When you’re working in an actual office environment, it is sometimes easier to stay focused and on task. However, if you’re one of the many Americans out there who have lucked out with the opportunity to work from home, if you’re not careful- this “luxury” can come back to bite you.
When you’re at home, you’re in a comfortable environment. You don’t have your boss hanging over your shoulders or stopping by to check up. In most cases, you are your own boss. Therefore, it should be no surprise to find that numerous people have problems with productivity. When you are being productive, you are using your time efficiently. Here are five tips for maximizing your productivity, regardless of where you get your work done:
- E-mail: How much time would you say you spend checking your email each day? If the majority of your work is done on a computer, there’s a good chance that checking your email has become just as routine as brushing your teeth twice a day. If you’ve got multiple email accounts, there are all sorts of neat tricks out there to help you condense this so that you receive all of your emails in one location. Additionally, it may help you to create folders within your email so that you can stay more organized. For example, I have a couple of folders that are specifically work-related, this way it separates the business stuff from the emails I receive from my grandmother, etc.
- Get Sleep: Ah, sleep. This is one of the most underrated things nowadays, but it is VITAL for being able to be more productive and actually do a good job at whatever it is you do. Rather than stay up all night or work odd hours, if you’re working from home, it is sometimes best to come up with some sort of a schedule for yourself. If you’re a writer, this can sometimes be difficult because most of us have great ideas spring up out of nowhere at odd times of the day and night. However, getting yourself on a schedule will be extremely beneficial to your body and will help you get the rest that you think you don’t need so that you’ll be able to function more effectively.
- Focus: When you’re on the computer, there are all sorts of distractions. For me, these distractions come in the form of e-mail(s), Facebook and Twitter. You know what makes you waste the most time when you’re online, therefore, figure out ways to avoid it! I can clearly remember spending almost an entire day “stumbling” on StumbleUpon versus getting some other work done that really needed to be finished. Being able to focus means being able to exercise some self control. This is definitely something to work on!
- Short Cuts: There are TONS of shortcuts to help make your online time more effective. Even the little keyboard tricks such as using “ctrl +v” to paste info can be a real time saver. The more shortcuts you can find, the faster you’ll be.
- Make a List: A lot of people will poo-poo lists, but they are PHENOMENAL. Let’s face it; we’re only human. Granted, there are some people who can remember everything, but for the vast majority of us, we still need other methods. A great idea is to make a list of everything you need to do the following day. Then, all you have to do is go down the list and mentally check each one off as it gets done. Remember to put the more difficult tasks at the top of the list!