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#WFH Are You In Control?

Once you have identified where you are, you can take control of the work. If you are off schedule, this is where you get a chance to fix the schedule or what you are doing. Identifying delays and overruns early in a project is essential. You cannot set and enact priorities without being in control. Letting everybody and everything control you will result in you reacting, not responding. A great deal of this work is from the inside out. Control is often thought of as being an external thing. But the more difficult and more essential element is control over your thinking and your actions.
Because there is more freedom and fewer restrictions, both physically and mentally, in the virtual environment, it is much easier for you to lose control. Your awareness can be hijacked by distraction. The online world is loaded with distractions. Online, you have social software, emails, games, videos and a multitude of sites that entice and entrap. Offline, you have laundry, a kitchen to clean, weeds to pull, floors to wash, grass to cut and beds to make. There is no end to possible distractions as a pajama worker.

You want to make sure that projects, work and play begin and end. This may be when you hand in the final report, publish the project or when the course is over. Everything needs to have a beginning and an end. Online, this is even more challenging. When you establish a schedule or a plan for your personal project, make sure you add in beginnings and endings. The virtual environment goes on all day, every day, if you don’t disconnect. This is one reason so many people have a difficult time managing themselves and working effectively.
Endings are critically important for a number of reasons. Constantly repeating and ongoing projects do not give you a chance to reflect. Reflection is important to learning and appreciating what you have accomplished. This is also a stage for re-evaluation and planning what you want to accomplish next. None of this is possible without an ending.

Projects have beginning and endings. This is what makes a project what it is, a project. Even operational and maintenance tasks can have beginnings and endings. By identifying the end of a shift, a day, a particular segment or cycle, you draw a line. You create a boundary and an ending. Stopping one phase allows you to begin anew. It allows you to review the progress you have made and reflect on how you did. It provides an opportunity to determine what you might want to do differently next time. Endings allow you to free up resources, both physical and emotional, for new beginnings. Without endings, you have a tendency to stay in limbo, in- between the new and the old. In order to manage projects, even if that project is you, you want to establish beginnings and endings.

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