In this post, I’ll share with you some work from home productivity tips.
I’ve been working from home for a year and while there are many reasons why I love to work from home, it can also be a struggle.
There’s just something about being in an environment where everybody is busy with their work that just makes it easier to be productive. The moment you start to work at the place you feel the most comfortable doing nothing that all goes away.
It took me a while but eventually, I got good at it. So I thought I’d give you a list of the things I’ve used and learned during this year that made a big difference.
Here are 11 tips that’ll show you:
How To Be More Productive When You Work At Home
1. Pomodoro technique
The Pomodoro technique is a time management technique that was created in the eighties but still very effective today.
It takes into account how long the average human been can fully focus on a task which is said in studies about the attention span seems to be 20 minutes.
Aside from the attention span, Multiple studies such as the one published in the journal cognition by Alejandro Lleras, have shown that short breaks help with regaining your focus.
The Pomodoro technique is a combination of the findings found in studies such as these.
What you do is:
- set a timer for 20 minutes
- Work on the task at hand
- take 5-minute break
- wash, rinse, repeat
It’s a very effective way to stay focussed and give your brain a break when needed.
2. Prepare the day before
If you’re planning what you’re going to do for the day in the morning you’re already too late. The beginning of your day is very important because it’s when you’ve to create momentum for the rest of the day. You don’t want to waste that time thinking of what you want and need to do for the day.
Prepare for the day the night before. It’s then that your mind is the clearest and you can make decisions not clouded by thoughts like not wanting to get out of bed in the morning.
3. Know what you want to achieve on a daily basis
When I started working on this website from home I didn’t really think about what wanted to get done on a daily basis. I just started working like a madman with no end in sight. The problem with it is that you don’t sense any daily fulfillment of finishing a task. This might be okay for the first few months but can be terribly exhausting after a long time.
The little moments of progress when you achieve a goal motivate you to keep working. Yes, you need to push yourself but you also need to be pulled by your results so you stay consistent.
4. Create deadlines
When I studied at university I always used to procrastinate on everything. It was only at the last moment that I started working on my assignments. I always used to wonder why that was then somewhere I read that it was human nature.
We rarely do hard tasks unless we absolutely have to do them but when you work from home you don’t have that pressure. So you’re going to have to build that pressure yourself by setting up deadlines.
5. Set out a fixed time for working from home
Consistency is key when it comes to working from home. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you don’t have to treat it like any other job. Create a daily schedule with fixed time slots for working on tasks.
The moment this becomes a habit you lower the chances of procrastination. It also lets people know not to drop by unexpected and distract you from your work.
6. Start with your hardest task
It has been scientifically proven and documented, that our capability to regulate our behavior comes from the pre-frontal cortex which is a part of the brain that’s is right behind or forehead.
This is where our “will power” comes from.
It’s important to realize that your brain is just like any other muscle, it can get tired which results in the limbic system taking over (the part of the brain that caters to our short term desires).
This means every day you have a limited supply of “willpower” that you have to manage to get the most out of your day.
Do the tasks that take the most mental energy at the beginning of the day to make sure they get done.
7. Keep your phone out of reach
The biggest distractions come from our phones. Every time we get a notification from a new message we automatically drop what we’re doing and take a look at our phones. Even a little light flashing from your phone can take you out of your flow. This is why when you work at home it’s important to keep your phone out of reach. Don’t let your phone dictate when you work or not.
8. A clear desk is a clear mind
I used to get distracted by everything around me. It could something as simple as a business card that I had left in my workspace. I’d look at it and all of sudden I realize I just wasted 10 minutes looking up the contact details on Google and that kind of stuff. The more clutter you have in your workspace the higher the chance is that this will happen. So make sure your workspace is clean.
9. Separate workspace, from living space
I’ve already touched a little on this before but you have to have a separate workspace. Not only to keep you focussed when you’re working but also that you can disconnect at the end of the workday. Depending on what kind of work you do even at home it can be stressful. You don’t want that stress with you 24/7.
10. Batch Tasks Because Starting Tasks Takes Energy
You might have multiple tasks that you have to do during the day of which some might be similar. If this happens I want you to try to batch your tasks. Switching between tasks takes a lot of energy. Starting up getting momentum with working on the task so you want to start up as less as possible.
If you got 10 emails you have to send batch these tasks together and spend 2 hours doing nothing but sending emails for example.
11. Music without lyrics
Music can definitely help when doing your tasks but it can also be very distracting. I remember listening to music and sometimes I got a lot done and other times absolutely nothing. I found out that listening to music with lyrics makes it harder to focus on your work because you’re focussed on the lyrics. So if you’re going to listen to music while you’re working make sure it’s music without lyrics.
That’s all for now. If you have any questions or you just want to show some love leave a comment in the comment section.
See you at my next post.