When working from home it is easy to get off track and spend your time doing things that get you nowhere. It can be a struggle to get things done. How can you be productive while working from home?
1. Have A Goal
You need to know what you are trying to achieve. It is difficult to get the motivation to produce something if you are not excited about the end result. Write down your goal and the reason you have chosen it. Stick it on the wall or put it somewhere where you can see it.
2. Make A Plan
When you have a goal then you can make a plan for yourself to achieve it. Think about the steps you will need to take. Write a list of all the steps.
3. Schedule Your Day
Using your list of steps, make a schedule for your work day. The way you do this will depend on the type of work you do. You can plan weekly or monthly, or plan for the following day at the end of each day. If you have a schedule to follow then you will know what needs to be done each day and you will be less likely to be distracted by other things.
4. Multitasking Is Overrated
Personally, multitasking got me nowhere. Focus your attention on one thing and get it done better and faster.
5. Set Work Hours & Deadlines
Determine your work hours and stick to them. Sometimes knowing that you need to finish work at a certain time can make you more productive in the task you are working on. You can also set deadlines for tasks. If you think you have all the time in the world to do something then it will take you much longer to complete it, or worse, not complete it at all.
6. Say No
Stay focused on your goal and say no to the things that don’t align with it. Ignore the emails telling you about the next big work from home product promising quick riches.
Say no to those around you who distract you from your work and use up your energy. You have a job to do.
Focus on what you are doing and what you need to get done. If you are struggling then remind yourself why you are doing it.
7. Close Your Email Window
Don’t have your email open while you work or at the very least mute the sound to stop the distraction of new email notifications.
Check your emails at certain times during the day or in between work tasks.
8. Turn Off Social Media Alerts
If you don’t need it for completing your task then turn it off. I have written more about this here: How To Stay Focused While Working From Home
9. Let Your Phone take messages.
Phone calls can totally mess up your train of thought. Let the caller leave a message and call them back later.
10. Have a Productivity Journal
I used to struggle in the early days of working from home. I would spend hours and hours trying to make an income from my computer. Quite frequently I would even work into the night.
Despite all my efforts there was no income coming in. It got to a point where I felt like I was going around in circles and I couldn’t even remember what I did from day to day or what I was supposed to be doing. I would feel like I was getting nowhere and a complete failure. I had no account of what I had been doing.
Many times it was because I wouldn’t finish what I started and then jump onto the next shiny object. It was unproductive and unrewarding. I decided to stop, focus on one thing and start a productivity journal to keep track of the things I was doing.
This helped me a lot. All I did was get a notebook (you could also use a diary), write the date and then list down each task I had completed that day. Sometimes I would write down the time taken as well. I would feel a sense of achievement that I had produced something that day. Looking back through the journal allowed me to see how much I could do each day and where I could make improvements in my productivity. I could also see that I was actually taking regular steps to achieve my goal.
11. Just Start
Don’t find excuses not to do the task. It won’t get done on it’s own. If you are avoiding it then ask yourself why and tackle the problem. Sometimes the difficult part is just to get started.
I’ve been wanting to write about this topic since last week but kept putting it off. When I thought about it I realized that the reason I was avoiding it is because I wasn’t sure if I had enough to write about.
I had to get started. Once I opened a blank document and typed the title and started thinking about the topic it got easier. I typed up a list of the things I do to be productive and then went back and expanded on each point. Then I researched the Internet to see if I could find any more useful information to add to it.
12. Ask For Help
Sometimes the things we need to get done are beyond our skills or knowledge. This is ok. Ask for help or pay someone else to do it for you. You can hire someone from upwork.com. Don’t waste anymore of your time on it. You can be more productive working on something else.
13. Think About Your Goal
Read your goal everyday and think about it regularly. Type it up and stick it somewhere where you can see it. You can even frame it. You don’t want to forget where you are going.
14. Don’t Give Up
As long as you know where you are going, have a plan on how to get there and take action, then you will get there. You won’t have a problem with productivity because you will be motivated to follow your path and reach your destination.
15. Things Can Change
Sometimes life gets in the way of our plans or things change. The goals we set for ourselves are no longer relevant. The things we thought where important don’t seem as important anymore. Don’t worry. Stay positive. You will have new dreams and goals. Don’t give up on yourself.
I hope these ideas will help you solve the dilemma of how to be productive while working from home. If you have any other ideas to add I would love to hear them. Please leave a comment below.