Home offices can be the saving grace or the downfall of productivity. As a remote worker, you may find it difficult to be productive with so many distractions. There are 5 important tips that will help you be more profitable and productive. And stay tuned until the end because I've saved the best for last. Tip #5 is a little known technique that has literally doubled my productivity.
Your morning routine
New York Times Best Selling Author and work-from-home entrepreneur Tim Ferris claims, "If you win the morning, you win the day".
Start your day as you would if you were working an office job. Working from home does not give you a free pass to sleep in or sacrifice good habits. Wake up at least an hour before you begin work. Shower and get dressed. Eat a balanced breakfast.
Perform some form of meditation. Meditation does not have to be what you think it might be either (though Headspace is a fantastic guided meditation app). Exercise, yoga, stretching are all acceptable forms of meditation.
Now here's the key: save you most important task for the morning and do not check your email. Checking your email is a rabbit hole that is best explored in the afternoon. Likewise, any repetitive or distracting tasks you should save for the end of the day.
Your office setup
As much as possible, separate your workspace from your life. I know, this seems like a complete contradiction if you work from home. But, it is possible. For example, put your desk in the living room or better yet, its own room. By having your desk in the bedroom or kitchen you are setting yourself up for failure before you even start.
Also, make sure you have a desk! Working from your bed or your couch not only develops poor posture, but is also bad for your productivity.
Use The Right Software Tools
There are two pieces of software that can really enhance your productivity.
First, you're going to need a project planning tool. Trello is a fabulous and free way to do this. It's setup like a board of digital sticky notes, which you can more between lists.
Next, try using a monitoring tool like the Rescue Time extension for Chrome. The software runs in the background as you work, and figures out how productive you actually are. It scores your productivity each day and also generates a monthly report.
After lunch, consider changing locations. If you work at your desk all day, this can be extremely taxing on your body and mind. Consider moving to a co-working space (We-work is one of the largest and most well-equipped) or a local cafe for the rest of the day.
Use the Pomodoro Technique
I learned the Pomodoro technique from a friend who has launched multiple million dollar businesses.
Here's how it works: you set the timer and work on a specific task for 25 minutes. If you are interrupted during that time period, you must restart the clock. Then you take a 5-10 minute break.
I would recommend shutting off all social media, set yourself to away in chat, and turn off email notifications. This will maximize your efficiency and prevent you from having to restart the clock.
Dayninja is a great productivity app that includes a Pomodoro timer. It was invented by a remote worker, just like you!
It is possible to work productively at home, if you follow my 5 tips. Try getting started with just one of my tips and see if it helps. Don't do them all right out of the gate – too much change in your routine will be difficult to adapt to. Eventually, you too can become a master of productivity.
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