I absolutely love working from home and I thank my lucky stars every single day that I get to do this amazing job. Working from home is pretty great, but sometimes productivity levels can take a dive. So I am sharing my top tips to help you get the most out of your time and to reduce the procrastination that comes with the territory when working from home.
1. Plan ahead
I’m sure you’ve heard the quote by Benjamin Franklin, ‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail’. It’s 100% completely true. By planning your tasks and the steps you need to take, you are making your job much easier from the get-go.
Break the task down to every step you need to take to make the task complete, allowing you to tick each one off as you go. Now if you’re like me, then ticking things off a list will give you a little thrill of excitement. Keeping your vibe high, will help get the tasks done quicker.
Planning ahead doesn’t need to only be about the task at hand. Get a drink, a snack or go to the toilet. Do the things that may potentially crop up whilst working before you start, so not to distract you from the task.
2. Do the hardest or biggest task first
By tackling this type of task first, the rest of your day should flow really well. Knowing that the worst task is done and it’s plain sailing from here.
Unless you have a really important email to answer, leave your emails until lunch time. Use the time when you first start work, with the most energy, to be the most productive.
3. Scrap multi-tasking
Give every task your undivided attention. If you multi task you are more likely to give it a half-arsed version than what you would if you had given it your full attention.
Multi-tasking never works, and things usually get missed.
4. Use a timer
Give yourself a time frame to work on the task then set a timer so you can see the clock counting down. A kitchen timer is perfect, this is what I use. Seeing the time physically going down I tend to work faster and achieve more.
I would advise buying a separate timer that isn’t your phone or an online timer as you may be more likely not to ignore the time. So by having a completely separate device solely for your tasks may work better for you.
5. Turn off distractions
Turn off anything that will distract you. Did you know that each time you get distracted from a task it can take approx. 25 minutes for you to get fully back in the zone?
- Put mobiles and tablets on to aeroplane mode
- Mute desktop notifications
- Close your emails
- Ignore the house phone and the door
6. Stop being a perfectionist
Nothing will ever be perfect.
Do the best you can do right now and get it done, otherwise when will it ever be done?
7. Go for a walk
Getting away from your work can really boost your mood and creativity. Taking a 20 minute break to walk around the block or get out in nature. Breathe the fresh air into your lungs and enjoy being away from your home and computer screen.
When you are walking do not think about work. Take notice of your surroundings; the birds in trees, the way the clouds are moving, people in the street or the way the trees blow in the wind. All these things will clear your mind and when you return home, you should be feeling ready to crack on with your tasks.
8. Tidy your desk
Having a tidy desk will help you focus and concentrate.
I know when my desk is messy, I don’t work as well as what I do when my desk is clear.
So tidy away any papers you don’t need out, clear away any nik naks or trinkets you have and create a calm environment to work in. I love lighting a candle, putting on my fairy lights and listening to relaxing nature sounds (on low volume) on YouTube.
9. Place your desk near a window
My desk used to be the furthest from the window and I would find that I would feel so far away from the outside world. Since moving it right next to the window I have found myself being more productive. I love the natural day light right there next to me and when it rains, I can hear it so clearly – my most favourite sound ever!
Each time I finish a big task I will sit for a few minutes with my cup of tea and look at the sky. Watching the clouds move with the wind, it’s really calming.
I love the question Patsy Kensit asks her sons daily, ‘Have you looked up today?’.
Well, have you?
10. Reward yourself
I missed this step so many times over the years and it has only been recently that I have started putting this into practice myself.
Once you have completed the jobs you have to get done that day, reward yourself. Give yourself a treat and fully embrace it.
I like to set a time of when my client work needs to be done by, so I can then have my treat. I’m currently loving reading a couple of chapters of a book with a cup of tea.
If you find you have too much work on your plate, I am only a call or an email away! Get in touch and let’s see how I can help you.