Get your mind off work for a minute or talk through the project that has been stressing you out. Connecting with others is a surefire way to ensure you don’t feel isolated when working from home.

#4 – Make your lunchbreak productive

In the movies, people go out and have exotic lunches in nice restaurants every day. That is not reality. Reality may just be a peanut butter and jelly sandwich because you have eight meetings to cram in. Lunchbreaks in the real world are often more pedestrian affairs, but they can be productive too (whether you’re in the office or at home). Book that dentist appointment you keep forgetting about. Pay your water bill. Make good use of your day when you have a little idle time. Then you’ll have one less errand to worry about when you’re done with work at the end of the day.

#5 – Use your commute wisely

Leading professionals find ways to shape each day to their advantage. On the days when you have to go into the office, you could look at your commute as lost time. Or you could view it as found time to listen to that podcast you keep meaning to catch, or music that motivates and inspires you. If you have to drive, you might as well get something out of it. You can also use that time to call a friend or relative. Just engaging with someone you care about (and who cares about you) will give you a little more jump in your step as you tackle the workday’s challenges.

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