You’ve likely heard it before. People that work from home are more productive than those that commute to an office.
Or maybe you’ve wondered…
“How do people that work from home get anything done?”
There are dirty dishes, laundry to fold, bills to pay. Ya know, adulting.
I admit it. There are times when I get distracted by things that have to get done.
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
But guess what? You have the same amount of time every day to get anything done.
You have a time budget of 24 hours just like the most productive and successful people in the world. Crazy isn’t it?
It all depends on what you do with those hours.
Be intentional and self-aware
In order to “reclaim” more time, we need to practice presence.
Your presence is what’s being stolen when you realize you’ve scrolled through Instagram for 2 hours straight like some kind of digital zombie (guilty).
Tell me: what would you do with an extra 2 hours every day?
Better yet, I’ll answer that for you:
- Learn a new language
- Learn how to code
- Take an online course
- Get a certification
- Build your business
- Get in shape
And the list goes on.
I have a hunch you wouldn’t schedule your next social media binging session. Use your time wisely. If you plan out your day in advance, you may find that you have a lot more time to do what you need to accomplish than you realize.
Switch up your working location
You know the idiom, “a change of scenery would do you good.” Well, it turns out it’s actually true:
“Anything you can do to disrupt your automatic response to your surroundings can be beneficial.” – Sam Sommers, Psychology Today
If you find yourself stuck in a rut, try venturing out to a:
- Co-working space
- Coffee shop
- Local park (may require mobile hotspot)
This is one that people that work from home often forget. When you’re in the office, people walk by, they stop at your desk and chat, they pass by in the hallway and chat, etc.
But when you work from home, it’s just you and the work (if your kids, dishes, and laundry aren’t distracting you). Make sure to take time for yourself to step away from your work to gain some perspective and do a little self-care.
Every Wednesday, Scott Dawson of The Art of Working Remotely hosts a #remotechat on Twitter at 1 PM EDT (5 PM UTC). Join the conversation!
Make time for health and fitness
If health and fitness is already deeply embedded in your everyday routine, you won’t have to worry about this one. But when you work remotely, you are no longer commuting (including biking, walking).
This means you have to be extra intentional about taking care of your health and body. You shouldn’t have to worry too much about getting sick since you aren’t around any co-workers (unless you decide to go to a co-working space).
It can really be helpful to have a set routine each day, which brings me to my next point.
Plan your week or day ahead of time and stick to it
Benjamin Franklin said it best, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
I’m preaching to myself more than anyone else on this one. But it really will help to frame your priorities and understand what’s possible.
Having said that, you should leave room for the unknowns and spontaneity. After all, you are not a robot.
Design an ergonomic workspace
This is HUGE to being productive at home. You need a designated space that is conducive to helping you get your best work done.
And I’m not just talking about having a succulent next to your laptop. You need to take ergonomics into account so that you aren’t sacrificing your health for the sake of getting things done.
Strategies to get stuff done
Speaking of getting things done, there are several strategies you can adopt. There is not one right way to accomplish your projects. You simply need to experiment with different tactics or tools and find what works for you.
Here are some methods to experiment:
- Pomodoro method
- GTD method
I decided to go to Twitter to ask the #remotework community how they like to get things done from home.
What are your favorite ways/tools to get things ✅ done? Kanban? Pomodoro?
I’ll feature you in the article and 🔗 link back to your profile!
— Sarah @ The Daily Remote (@thedailyremote) June 18, 2019
Here’s what they had to say:
Asana is a must-have! It helps me manage the day as well as the week and stay up-to-date on my personal and professional tasks.
— Chanell T. (@Chanell_Alex1) June 19, 2019
I use a task app with deadlines and prioritize. Keep it simple — it works. I learned this from when I had a Palm Pilot. Had to search high and low for something that could replace it. I use gTasks, which syncs with Google Calendar
— Meryl K. Evans (@merylkevans) June 19, 2019
I’m a big fan of the simple list. I use @Wunderlist to keep track of tasks (separate lists for short- and long-term) and also schedule a series of recurring tasks. It’s so gratifying to check them off. I also use @TheStreaksApp for activities I want to turn into habits.
— Scott Dawson (@scottpdawson) June 19, 2019
I tried @Wunderlist, @asana, @trello trello(for a very short time) and @todoist. An app doesn’t help productivity. Behaviour change does. I plan tasks in @todoist and block time in my calendar foe them. That has worked so far
— Katerina (@katerinabohlec) June 19, 2019
— Valentina Thörner (@ValeDeOro) June 19, 2019
Been working remotely for 12 years so for me I dump everything into my work calendar; interviews to job offers to breaks to conference calls. I have easy access and can see what needs to be done when in advance
— Mark Yohn (@mark_yohn) June 19, 2019
When I have a lot going on, I go old school. Write my top To Dos on a Post It note and only focus on those that I can fit on the Post It. Crossing off the finished tasks is so satisfying. #productivity
— Lily Snyder (@lilyotron) June 19, 2019
Now I want to hear from you. What is one weird trick or hack you have for productivity? Comment below!