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Time-Saving Tips For Working From Home

Time-Saving Tips For Working From Home

Often, circumstances don’t allow some people to leave their homes for eight hours or more a day. Things such as mobility of the disabled and parents taking care of children because of the rising costs of child care play a role in people just not having time to spend away from home. Wouldn’t a remote or work-from-home position suit you more if you weren’t able to drive to an office every day? More companies than ever before are offering this option to workers.

This list of companies offering remote positions is not sparse. Technology created by these companies allows them to keep track of their employees even when they aren’t in an office. Big tech companies like Dell, IBM, and even Amazon offer positions that you can do from home. Many more are on the list that you might recognize: American Express, Intuit, Cybercoders, and even the U.S. Department of Agriculture offer positions you can do at home or on a farm.

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While working at home can be a convenient option, it can come with distractions that you wouldn’t have to deal with in an office setting. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your time while working from home.

Put The Phone Down

You have to limit your social time. Yes, you can take breaks like you normally would, but here at home you need to realize that you can get a lot of work done and still have time for other things. If you have children to care of or just want to relax more, then you might want to shut all social media and similar things out of your work time. If your job is to run a social media page, then you can’t shut the social off, but you can keep off your personal account.

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Take Advantage Of Having Your Home Be Your Work Setting

Your boss probably wouldn’t allow you to play loud music or listen to an audiobook while working. Yes, you may be allowed headphones, but this isn’t the same. If you work better with a soundtrack, you are free to do so. Also, take advantage of your coffee maker and drinks that aren’t $5.00 apiece — no need to run out to Starbucks two times a day. And if you want to make something to eat, you can do that whenever you want. Make your own lunch time.

Let Your Family Know That This Time To Work Is Your Time

People may want you to do things with them because you are home. Children, spouses, significant others — they will all want your attention. Make a space for you and give yourself the privacy that you need to work. Sometimes you can’t get this in an office either. Make rules regarding your time and remember that you can always hang out with your family and friends later.

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Take A Nap

Nothing says refreshed like taking a nap in the middle of the day, and depending on your job, you can do this with ease. Most remote positions have flexible hours because of the nature of the job. These companies understand your plight and want to help. If you own your own business, then what are you waiting for? This freedom should be exercised with caution — if you are the sole proprietor of your company, there’s no one to encourage you to get back to work.

After you have exercised your freedom, make sure to then exercise your brain and get to work. By working smart and not hard, you can work rapidly and efficiently. This will mean big dividends and more time for yourself. The key is not getting stuck doing the same thing over and over. Your routine should be set, but if you’re doing the same thing over and over, you aren’t learning anything.

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Remember To Keep Networking

Whether you like to go fast and trade stocks, code like a maniac at home, or you enjoy painting in your own studio, you still work from home. Some people don’t get the objectivity they need without another person’s opinion. You will often have contacts outside your home office/studio still, and you should utilize these frequently. Networking is a key factor to success, so network as much as possible, but also as little as you want.

Featured photo credit: Blue from Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

How to Stop Information Overload

How to Stop Information Overload

Information overload is a creature that has been growing on the Internet’s back since its beginnings. The bigger the Internet gets, the more information there is. The more quality information we see, the more we want to consume it. The more we want to consume it, the more overloaded we feel.

This has to stop somewhere. And it can.

As the year comes to a close, there’s no time like the present to make the overloading stop.

But before I explain exactly what I mean, let’s discuss information overload in general.

How Serious Is Information Overload?

The sole fact that there’s more and more information published online every single day is not the actual problem. Only the quality information becomes the problem.

This sounds kind of strange…but bear with me.

When we see some half-baked blog posts we don’t even consider reading, we just skip to the next thing. But when we see something truly interesting — maybe even epic — we want to consume it.

We even feel like we have to consume it. And that’s the real problem.

No matter what topic we’re interested in, there are always hundreds of quality blogs publishing entries every single day (or every other day). Not to mention all the forums, message boards, social news sites, and so on.

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The amount of epic content on the Internet these days is so big that it’s virtually impossible for us to digest it all. But we try anyway.

That’s when we feel overloaded. If you’re not careful, one day you’ll find yourself reading the 15th blog post in a row on some nice WordPress tweaking techniques because you feel that for some reason, “you need to know this.”

