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The New Norm

August 5, 2010

    “In a few hundred years, when the history of our time is written from a long term perspective, it is likely that the most important event those historians will see is not technology, not the Internet, not e-commerce. It is the unprecedented change in the human condition. For the first time, they will have to manage themselves. And society is totally unprepared for it.”
    ~ Peter Drucker

I came across the above quote in a book I’m reading by Marc Emmer, entitled “Intended Consequences” and was inspired to share it with you. The thought of managing oneself, while at face value appears extremely appealing, is actually somewhat of an art. As more and more people are entering into this new flexible workplace, they are faced with the task of having to manage themselves. I know, from personal experience, that this can be somewhat of a challenge at times. Here are a few tips to help you when you have the opportunity to work from home:

~If you wouldn’t do it at the workplace, don’t do it while working at home
This tip can apply to many different areas. Resist the temptation to crack open a beer at lunch; don’t waste work time browsing the Internet; don’t show up to your desk “undressed” – I’m just saying…

~Establish a schedule and list of things to accomplish
It’s very easy for the hours of the day to get away from you. One of my favorite quotes is “A Goal without a Plan is just a Wish”. If you plan out what you want to accomplish during the day, it’s easier to stay motivated while you work to get the tasks completed.

~Take scheduled breaks
Think of it as a recess – even though you may not want to get back to work, the bell is going to ring and it’ll be time to get back to it. Taking a break gives you a chance to refresh and by making it scheduled helps you walk away when things are a little too hectic and you are starting to lose focus on what is important to accomplish. And don’t take your cell phone with you. It’s ok to be “unavailable” for a short while.

~Make sure you know what your schedule is
When you work from home, you do have a great deal of flexibility and it’s easy to run out for a quick errand. Make sure that before you do this you take a look at your calendar and see if there is anything you might miss if you are out on the errand. Although this may seem a bit silly, you’d be surprised at how often this happens.

So on a final note, I would encourage you to embrace the flexibility that comes with working at home while ensuring that you are doing the best job possible to stay productive.

Warm Regards,


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