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How To Get More Out Of Your Working Day

How To Get More Out Of Your Working Day

    I’ve been my own boss and worked at home for many years. Trouble is, I have to kick myself in my own butt occasionally if I’ve been procrastinating and not getting the jobs done. That’s a mental picture I don’t want to formulate very often. Getting yourself and your office organized so you can go to an item, or location in your office even if blindfolded (not recommended but offered up only as imagery to help you focus), will help you operate at peak efficiency.

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    I’ve divided some tips into useful (hopefully to you!) packets of info that will lead you into what can be the nirvana of owning your own at-home business.

    Get Organized – Get The Right Software

    Below is the software that I find to be particularly effective. I’m a PC user so all this software can be used on PC and most of it on Mac as well, where it can’ be used on Mac I have supplied a Mac alternative.

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    1. Skype — This software allows me to speak with anyone, anywhere in the world for free if they also have Skype and at a very reduced if they don’t. International news organizations use this a lot now. You can download it for free. For videoconferencing you’ll need a camera that will operate through an Internet connection.
    2. Pamela — This is a Skype add-on, besides myself over 4 million people use it. You can record all your important conversations – its easier than taking notes. A voice recorder like this can create a message, and be a reminder for important dates such as anniversaries.
    3. SnagIt — I love using this as you can capture screen shots and add captions. If you have your own website this software is a must. Share this with a collaborator and your presentations to clients will be superb!
    4. Google Calendar — This is a great tool from that uber-search engine Google. It enables me to grab calendar info from any computer, anywhere.
    5. RoboForm — This program has been a life saver for me. It stores passwords and important info like usernames so you can enter a password protected websites on the click of a button. Much better than using your email program or address book to store this info because its password protected and a USB version exists for people who travel.
    6. Google Documents — Allows me to share documents anywhere and on any computer with an Internet connection and its free.
    7. Carbonite — Not a weapon from Star Trek but a backup for your important stuff on a server that’s secure, and away from your computer. It runs in the background automatically saves your data via encryption on another server. I have not suffered a computer meltdown to put it to the test yet but I do know that it does not slow down my PC while its running.

    Keep Energized

    Working around laptops, desktops, smart phones and the like can be more tiring that many people can imagine. Here are some tips I use to keep productive by keeping my energy levels high.

    1. I stick to healthy snacks, preferring fruit and vegetables to cakes and biscuits. Its easy to skip meals when working from home, I always take my meal breaks. If you eat healthy and don’t make yourself overly full, then you will be able to get the most from your working day.

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    2. I Keep a bottle of water handy all day. Being hydrated makes me feel less sleepy, and I always drink some water around thirty minutes after I get up, even if I have coffee.

    3. I try and stretch and take a walk and a few deep breaths, outside as much as possible, I find that this makes my energy last longer.

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    I’ve incorporated all of these tips into my home office life and business over the years and I can say that they have all contributed to my productivity. Passing them along to others is a way of saying thanks to people who have helped me along the way. I love doing business at home, and making a good life for myself and my family — follow my tips so you can get more out of your working day .

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    Last Updated on March 31, 2020

    Why Do I Procrastinate? 5 Root Causes & How To Tackle Them

    Why Do I Procrastinate? 5 Root Causes & How To Tackle Them

    Procrastination is something many people can relate to and I, myself, have been there and done that. Yes, I write all about productivity now, but when I first started out on my career path, I would often put off work I didn’t want to do. And most of the time I didn’t even realize I was doing it.

    So what changed?

    I thought to myself, “why do I procrastinate?” And I started to read a lot of books on productivity, learning a great deal and shifting my mind to the reasons why people procrastinate.

    My understanding brought me a new perspective on how to put an end to the action of procrastination.

    Procrastination slows your goals and dreams way down. It can create stress and feelings of frustration. It rears its ugly head on a regular basis for a lot of people. This is particularly apparent at work with day-to-day projects and tasks.

    But, why do people self-sabotage in this way? Essentially, there are 5 reasons behind procrastination. See if you can identify with any of these in your own work life.

    1. The Perfectionist’s Fear

    Procrastination is sometimes a subconscious fear of failure.

    If you put off a task enough, then you can’t face up to the potential (and usually imagined) negative results. If you’re a stickler for minor details, the stress of getting things ‘just right’ may be too much and cause you to delay continuing the task.

    Either way, fear is at the root cause and can sabotage your desire to move forward.

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    How to Tackle It?

    Try visualizing the completion of your task in a positive way.

