The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we used to work as it has forced millions of people around the globe to stay at home as a precautionary measure and work remotely in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
If you have been forced to work remotely, this may be a new experience for you and you may be wondering how is it possible to be productive and effective while working from home.
The same goes for students and home based internet business owners, as they are all facing the challenges that come from working remotely.
Yes, it´s amazing to have the freedom to work from home, avoid your daily commute and drop-in meetings, but it can also become a very daunting and overwhelming experience if you are not used to it.
I´ve been working online for over 3 years now. As the owner of a leading Digital Agency in South Yarra, Melbourne, I learned to hack some productivity tricks in order to be more efficient and productive while I work from my home.
I know how easy you can get distracted at home. Scrolling through social media, answering text messages or phone calls can end up taking most of your time and focus from your main tasks.
Research shows that once you get distracted, it takes an average of 23 minutes to recover the focus on the task you were working. Does this sound familiar?
Over the years, I´ve been reading and studying a lot around personal development in order to master my time. The reality is that we all got the same 24 hs in a given day, the only difference between you and any high – achievers is how they allocate and spend their time.
Let´s explore 6 productivity tips that will help you become more productive working from home.
Tip 1- Organise Your Day
It all starts by planning your day. If you don´t have a plan, you will end up being someone else´s priority and reacting to the demands of everyone else.
I am a big believer of scheduling and organising your day in a calendar (ideally during Sundays), so you have a clear picture of what your week will look ahead and what is it that you want to achieve and how much time and effort you are planning to allocate to it.
I learned throughout my years working from home, that you need to be reactive rather than proactive in order to achieve more during your day. That´s why, the first thing I do before I even open my computer each day, is I start with my morning ritual.
This usually begins by asking myself, “what is it that I want to accomplish today?”.
Then, rather than creating a to-do list I create a could-do list. Usually I come up with the 3 main tasks I want to accomplish during that day. I then prioritise the list to identify the main task which I would be satisfied if it was the only thing I did during the day.
Something critical that I learned around watching and studying some of the most successful and high-achievers in the world is that not all of your actions will lead you to obtain your desired result. Some will move the needle more than others.
This is also referred as the 80/20 principle, which basically means that 20% of what you’ve identified on your priority list is going to equal to 80% of your results.
Tip 2- Focus On Your Most Important Task
I know this may sound a bit counter-intuitive, but you want to spend the first hours of your morning working on your most important and hardest task. This will typically be task that you will procrastinate the most if you don´t make it your main priority.
You will have more willpower early during the day than late at night. Ever tried going to the gym after a busy day at work? The longer you wait to do something the harder it becomes, as your willpower decreases throughout the course of the day.
If you incorporate this tip, I can assure you will see a huge boost in your productivity working from home.
Tip 3- Pick Your Office Space
No office space? No problem. Find an area that is calm and comfortable. You may suddenly find yourself sharing space with your kids and family members which can tend to be very distracting.
Therefore, finding and creating your specific work from home spot is crucial to stay focused and productive throughout your day.
Tip 4- Eliminate Distractions When Working From Home
When operating home based internet businesses, it´s very easy to get distracted. We are constantly bombarded by all sorts of distractions that take our focus from our main priorities. When you are working from home, it´s very easy to get distracted.
This is why I usually switch my phone off and block specific periods of time to be laser focused while working on a specific activity.
Tip 5- Set Blocks of Time
Something that has really improved my productivity when working from home was to allocate small blocks of time and ´rest periods´ in order to remain more focused and effective.
The way I do it is I set my timer to 25´m, where I put my phone on airplane mode, close any open tabs and just focused on one main task. Then I take a 5´m break where I recommend avoiding social media and either going for a quick stroll, meditating, relaxing, stretching etc.
Research has shown that we only have a short span of attention and the longer we keep working at something, the less productive and effective we are. That´s why taking small periods of time and mini breaks will improve dramatically how you increase your productivity while working remotely.
Tip 6- Morning Ritual
This has been a game changer for me as it enabled me to become more calm, relaxed and present throughout the day.
Working from home can lead to some anxiety issues, feeling overwhelmed and stressed if you don´t have a plan to tackle this.
I am a big believer of creating your own morning ritual, which can be exercising, reading, meditating, stretching, listening to music etc. Whatever makes you feel at your maximum potential.
Top athletes and high-performers always have a specific ritual or routine they follow before a big game or going live on stage.
I usually wake up, meditate for 5-10 minutes, practice gratitude, read aloud some affirmations, and read a book. This enables me to start the day at my best and sets the tone for the rest of the day.
These are my 6 productivity tips for how to be more productive working from home.
I hope my experiences of how I cope with working from home full time on my Digital Agency have helped you become more efficient while operating a home based internet business. Bear in mind that it will take you some time to adapt to these new habits.
Which productivity tip will you start implementing? We would love to see your comments.