The environment where we live is changing quite fast. Just in a few days all our productive structure changed and an occasional circumstance, as is working from home, became sustainable in the time and our new reality.

In this new day today it's so easy to lose focus, affecting our work performance and productivity. But if we were productive working in the office, why aren't we productive working from home?

Don't worry about it: you are not the only one. This is a common situation for many people and there are several reasons why it happens. Understanding those reason will help you to cope with it and therefore you'll have some extra tools to increase your productivity quickly.

Firstly, we need to understand that our brain needs time to find out what the new working conditions are. Your brain understands that your home is a place where you usually spend time with your family and friends, where you chill out with a cup of tea, reading a book at night, or perhaps the place where you watch your favourite TV series on Netflix, but certainty nothing to do with a work environment. You mind needs to adjust, and realise that your home is now a workplace as well: the table where you're have dinner every night, is now a working space in the morning, and the speaker you use to listen to music is also used to attend a conference call.

Secondly, let's take over. To address the upcoming challenges and to understand where you should put your energy to achieve them we should talk about what is known as circle of control, influence and concern.

Now you're sitting at your new desk, recently bought in IKEA, you prepared a coffee and you're ready to start working, but the first thought come up to your mind is connected with how long this situation is going to last. And after that, maybe you're thinking that if is for too long, you could get fired. And if this happens, then there are problems such as how to pay your rent.

These thoughts are part of the circle of concern. Here we can put all our thoughts which have an impact on us but we can't control them. Those ideas will take a lot of energy and time from us and we won't get any result as we can't do anything to change those decisions or actions. Just remember that most of the things you worry about never happen.

These thoughts are really not productive, so we decide to do something better: cam and microphone is on and you're ready to join a Teams meeting with your colleagues to agree the project plan. Everybody contributes with their ideas and the team finally agree a plan to accomplish the project.

The team discussion is part of the circle of influence. Our ideas can change the project approach and you're adding value to the team by providing your point of view about a topic: you can influence others and get some results (individual or as a team).

The plan is now clear and defined so we can start working on our specific tasks. We managed to focus and at the end of the day our activities in the kanban board are done. If you keep working in the same way the project will not suffer any delays and the company will start using the new system, getting results as soon as possible. 

The activities which belongs to you, and the personal choice of working on them belongs to the circle of control: actions that you can fully control and the energy and time invested will be proportional to your results.


Special thanks to @Geoffrey Doran for the feedback provided.