    For example, you have a presentation that your boss wants you to conduct for a potential client. Visualize yourself standing in the meeting room confident, meeting the eyes of the client and seeing them light up as you explain the concept simply and concisely.

    Imagine your boss telling you how great you did and you were the best person for the job. Think about how it would feel to you and focus on this as you move forward with the task.

    2. A Dreamer’s Lack of Action

    This is a person who is highly creative and has many brilliant ideas but can’t quite seem to bring them to fruition.

    The main reason for this is because there’s usually no structure or goal setting involved once the idea has been created. This aimless approach ends up manifesting as a lack of decision-making and significant delays on a project.

    How to Tackle It?

    Write down a timeline of what you want to achieve and by when. Ideally, do this daily to keep yourself on track and accountable for progression. Creative minds tend to jump from one idea to the next, so cultivating focus is essential.

    If you’re designing and creating a new product at work, set out a task list for the week ahead with the steps you want to focus on each day. Doing this ahead of time will stop your mind from wandering across to different ideas.

    Learn about how to plan your time and take actions from some of the successful people: 8 Ways Highly Successful People Plan Their Time

    3. An Overwhelmed Avoider

    This is one of the most common reasons for procrastination; the sheer overwhelm of a daunting task.

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    The complexity of a task can cause the brain to lose motivation and avoid doing it altogether choosing instead to stay in its comfort zone.

    The search then starts for a more enjoyable task and the harder tasks are put off. This can cause stress and dread when the task inevitably comes up to be completed.

    How to Tackle It?

    Break the challenge down into smaller tasks and tackle each one individually.

    For example, if you have a project that has technical elements to it that you know you’ll find challenging, list each step you need to take in order to complete these difficult elements. Think of ways you can resolve potential hurdles. Perhaps you have a coworker that may have time to help or even consider that the solution may be easier than you initially think. Put each task in order of most daunting to least daunting. Ideally, try to deal with the more challenging parts of each task in the morning so that momentum is created as the tasks get easier through the day.

    A reward system will also help you stay motivated so, once completed, you can enjoy your treat of choice.

    If you want to know how to better handle your feelings and stay motivated, take a look at my other article: Procrastination Is a Matter of Emotion, Here’s How to Stop It

    4. The Busy Bee Who Lacks Prioritization

    Either you have too many tasks or don’t truly acknowledge the differing importance of each task. The result? Getting nothing done.

    Time is spent switching constantly from one task to another or spending too much time deciding what to do.

    How to Tackle It?

    It’s all about priorities and choosing important tasks over urgent ones.

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    Make sure to question the value and purpose of each task and make a list in order of importance.

    For example, throughout your work day, you can waste a lot of time dealing with ‘urgent’ emails from colleagues but, you need to ask yourself if these are more important than working on a task that will affect, say, several office projects at once.

    Help yourself to prioritize and set a goal of working through your list over the next few hours reassessing the situation once the time is up.

    In my other article, I talk about an effective way to prioritze and achieve more in less time: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

    5. The One with Shiny Object Syndrome (Distraction-Prone)

    This is another common cause for procrastination; just simple distraction.

    Our brains aren’t wired to focus for long periods of time and it looks for something else. So throw in a bunch of colleagues equally looking for distractions or checking your phone mindlessly, and you’ve got a recipe for ultimate procrastination.

    However, this type of procrastination may not always be an unconscious decision to sabotage and put off work. It’s simply a result of your work setup or types of coworkers you have. Only you know the answer to that.

    How to Tackle It?

    Be mindful of your workspace and potential distractions. Schedule a specific time to converse with your coworkers, put headphones on to minimize listening to what’s going on around you, and switch your phone off.

    Aim to do this for 20-30 minutes at a time and then take a break. This will be a much more efficient way of working and getting what you need done. This is also why scheduling down time is so important for productivity.

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    Whether this type of procrastination is self-sabotage or being a victim of a distracting environment, either way you can take control.

    If you need a little more guidance on how to stay focus, this guide can help you: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

    Bottom Line

    I’m going to be bold and assume you identified with at least one of these procrastination pitfalls.

    You could be trapped in the endless cycle of procrastination like I was, that is, until I decided to find out my why behind putting off tasks and projects. It was only then that I could implement strategies and move forward in a positive and productive way.

    I killed the procrastination monster and so can you. I now complete my tasks more efficiently and completely killed that feeling of stress and falling behind with work that procrastination brings.

    I know it’s not easy to stop procrastinating right away, so I also have this complete guide to help you stop it once and for all: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

    Featured photo credit: Luke Chesser via unsplash.com

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