Dial In for Success

I had a productive day yesterday, with a twist. I work at home a lot and have become fairly disciplined about it. It can be kind of lonely, Facebook notwithstanding, and I’ve begun remedying that by scheduling lunch dates. But yesterday I got to experience a great combination of sticking to it and having company.

One of my coaches, Ann Ronan, scheduled a Blockbuster Day for the group yesterday. From 9 AM till 2 PM, we called into the conference line at the top of the hour. Each participant reported on what got done in the previous hour and what was on the list for the next hour. The time really flew by!

I found it incredibly helpful to be able to check in with someone else who was also at work and talk about what I was up to. When some breaks came around, I was on a roll writing, but it felt good to have an enforced break. I need breaks. Even when things are going smoothly, I notice that if I get up and stretch or go the mailbox and then get back to work, I feel less tired at the end of the day.

Another benefit of doing this was discovering how long things take. Ann had some research to do that she was confident would be done by the first check-in, but it actually took three hours. I put up a website page that involved 45 minutes of figuring out the supporting technology and 10 minutes of creating the content. That’s useful information.

I felt like I had company as I was working. We might all have been in the same building in different rooms instead of different parts of California. I knew the others would be waiting to hear from me and I from them. That encouraged me to be more present in my work and take my time with it. Sometimes, especially when I feel isolated, I hurry through things so that I can get to a more social activity.

If you work alone, this is a great way to be accountable, not feel isolated and have some fun! If you work with others or in an office, you can still use this technique. Telling a coworker briefly what you’re doing and what you’re planning can make it more likely that you’ll get it done.

Old phone from cod_gabriel‘s photostream.