Can you honestly say you are getting the most out of your day?
I ask the question because working from home in 2020 is far more difficult than working in an office in 2005 when I gave up my law practice to coach lawyers. It is significantly more difficult than when I started a long time ago with no computer, no cell phone, no email and very few other distractions.
I spent my law career with work done at the office and family time and enjoyment at home. I can count on one hand the number of times in 38 years that I brought work home.
Now, I must share that approach could create a challenge. On Saturday, Nancy and I will celebrate our 50th anniversary. It is really hard to imagine.
One year I was busy at work at 7:00 PM when I received a phone call from our next door neighbor. He asked:
Cordell, do you know what day it is?
I think I answered,
He then said,
Nancy is home (he may have said crying, but she rarely cries), because you forgot your anniversary.
I told him I had actually remembered and I had ordered a fancy dinner to bring home. As soon as we hung up I ordered the dinner.
I haven’t forgotten the last 43 anniversaries. This year to celebrate our 50th, we ordered a bottle of Jos Heitz 2006 Martha’s Vineyard
Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville.
Enough of my anniversary tales. Here are my suggestions:
- Start early. When I practiced law I was up at 4:30, coffee in hand at 4:45, arrived at Cooper Aerobics to work out when it opened at 5:00 and finished in time to be at my desk at 7:00 before most people arrived at work. I should add that the energy boost from working out gave me a good start to my day.
- Have a plan for your day. Create a plan on what you want to accomplish that day. I wrote mine on a legal pad and later in my career typed it on my computer.
- Stay on Task. I always found it easy to get diverted from what I was doing. The way I solved that problem was to focus on one task for 30 minutes. I didn’t look at email during that 30 minutes.
- Get up from your computer. Take a few minutes every couple of hours to get up. You might even go outside and walk around the block breathing fresh air.
- Grade yourself at the end of the day. At the end of the day ask yourself how you did and give yourself a grade. Did you make the best use of your time that day?