I have been working from home for just over a year now, in the beginning I found it hard to focus and my productivity dropped, especially in the summer months when the sun was shining and beckoning me to go out. Today I’m going to share a few tips that I have put in to practice…
- Write Goals down – If you work from home, you have to do this – There are just too many distractions and no boss breathing down your neck to get you to meet deadlines. On my desk I have two lists – one I write down for the whole month what I need to achieve, I then break this down at the start of each week into a smaller list which I must do that week. My motivation is a weekend off – If I don’t finish everything on the list I don’t go out Friday night.
- Get up Early- Set a time to get up each day and stick to it, I used to start work at 9 when I worked in an office – Now I start at 7.30 so I’m gaining an hour and a half in the morning to get extra work done and once you’re in the routine of getting up at certain time it becomes second nature.
- Turn Off Phone and IM – Constant interruptions are no good – Its ok when Im mocking up designs in photoshop but if I’m coding html and css I can’t be interrupted so say goodbye to the phone and IM for an hour or so at a time and get your head down!
- Exercise – I find going to the gym in the morning gives me so much more energy and motivation for the day, if you don’t regularly do exercise, try it for one week and see how you feel. Will not only improve your productivity you might shed a few pounds along the way!
- Tidy Office – Working surrounded by piles of papers and month-old to-do lists will only drag you down – have a big tidy up once a week and you’ll feel so much better.
- Music – Not for everyone but I find music really helps me along while I’m working, I often forget to actually put in on in the first place though and only realise half way through the day.
- Daily Schedule – Even though you are working from home and don’t have to follow the usual office rules, try and set out a daily plan for yourself – start at the same time, have lunch at a set time etc – I find it helps to have a daily routine.
- Just Start – If you’re like me you have certain jobs that you try and put off because they’re dull or take ages – I make sure I tackle these jobs first thing in the day, that way it feels like a weights been lifted off you and you can tackle the more enjoyable jobs for the rest of the day.
- Outsource – Even though you can do a job doesn’t always mean you should do it – Why not outsource that boring coding job which will leave you free to concentrate on more important jobs or jobs that you enjoy doing more.
- Close your door – If there are distractions at home, like people calling round or noisy kids, make it a rule to not be disturbed when your door is shut.
All of these are pretty obvious things to do but if you don’t do any of them, give it a go and see if your productivity improves.
If anyone has any other tips to share then I’d love to hear them, please leave in the comments …