5 Work Skills That Are Useful Outside the Office

Many jobs require specific processes designed to help workers meet requirements and assignments in a more efficient and effective manner. For some jobs, these processes are actually written down and must be followed, while in other positions, the processes are less formalized but still followed.

Other workers have their own processes that they utilize when completing their own assignments. These workflows certainly make work life more efficient and easier, but they can also help make life outside of work more efficient, as well.

Consider how at work, you are required to have projects done by a certain date, but at home, many of us continually procrastinate. Also, we may forget what we need to accomplish because we don’t keep a to-do list. Taking common processes that we use at work and then using them at home can make our home life much easier.

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1. Make a checklist

At work, many of us have to make checklists in order to be sure we complete each part of a specific task. Checklists can help you to be sure you covered everything, but they can also help you complete tasks faster because you don’t have to stop and determine which steps you need to take next.

The same can be true at home. Consider your taxes: Creating a checklist can help you save time each year. H&R Block has a personal tax prep checklist. Following this checklist will encourage you to have everything you need ready ahead of time. Checklists can also be incorporated into many other aspects of your home life. If you come up with a printable list of groceries you always need, you can just add on the items that change before you head out the door.

2. Make a to-do list

Most people juggle several different assignments and projects at once during a typical workweek, yet sometimes people have a hard time keeping track of everything they need to do at home; making a simple to do list can help. Include everything you hope to complete during the weekend, week, or month.

Your to-do list should be a work in progress, because you will always be completing some tasks and adding new ones. You can easily make your own to-do list, or you can use a printable to-do list. You can also customize your list by making separate lists for different tasks (spring cleaning, shopping, etc.). To-do lists are an easy way to keep track of all that you need to do at home, as well as at work.

3. Write out directions

Some companies have written directions for their employees to follow. Sometimes individuals will write their own directions in order to make complicated processes easier to follow or understand. You can also write directions in order to make your home life easier.

If you have children, consider writing down specific directions for tasks that they have a difficult time following. For example, if you write down exactly how you want the kitchen table to be set, your 8-year-old will be able to read the directions in order to successfully place everything where it should go, and you won’t have to step away from dinner to help.

You can also write out directions for many other situations, such as having your house cleaned. If you want a room cleaned in a very specific way — or anything else completed in a specific manner — you should write it down.

4. Create deadlines

You try your best at work to complete assignments and projects by the date that your boss (or your customers) require, because if you don’t, your job might suffer. But at home, we often waste time because we fail to set limits or deadlines for things we need to accomplish.

Setting deadlines can encourage you to get everything done that you need to — consider writing down a date so that you know when you need to have something done. Of course, you probably won’t have the same outside pressure as you would have at work, so if you must, find someone to keep you accountable. A significant other or friend can check on your progress if you have a really big task to complete.

5. Cut out distractions

Distractions surround us at work and at home, but at work, some of the distractions are cut out by the companies we work for. Your company’s Internet settings may not allow you to check your personal email or social media sites. Your boss would probably notice if you spent too much time talking to a coworker or chatting on your phone. According to Staffing Plus, setting aside specific time to answer emails, eating well and taking care of your health, limiting your Internet time, and closing your office door can help cut out distractions.

It’s more difficult to do, but you can cut out the distractions at home, too. Refuse to repeatedly check social media when you should be completing a task. Turn off your computer if your task doesn’t require using it. Turn your phone off, and do your work in a quiet spot where your family or roommates can’t distract you. If you must, take your work elsewhere.

You can also allow yourself a set amount of time to indulge in distractions. Try something like this: complete two hours of housework, and then give yourself 30 minutes to check email and make a phone call before you return to your task.

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