There are some simple productivity hacks that can help you get more done. Working from home can be difficult due to distractions and a lack of structure or routine. However, with these few simple hacks, you can boost your productivity and achieve all of your work goals in record time with far less stress. Read on to discover the top 5 ways you can increase your productivity while working from home.
1. Limit Distractions
As was also discussed in this post about time management strategies for working from home, one of the main things that can impede your productivity is the abundance of distractions. These distractions are enough to deal with when you’re in an office; however, when you’re working out of your home, the distractions can be overwhelming.
Whether it’s your spouse, your children, or your friends, people assume that because you’re home, you’re available. It’s important to set firm boundaries to let the people in your life know that at specific times through the day, you are unavailable the same as you would be if you were at work.
Another distraction from your work comes in the very convenient form of your smartphone or tablet. These items place the world at our fingertips. It can be very tempting to log onto social media sites, check the news and weather, or browse online stores.
These are all more entertaining than the work that is supposed to be getting done. It’s tough to focus with such a fantastic array of distractions a click or a tap away. It’s essential to remove this temptation from your life if you want to be productive. If you need your phone, tablet, or computer for work, then there are plenty of time management apps available for download that restrict the websites that you visit during your specified work hours.
This takes the burden of discipline off of your shoulders. If you don’t need your smart devices for your work, then it’s a good idea to leave them outside your work zone.
2. Set Goals
It’s impossible to achieve a goal or complete a project if you’re unable to define what the parameters of those projects and goals are. Take a few minutes to sit down and figure out what your main goal is. This can be the successful end of a project. Or it can be something as broad as achieving a promotion or a set number of sales.
Whatever it is that you’re genuinely striving towards, write it down. Next, figure out what it’s going to take to get you to that goal. Every goal, no matter how large, can be broken down into smaller, measurable goals.
Figuring out what these smaller goals are means that you have a checklist that you can consult to let you know if you’re on track. It can be helpful to create a timeline, as well. You need to know how long it will take you to reach Goal A, Goal B, and Goal C.
Gauging your progress is the only way to recognize how productive you’re being and where you need a little more work. It can also be a great motivator to see a set timeline, and it allows you to celebrate the small wins in your quest to complete your big goal.
3. Create a Schedule
Along with coming up with your goals is the idea of creating a schedule for your time. This is a fantastic tool for increasing your productivity. To begin, take a bit of time to write down your schedule hour by hour, as it is now with no changes.
In a perfect world, you should do this for at least a week to identify patterns in your daily life. However, there are no doubt pressing projects to work on, so commit to doing this for at least one day. This should be enough time that you can look at your day and identify patterns.
This tool will allow you to see what time of day you have the most energy and what part of the day you find yourself being naturally productive. It’s easier to work within your established patterns if you can, so choose your toughest challenge or daily project and commit to accomplishing it during the time you identified as being your most productive.
Once you’ve figured that out, you can look for holes in your schedule. Where are you wasting time and getting distracted? Is there any way to eliminate distractions during these parts of your day to become more productive?
Now that you have your strengths and weaknesses laid out in black and white, it’s time to work with it to create the most productive schedule you can for yourself. Having a plan will help keep you on track, so you don’t waste any time, and you become much more productive.
Not every stepping stone goal that you have needs to be achieved by you. There are plenty of tasks that could be accomplished just as well by someone else. This frees up your time to focus on the projects that you are best suited to complete. Delegation isn’t always possible; however, when you have the opportunity to do so, it’s worth doing as it will boost your productivity.
This might look like sitting down with a colleague and comparing your projects. They might have one that suits your strength, and you might have one that suits their strengths better. If it’s possible, you could consider switching projects.
This way, they both get done by the best person for the job. When you’re working on a project better suited to your strengths, you’re more likely to perform well, stay on track, and have a high level of enthusiasm.
If you’re the boss of a company, this might mean letting go of some of the projects you’ve held onto and giving them to the people you manage. As important as it is to oversee the operations in your company, it can hinder your productivity if you take on more projects then you can handle.
5. Eat the Frog
This is a term that you’ve probably come across before. As the famous self-development author, Brian Tracy writes about, it means that whatever task you find the hardest or whatever task you’re dreading working on, you should do first thing in your day.
You’re freshest in the morning, and you probably have more energy to spend on this task then you’ll have all day.
Getting your most challenging task done before you do anything else in the day gives you an endorphin rush that will carry forward into the rest of your day. Once the most challenging task is done, it’s all downhill, and every task after that is more manageable. This can boost your productivity by a significant degree as you sail through your day.
The important thing to remember here though is that you need to make sure that the most challenging task that you want to get done for a day is also important that you take on this task. Obviously we don’t want to be completing a task simply because it is the hardest to complete. We want to make sure it is an important task that is moving us towards our goals.
Productivity Hacks Conclusion
Working from home has its unique challenges; however, if you follow the above five tips, you’ll find your productivity levels soaring and your workday flowing more naturally as you eliminate distractions and focus on what needs to be done.
Do you have any productivity hacks that you have used to get more done when working at home? Please share them in the comments.