Information overload is a plague. There’s no vaccine, there’s no cure. The only thing you have is self-control.

Luckily, you’re not on your own. There are some tips you can follow to protect yourself from information overload and, ultimately, fight it.

But first, admit that information overload is really bad for you.

Why Information Overload Is Bad for You

Information overload stops you from taking action. That’s the biggest problem here.

When you try to consume more and more information every day, you start to notice that even though you’ve been reading tons of articles, watching tons of videos and listening to tons of podcasts, the stream of incoming information seems to be infinite.

Therefore, you convince yourself that you need to be on a constant lookout for new information if you want to be able to accomplish anything in your life, work and/or passion. The final result is that you are consuming way too much information, and taking way too little action because you don’t have enough time for it.

The belief that you need to be on this constant lookout for information is just not true.

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You don’t need every piece of advice possible to live your life, do your work or enjoy your passion.

How to Stop Information Overload (And Start to Achieve More)

So how to recognize the portion of information that you really need? Start with setting goals.

1. Set Your Goals

If you don’t have your goals put in place, you’ll be just running around grabbing every possible advice and thinking that it’s “just what you’ve been looking for.”

Setting goals is a much more profound task than just a way to get rid of information overload. Now by “goals” I don’t mean things like “get rich, have kids, and live a good life”. I mean something much more within your immediate grasp. Something that can be achieved in the near future — like within a month (or a year) at most.

Basically, something that you want to attract to your life, and you already have some plan on how you’re going to make it happen. So no hopes and dreams, just actionable, precise goals.

Then once you have your goals, they become a set of strategies and tactics you need to act upon.

2. Know What to Skip When Facing New Information

Once you have your goals, plans, strategies and tasks, you can use them to decide what information is really crucial.

First of all, if the information you’re about to read has nothing to do with your current goals and plans, then skip it. You don’t need it.

If it does, then ask yourself these questions:

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  • Will you be able to put this information into action immediately?
  • Does it have the potential to maybe alter your nearest actions/tasks?
  • Is it so incredible that you absolutely need to take action on it right away?

If the information is not actionable in a day or two, then skip it.

(You’ll forget about it anyway.)

And that’s basically it. Digest only what can be used immediately. If you have a task that you need to do, consume only the information necessary for getting this one task done, nothing more.

You need to be focused in order to have clear judgment, and be able to decide whether some piece of information is mandatory or redundant.

Self-control comes handy too. It’s quite easy to convince yourself that you really need something just because of poor self-control. Try to fight this temptation, and be as ruthless about it as possible – if the information is not matching your goals and plans, and you can’t take action on it in the near future, then SKIP IT.

3. Be Aware of the Minimal Effective Dose

There’s a thing called the MED – Minimal Effective Dose. I was first introduced to this idea by Tim Ferriss. In his book The 4-Hour BodyTim illustrates the minimal effective dose by talking about medical drugs.

Everybody knows that every pill has a MED, and after that specific dose, no other positive effects occur, only some negative side effects if you overdose big.

Consuming information is somewhat similar. You need just a precise amount of it to help you to achieve your goals and put your plans into life.

Everything more than that amount won’t improve your results any further. And if you try to consume too much of it, it will eventually stop you from taking any action altogether.

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4. Don’t Procrastinate by Consuming More Information

Probably one of the most common causes of consuming ridiculous amounts of information is the need to procrastinate. By reading yet another article, we often feel that we are indeed working, and that we’re doing something good – we’re learning, which in result will make us a more complete and educated person.

This is just self-deception. The truth is we’re simply procrastinating. We don’t feel like doing what really needs to be done – the important stuff – so instead we find something else, and convince ourselves that “that thing” is equally important. Which is just not true.

Don’t consume information just for the sake of it. It gets you nowhere.

The focus of this article is not on how to stop procrastinating, but if you’re having such issue, I recommend you read this:

Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

Summing It Up

As you can see, information overload can be a real problem and it can have a sever impact on your productivity and overall performance.

I know I have had my share of problems with it (and probably still have from time to time). But creating this simple set of rules helps me to fight it, and to keep my lizard brain from taking over.

I hope it helps you too, especially as we head into a new year with a new chance at setting ourselves up for success.

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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