Work from home can be tough when you are not organized. Nowadays productivity is not an easy task, therefore not for everyone. Especially if your work tool is a computer or even the internet. Facebook and Twitter might be the most responsible for your lack of focus and for this reason I will show you 12 how-tos to boost your productivity.
1. Use Time Management Software
I recommend using ClockingIT.com – it’s a free tool in many different languages available.
What this software does is to help you see exactly how much time you spend to complete each task. You add a new assignment with the due date. As soon as you start it, a temporizer is turned on and then starts the time management. During this process, it is possible to pause and restart until you are done. That’s when ClockingIT will show how long you spent to complete the task.
The service provides a graph as the results, illustrating for example how much time you use checking your emails. The answer might be quite shocking if you don’t have the habit of auto managing. Therefore, it is also nice to advise your staff or work members to use the tool.
Another option would be to have a chronometer or even a cooking temporizer used by chefs. It enables you to manage many tasks in a short period of time. You setup it up to last 2 hours and then you start working intensively, avoiding any type of interruptions. Try this process around twice a day and great results will outcome!
If you think anxiety or nervousness will come up, then start with 30 minutes only. You may think is too short but if you can manage to work non-stopping for half an hour avoiding distractions, outstanding results will be achieved! When you dominate this technique, raise the time for longer periods.
2. Create A Brainstorm Notebook
To be hit with a bunch of ideas right in the middle of a task is something very common to happen. If you get too excited with them, you will lose precious hours without even noticing whereas your focus fails. Insights that come up out of the nothing might be very valuable, although it is not helpful in a productive moment, you cannot loose them.
To solve this out you can keep a notebook, create a Word .doc file, a task on ClockinIT.com and even so apps like Wunderslit or Evernote. Both offers free versions for the web and smartphones. The goal here is to throw your ideas in a place that can be checked over a more relaxed moment.
3. Determine daily mini tasks
Often you are suffocated by enormous projects and what happens when facing so many actions to complete is a failure. Therefore, the best way to be successful is to create a small list and gather 3 to 5 mini-tasks to be finished every single day. You can prepare this list on the night before or first thing in the morning.
Online tasks are very useful but sometimes to grab a piece of paper and write it down helps to keep your mind focused. Mini goals make sure that you are following the right path. It also shows that you are accomplishing something, each and every day.
4. Limit yourself to check your email twice a day
Work from home has many challenges and one of the biggest distractions to most people is the email. The ideal is that you check it at the beginning of the afternoon, once you had plenty of time to finish your daily priorities. I know that is hard for many that allowed this simple action to have become an addiction, but control yourself! Don’t go over your email every 2 minutes, close your email server or browser tab. Focus on the actions you have at the moment and limit yourself to check twice a day, at most.
5. Get rid of the mess
A tidy work environment means a tidy mind. If you get caught by items over your desk, chat rooms, telephone or window view, remove them all or change your desk to another spot. This will make a huge difference and enhance your concentration.
6. Lean to say “no”
If you can, know how to select which tasks to pick. Say “yes” only to those that can wait or that can be completed together with your daily assignments.
7. Finish your worst task at first
Procrastination is terrible! Keep the habit to complete the task you most fear right in the first hour of the morning. This way you mind gets free of worries and relaxes for the rest of the day.
8. Take away your tasks from emails and add them to your general list
To be going back and forth to check on the email what you need to do is a way to spend valuable minutes. Be sure to extract from the emails and include all the necessary notes on your time management software.
9. Use 80:20 division
This means that you must spend 80% of your time “doing” and no more than 20% spent on “learning”. For that, you can program a temporizer to manage how long you will spend reading blogs, newsletters, forums, etc. Be sure to take notice on the time you spend doing this. Afterward, you might analyze if this time spent could be better used accomplishing any task of your daily list.
10. Have a cellphone with calendar or personal organizer
When you are busy is easy to forget important commitments. Solve this out by scheduling everything on your mobile calendar and set it up to alarm a time before. Great for medical appointments, meetings, etc.
11. Keep a separate list for personal matters
If all of the sudden you realize that something needs to be done and has no relation with the workflow, then write down a list of personal tasks and go back to check it only after you leave work.
12. Delegate the most you can
Don’t pick tasks that your staff or other people more enabled than you can do. A few persons might think this is hard to adapt but is very necessary to win more free time.
Also, make sure that you have daily moments to be with your team/staff. This is crucial to avoid interruptions throughout the day.
As you can see, those were 12 how-tos to boost your productivity! All we are is the result of many habits. Start by acquiring the above actions and you will see a better improvement of your day and that feeling of achievement will be even greater.
Change yourself to change your surroundings!