Working from home suits some people better than others. In my coaching practice, I see some leaders thriving In it and others barely getting by. The difference is often their personality.
If your personality allows you to easily merge your work and home life, working from home will likely be a breeze. But for those who function best with a clear line between the two, working from home can be frustrating and exhausting.
As with so many other things, most of us fall somewhere in between the two extremes. Here are two examples:
Michael runs a successful investment fund company. Before the pandemic, he left for work every day at 5 a.m., worked straight through till about 6 p.m., then came back home for family time. He might call home from the office in a special circumstance, and now and then he’d bring some work home to do after hours, but the separation of work and home gave him great clarity.
Richard is the CEO of a biomedical company. Pre pandemic, he dropped his kids off at school on his way to work and checked in with his spouse a few times during the day. Sometimes he’d focus hard on either work or home depending on what each situation required, but he loved the day-to-day integration of his life and found it helped him stay balanced.
The shift to full-time working from home hit them both hard, but in different ways. Michael struggled with the loss of uninterrupted quiet time. He was constantly distracted and had a hard time even keeping up with email. Richard, on the other hand, found himself struggling to keep up with long days of what felt like a never-ending juggling act.
Each needed a routine that worked for their situation. For Richard, that meant establishing a closed-door distraction-free time every day. For Michael, it meant adding some structure to the work-family flow.
Think about your situation and personality, and adapt the way you work from home to suit your needs:
Set up a routine. Set a period of time every day that you focus only on work. Have a start and end time so your family members know the schedule. Likewise, have set hours that are family time, and don’t let work intrude.
Identify your most important tasks every day. Focusing on priorities lets you have a sense of accomplishment and peace of mind even on days when you don’t get much done.
Schedule breaks with family in mind. Break up the work day and stay in touch with your family with structured daily activities. Have lunch together or establish a mid-afternoon recess with some outdoor time.
Keep yourself accountable. Find your balance and be accountable to yourself for the ways you spend your energy and time. Self-awareness can help you rediscover the sweet spot of your work style.
Change is never easy, and we’ve all had more than our share these past few months. But if you adapt change to your personality, it can help you bring out your best.
Lead from within: Knowing your personality can help you succeed in any environment.
#1 N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
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Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.