Productivity Tips You Have to Try
Use these simple but effective ideas today! You will see an immediate uptick in productivity, how you feel about yourself and your accomplishments!
Productivity is all about planning. You need to anticipate problems and address them before they turn into obstacles that drain your energy and keep you from success. Fortunately, you're not the first person to face these problems, and you can learn from the experience of others! Whether it's controlling your environment to put you in a working frame of mind or using the right productivity app for your needs, there are ways to keep yourself on target. Here are some time-tested methods for keeping your work days focused.
Have a Home Office
While it can be a lot of fun to collaborate with clients while sprawled on the couch, the truth is that it sets a dangerous precedent. By having a home office for all your business activities, you put yourself in the mental mode to get things done, a feat that's harder to achieve when you're curled up with a blanket and your laptop in front of the TV. Set your office up with items that foster productivity, including a comfortable ergonomically correct office chair and a desk that offers wiggle room for you to get comfy while affording enough space for all of your peripherals and devices.
Dress for the Occasion
While a big perk of being a stay-at-home worker is the ability to dress however you like, getting too comfortable can have a negative impact on your productivity. Climbing out of those pajamas and into actual wear-to-work attire can make you feel more like a professional, which can heighten productivity and help you get more work done.
Get Rid of Distractions
If any one thing is at the root of lessened productivity, it's usually distraction. Make your home office as free from distraction as possible. Be sure you're in a quiet area of the home where other activity doesn't draw your attention. Remove any secondary distractions, such as Facebook or Reddit, from your list of activities, using a special productivity app if necessary to restrict yourself from visiting social media at particular times of the day. A good one to try is Freedom, an app that helps you improve productivity and focus by blocking you from social media during times you need to stay on task.
Many people who work from home face a common dilemma: other people in your life don't think you have a "real" job. Perhaps you find yourself being relied on by the neighborhood parents for more than a reasonable share of carpooling or babysitting, or maybe you have a relative or two who thinks you're always available for running errands or chatting on the phone. Set boundaries from the get-go to let everyone know that just because you're working from home, it doesn't mean you're available.
It's easy to get overwhelmed when you're facing a mass of tasks. Don't try to do several things at once, or jump from task to task. Assess the priority of each item, and put it in its place. That doesn't always mean the next thing due is at the top of the list. If you're most efficient in the morning and you have a difficult task on the list, take that task on in your peak morning hours, when you can get it done. Set your priorities in a practical and realistic way, aim at the top of the list, and put all your energy on one task at a time.
Create a Schedule
While not having a set schedule is one of the reasons you may enjoy working from home, it can be helpful to set a schedule if you find yourself in a productivity slump. Scheduling allows you not only to account for each hour of your day, but it also lets you hold yourself accountable for tasks not completed during the timeframe established. When scheduling, be sure to create mini-milestones for completion of large projects, so you don't get overwhelmed, which can also slow productivity. Build your schedule to suit your style. If you know you need periodic breaks, even a nap, include them in your program. A productivity app like Any.do may be a good move if you need scheduling help!
Declutter Your Computer
Make it a practice to only keep open those tabs on your PC that you are using. Leaving unnecessary open tabs makes reading another comment or two on a discussion board or perusing the latest political news all too tempting. Remove unnecessary items from your desktop to improve your machine's performance and clean up the visual clutter that obscures the programs and files you do need.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Just like you reward your kids for completing tasks, give yourself a reward for a job well done. Craving that extra cup of coffee? Finish just X number of tasks, and you can indulge. Knowing a reward is waiting at the end of a complicated or tedious task can make it all that more urgent to complete, so you try harder.
Tackle Your Email Obsession
If you find yourself checking your email umpteen times a day, stop! Set a timeframe each morning for checking/reading/responding to email, and then vow not to check your email for at least a few hours. No one expects an instant response to emails, and obsessively checking your inbox is a big waste of time. Unless you're anticipating project critical instructions or some other significant communication from a client, you can improve productivity by not watching your inbox like a hawk.
Take Time for Yourself
The adage regarding "all work and no play" rings as true for work-at-home workers as it does for those in traditional jobs. Many people find that when they work at home, they tend to put in longer hours and take on more jobs than if they were in a 9-5 job. While you may find yourself able to keep up with this sort of schedule for the short term, it can lead to burnout and lost productivity. Schedule time for yourself and your family, or you may find that you are getting less and less done, which defeats the purpose altogether.
Follow some or all of these tips to see an uptick in your productivity and an increase in focus. While no one can be 100-percent productive all the time, with the right game plan in place, your work-at-home career can bloom, and you can become your most successful.