How working from home can help you develop the little things that can make a big difference

When I talk to people about how to plan their ongoing development, I ask them to think in percentages.  People are busy and need to get stuff done so I suggest there should be around 85% of things they keep doing (hopefully well!) without any focus on improvement.  Next, I ask them to identify 10% of the things they already do that, if they did them better, would have a positive impact on performance and work on those skills.

Finally, I encourage them to spend 5% of their time on future-proof skills – taking time to develop new skills that let them hit the ground running when they step up to a new role/project/team.

When you work from home it may not be so easy to work on your 10% and 5% areas and, as many of the things we do regularly we do on autopilot, it can be useful to take time to have a poke around in the 85% and see if you can find any bad habits (procrastinating over the wording of emails or quadruple checking reports anyone?).

Use the time to improve these little things that when added together can make a big difference.  But remember these should be habits you can sustain when things get back to normal.  I’m working on not wasting time skimming an email then having to come back to it later rather than actioning it straight away – not something you’ll do with this email I’m sure ?!

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