Being productive is something that can be a real struggle sometimes. For me, working at home is a constant reminder of how and why I need to stay productive to get my work completed. Over the past couple of years, I have learned some tips and tricks that help me stay on task and get more done. These tips on how to be more productive keep the evil “procrastination” monster away and ensure that I get the task at hand done and move on to the next thing.
When I started working from home on this blog, I found myself getting easily distracted and all over the place. Working from home is a luxury for me, but sometimes, it is harder than working outside of the home. Not only are you by yourself a lot, but there is no one telling you what needs to be done and how it needs to be done. It all lands on your shoulders and if you aren’t getting it done, no one else will be picking up the slack to make sure it does.
After finding myself in that rut a few times, I started taking notes of my days. I wrote down what I was spending my time on, what was distracting me and what my work flow looked like each day. This was so helpful! After a couple of weeks of doing this, I came up with systems and a plan that have really helped me stay on task and be more productive.
10 Tips On How To Be More Productive:
1. Do The Hard Stuff First: This is a huge one for me. Before, I would do all the small and easy tasks first. Then, I would find it hard to get the motivation to tackle the harder tasks. This was becoming a bad habit so to change it, I now “reward” my work day with the easy tasks only after I had completed the hard ones. I am telling you, it works. And, I feel like I have accomplished so much more when I do it this way.
2. Make Lists: At the end of each day, I make a list of all of the things I want to accomplish the following day. This makes sure that I am not wasting time trying to figure out what I want to get done every day. I start each day with a direction and complete so much more.
3. Schedule Tasks: Now that you have a list, schedule each task throughout the day. No matter if you are struggling at home or at work, there are different tasks that need to be completed throughout the day. Schedule each one. For me, I need to get a lot of things done each day to keep this blog and all of my social channels and newsletters running. Each day, I keep a piece of paper next to me that has each tasks listed and the times I need to do them. So my scheduled tasks my look like this:
8:30-8:45 (Facebook posts)
8:45-9:00 (G+ posts)
9:00-11:00 (write posts)
11:00-11:30 (research key words)
And so on.
I know this may sound strange, but it works! If you schedule out each task, you don’t find yourself slipping off into the abyss of tasks that aren’t on the schedule (scrolling Facebook, watching TV, playing a game on your phone, etc.)
4. Set A Timer: I used to not start some things because I thought it would take too long. Then, when I was “researching” how I spent my days, I found out that the things I thought would take so long, didn’t.
Because I timed them. Not only did it help me to see that things don’t take as long as I thought, but now, I set a timer in my office and while doing house work. Again, this makes sure I stay focused on the task at hand. I give myself a set amount of time to get something done.; set the timer and get to work. A timer will be your friend if you want to be more productive.
5. Schedule Breaks: Being productive means you are getting things done, but you also need to schedule breaks. No one wants to work at a fast pace all day long – no matter what you are doing. Scheduled breaks throughout your day makes for much-needed rest for your brain and ensures you don’t get burnt out.
6. Close Computer Tabs: THIS IS HUGE WHEN I AM WORKING! To be more productive, I can’t have multiple tabs open on my computer. I only have the tabs open for the things I am working on. If not, it is too easy to get distracted.
7. Remove Distractions: Speaking of distractions….. Find out what is distracting you at home and at work and remove them. If you are easily distracted by the TV, turn it off. If your phone makes you waste time scrolling Instagram or Facebook, shut it off. Whatever your distraction is, try to remove it so you can be more productive.
8. Just Start It Already: Here is another big one. If you keep putting something off because you think it will be hard or take too long, just start it. More times than not, you will find that the task isn’t so hard and you will actually get it done. Instead of procrastinating, just start it. You don’t have to finish whatever it is, but just by starting will put you in the right direction for getting it done.
9. Set Goals: Goals are so good. Writing down your goals can be a life-changer. We started doing that for our home, marriage and budget a few years ago and it changed our lives. (You can read more about that HERE.) In work and at home, goals will give you direction. Having goals will make you more productive because you will know what tasks need to get done in order to reach those goals.
10. Work Smarter, Not Harder: Isn’t this one important is all aspects of life? I am always working on this and finding ways to make it possible. For me, I had to get over the fear of hiring people to help me run this business and jump in with both feet. Now, I have people taking care of certain things that aren’t my strong points so I can concentrate on the things that are. Working smarter and not harder is always my goal and I am on a constant quest to reach it.
I hope these tips have given you some insight on ways you can be more productive at home and at work.
As always, I love to hear from you! Share your productivity tips in the comments!
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