Jaclyn Johnson, CEO of  Create & Cultivate, an online platform and offline event series for women looking to create & cultivate the career of their dreams,  recently published a great article on Microsoft.com on "Five hacks to maximize your team’s productivity while working from home."

Our biggest takeaways: Block your calendar for personal time and minimize distractions while working. Check out the full article here.

  • Block your calendar for personal time. When we were no longer working in the office, it was as if hours no longer meant anything and boundaries disappeared. The way we re-established them was by putting time blocks in our calendar. During that time, I could go for walks, eat lunch and take a moment to myself, which was critical for me to clear my mind before diving back into work. By scheduling in DO NOT DISTURB times, I was able to balance my family, life, and work more effectively. If I didn’t purposely plan this and tried to power through, I’d lose motivation and tasks would take longer than they should. By having these calendar time blocks, our team maintains a sense of sanity and an opportunity to break away from our computer so we can come back refreshed and ready to go. 
  • Minimize distractions while working. I encourage my team to set their chat status to Do Not Disturb, allowing time for productive work. With the increase in video calls and IM conversations, a lot of our day is spent communicating versus working. In an office, someone can see your door is shut, but at home, there is no virtual door to do the same. So, when I have important projects or proposals, I set my status to Do Not Disturb so that I don’t receive distracting notifications or ad hoc requests that may pop up while I’m trying to concentrate. I’ve found that this has helped me finish out tasks quicker and stay focused and motivated. 

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