Do you ever have those days where you feel like you can’t get up to speed? Are you tired of never getting close to finishing your ever-growing to-do list? Wish you could power through your work from home day like a pro? Take a look at these virtual worker top tips, and you’ll be super-efficient in no time at all.
9 Tips on How to Increase Productivity While Working From Home
1. Tidy Desk, Tidy Mind
It’s a phrase that every annoying boss will have told you in the past, but it turns out they were right after all! With a tidy desk in front of you, there’ll be fewer distractions from the task at hand. The moment you have a mountain of paperwork spread everywhere, it will play on your mind. You won’t be able to find anything when you need it, and it generally just slows things down. Strive for a clean and tidy working environment where you can only see things you need to get the job done. Once you do that, you’ll be able to power through the day like never before.
2. Be Concise and Precise
Keeping your emails short and sweet is a great way to develop clarity of thoughts. With long rambling emails that you spend all afternoon composing and rewriting, you’re just wasting a lot of time and effort. When it comes to your communication, being concise and precise is everything. Not only it will help you clarify your thoughts, but it’s also the best way to get other people on the same page as you. Send someone a short and sweet email and the chances are they’ll come straight back with the answers you wanted. That, in short, is the joy of keeping things short and sweet.
3. Power Drafting
Never heard of it? May it just transform your working from home life? Power drafting is all about accepting that complex tasks are iterative. Accept that your first draft won’t be that good and get it down on paper. Once you make that concession, you’ll be able to revise it in no time at all. Don’t get hung up on the title or the opening sentence; get it down on paper and roll with it. That’s just what I did with this article, and you’re enjoying reading it, right?
4. Time Blocking on Tasks
Time blocking is a beneficial way to get things done. You’ll have heard the adage that your work expands to fill the time available and it’s so true. Break your day up into 15-minute segments, and you’ll be able to get so much more done. It’s also a great way to give yourself structure. Don’t fall into the trap of only taking on tasks that last 15 minutes, though! Break up your more complex tasks into bitesize chunks, and you’ll have them done in no time at all.
5. Save The Questions
We average nearly 50 thoughts minute; that’s a lot of thoughts! The issue with this is that you’ll have to compete with them when you want to focus on just one. Ignore the questions your mind asks about why you’re doing something and only power through. Once you start doing that, it’ll soon become a habit that you rarely break. This is excellent because it allows you to compartmentalize your thoughts and only do what needs to be done. Start working on it today and, by the end of the week, you’ll feel like a machine!
6. Never Stop When You’re Stuck
When you get stuck, you tend to stay there, which can be a real issue if you have a lot to do! When you’re stuck for more than 30 seconds, why not just jump to something different for your next 15-minute time block? It will allow you to rest while still being productive. Perfect if you want to be one of those people that always seems to power through in all weathers!
7. Lighting is Key
Having the right light is essential, primarily if you work at a computer most of the time. If it’s too bright, then your eyes will get exhausted. If it’s too dim, then you’ll be straining to see. Find the right balance with a little trial and error and then stick to it every single day. No matter what you go with, let in, as much natural light as you can. Natural light will leave you feeling refreshed and allow you to go about your virtual work smarter.
8. Working to Music
Your brain needs stimulation; there’s just no getting away from that folks. If you find that you’re doing a long repetitive task, then working to music is perfect. Don’t feel like you’re limited to spreadsheet work if you fancy some tunes. When you want to get creative or do a brainstorm, then a little classical music is ideal too. Don’t have your music blaring, just have it the right volume to block out distractions.
Headphones are must-haves if you’re working with others in an office environment. Create a playlist of your favorite tunes, but remember to keep things relaxing or calming. Probably best to leave the heavy metal at the door and choose something with a sweet melody.
9. One Track Mind
Focusing on the task at hand is what being a superstar of working from home is all about. Those people who always seem a step ahead do precisely that. With a whole host of competing interests that you can’t address at once, you have to accept it. Focus on each one, in turn, based on priority.
All you need to do is create a simple step by step list. Don’t do this first thing in the morning because you’ll end up dwelling on what you did yesterday. Write it out on a single side of the paper as the last thing you do before you leave for the evening. That way, you’ll hit the ground running the moment you come in the door.
Now all that’s left is to make a start at putting these handy hints and tips into practice. Go for it! And you will see how your productivity working at home is increasing. Happy you – happy, your boss! Check our article on How to Stay Healthy While Working on a Computer.