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Being productive while working from home can be a real challenge for many out-of-office workers, entrepreneurs, and freelancers alike. With the rise of flexible working, this is also increasing affecting many office workers, who gain freedom from the interruptions of a busy office for a day or two a week but are now working in a completely new environment.
With no boss to check on you and remind you about deadlines, it’s easy to fall prey to procrastination. If you’re someone who can’t seem to find the right frame of mind every time you work from home or just want to boost your out-of-office productivity, then this article is for you. Listed below are productivity hacks that will help turn your chaotic work life into a system of organization.
According to research on the science of mental strength, “The human mind can only focus on any given task for only 90 to 120 minutes”. Without breaks for more than an hour, our concentration dwindles which results in poor performance. To ensure consistent work quality and better concentration, take frequent short breaks during the day. A 20-30 minute break will refresh your mind and help get it back on track. If you want to make the most of each break, I suggest planning them ahead by including them on your daily schedule. You can also use breaks as a form of rewards to celebrate small milestones.
Feel like you’re wasting too much time on a single task? The best way to ensure you’re productive and on-schedule is to put every task in a visual calendar. Visual cues like wall calendars or pin boards are probably the most underrated tools in time management.
Visual calendars help you visualize the actual time you have in a day. This keeps you from getting wrapped up in trivial tasks and promotes productivity especially when you have just a fraction of time left to finish all your weekly tasks.
Find the perfect spot for work. It should be a room or corner in your house where you can achieve perfect concentration. You don’t want to set up your desk in the living room where there’s distracting noise from the TV or the dining room where you’d be compelled to snack over and over again.
Boost your productivity by clearing your desk. I’m a firm believer that a clear desk encourages a clear mind. Clutter is a huge distraction and serial productivity killer. I don’t know how some people survive in the chaos of their desk, but it’s a big NO for me. If you want to get more work done, aim for a clean and tidy workspace.
Great morning habits give you extra motivation for the long work day. So instead of lounging around until 9:00 AM, wake up an hour early to start your preferred morning routine. Morning routines can be anything. Some people start their day by meditating or jogging for 30 minutes. While some jump to work as soon as they have their morning tea and biscuits. Whatever helps your mind and body prepare for work, make sure that you put it on routine.
Forgetting important tasks can more than hurt your productivity – it can also reduce your work performance. Prevent this from happening by keeping lists! To-do-Lists, To-Buy List, etc. Lists take all the stress away by putting those shackling thoughts on paper. Now that you’ve kept track of them, it’s much easier to do one task at a time.
Research on ultradian rhythms suggests that people have individual day cycles which affect their alertness and productivity. Whether it’s 10-12 in the morning or 4-6 in the afternoons, your productive time is best spent doing important tasks that need your full concentration.
The best part of working from home and on your own computer for me is that I can use my preferred time management and productivity apps. I don’t have to use certain apps because it’s what my boss dictates or what the team uses. Working from home allows you to be free to use time management tools that will help save you more time and energy.