Are you looking for productivity hacks? Would you like to know how to effectively manage your workload from home? Then this guest post by Kate Erickson from the Dig busy podcast is a must!
Whether you’ve worked remotely for years or have recently (and unexpectedly) been thrown in, one thing is certain: it isn’t always easy.
The endless distractions, the somewhat unfamiliar tasks of time management, potential barriers to communication with your team and / or clients, and the responsibility that comes with working from home can take some getting used to.
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You may even have wondered “Why does everyone think it’s great to work from home?”
There are several reasons why working from home is great:
- You don’t have a commute to work
- You can wear what you want
- You can take breaks as you wish
- You have the freedom to work when and how you want …
… It is not always ALL sunshine and rainbows.
Some of the biggest problems remote workers face take practice and a great deal of discipline to overcome.
They’re also the ones you probably didn’t even know are taking up hours of productive time every day.
But fear not: here are 5 time management hacks you probably haven’t considered yet. They will help you effectively manage your workload – and stay productive – while working from home.
5 Easy Productivity Hacks
Keep your morning routine
A morning routine is important. Not only will it help you create and build momentum that you can wear throughout the day, but it will also ensure that your day starts off strong.
There’s nothing more frustrating than starting the day feeling like you’re already behind.
Momentum can increase very quickly. So if you start your morning with a quick profit it will be easier to make more profit.
For example, something as simple as preparing your bed in the morning has already given you a feat and a stepping stone to continued productivity.
Every morning looks different, but a few things I can’t live without in my mornings are:
- Time for a workout
- Time for self-care
- Time to remove distractions
- Time to mentally prepare for the day
You may already have a morning routine or you may be creating one for the first time. Regardless, the habits you build into your morning routine will be critical to creating a productive day.
Pro tip: The time mentally spent preparing for your day may be as little as 10 minutes, but it will save you hours of thinking about what to work on next. That’s how it’s done:
- Set 4 FOCUS sessions aside
- Use each FOCUS session for a big task on your to-do list
- Set a time limit for each FOCUS session (usually between 30 and 45 minutes).
- In fact, use a timer for every FOCUS session
Writing down the specific tasks you focus on and setting a time limit for completing those tasks is a groundbreaking task. Don’t be surprised if you get more done in one day than you used to do all week!
Productivity tool: The Mastery Journal is a hardcover physical journal that takes you through 4 focus sessions each day. With a place to fill out your morning routine and a structure to evaluate your productivity and discipline every day, the Mastery Journal won’t let you fail! Master’s Productivity, Discipline and Focus in 100 days.
Set strong boundaries and remove distractions
Time is your most valuable resource and should be treated as such!
But we’re only human, and that’s how distractions can bring out the best in us.
Distractions come in many forms and can include:
- Our own excuses
- Visual queues around the house
- Family members or others in our room
- Email, social media, and other similar online black holes
While not always easy, setting boundaries is absolutely necessary if you want to focus and stay disciplined throughout the day.
How you do that?
Pro tip: First of all, you need to commit yourself. Excuses like “I forgot to take out the trash so let me do this really quickly …” or visual queues around the house to remind us, “Well, I could rearrange the bookshelf now …” aren’t excuses legitimate reasons not to focus on the task at hand.
That’s why part of my morning routine always includes this time to remove distractions.
Second, you need to let your family members or others in your room know when you cannot be interrupted. Indeed, set up a schedule that everyone is clear about and that creates a win / win situation:
- You can concentrate on your work at certain times and
- You can focus on family time at certain times.
And finally, you need to hold yourself accountable for having willpower and FOCUS when it comes to the task at hand, and not getting dragged into another program, tab, or idea.
Productivity tool: If you’re looking for tips on time management and 2x per week productivity, tune in to the podcast Busy digging! I share tips on how to make stressful and a thing of the past.
Communicate clearly – and often
If you are used to working on projects and keeping team members or clients up to date on progress in person, having to do these things remotely can be a challenge.
Therefore, it is up to you to make sure that you communicate clearly and frequently.
Even minor misunderstandings can take days or even weeks when it comes to making real progress.
Pro tip: Set up a recurring weekly Zoom call, in addition to daily check-ins for your most important projects, so everyone is on the same page.
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And make sure you have a process in place to track progress or results – especially if you are a project manager or the person in charge of keeping the ball going.
Productivity tool: Boomerang for Gmail is something I use every day to make sure I follow up on important inquiries and projects.
Build your workspace on purpose
When you’re set up in an office space with four walls, possibly even a door, and everything you need around you, it’s easy to dive right into things. Getting up to grab something isn’t a major inconvenience.
However, if you work from home and don’t set up a workspace that supports the focus and discipline you need, it can lead to frustration and a lot of wasted time.
Pro tip: Spend about an hour choosing a specific place in your home where you feel comfortable and supported – where you feel like you can really immerse yourself in focused work.
This may include being in a room where you can close the door. have certain things around, like candles and a water cooler; and a space where you can completely relax and not be distracted.
Productivity tool: Concentrate at will is a great app that plays music that is scientifically proven to help increase productivity. It could just be the perfect addition to round off your new office space!
If you haven’t already, start now. Everything you do, every meeting you schedule, every project you’ve been assigned – actually schedule the time on your calendar.
Not only does this give you a quick and easy visual queue of what your day looks like, but it is also important for holding yourself accountable for getting what you set out to do.
Pro tip: In addition to planning everything on your calendar (I use Google Calendar), you should use a project and task management tool. Logging ideas, tasks, and making plans for more complex projects can greatly improve your ability to stay organized, focused, and on track.
Productivity tool: I am in love Asana;; It’s the first thing I pull up every day. I know that using Asana in conjunction with Google Calendar always helps me get into rhythm with my day during my morning prep time.
Productivity and time management as habits
It won’t happen overnight, but practicing these 5 time management hacks will improve your ability to get more done, more effectively, in less time.
But remember, productivity and time management aren’t things that you do once and then never visit again. They should become daily habits that you are constantly working to improve.
Check out the podcast for more productivity hacks and time management tips Busy digging!
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