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7 Ways To Supercharge Your Productivity When You Work From Home

7 Ways To Supercharge Your Productivity When You Work From Home

With technology booming and gas prices rising, companies are allowing employees to work from home more and more. With this added perk, employees are taking on more responsibility to ensure they stay productive when they are out of the office.

Without the ability to walk across the hall and check on you, bosses often have higher expectations and expect tangible results. Therefore, employees working from home can improve productivity in a variety of ways to make sure they can meet this demand. Here are 7 ways to supercharge your productivity when you work from home.

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1. Create a space without distractions.

If you try working from home from your couch with the TV on, you’re going to struggle to stay productive. Ideally, create a home office without distractions of the TV, the kids, the dog, the spouse, and anything else that may be at home at the same time. If you don’t have a dedicated office, try to find a nice, quiet nook to settle down in your home. Small distractions can add up quickly and ruin productivity, so find a space that can keep you focused and ready to be productive.

2. Paint your home office in soothing colors.

Moss green, light orange, and warm grays can make a home office much more productive. And try to use a room with natural light and a warm feeling. The colors of your work environment matter, so do your research and find the mood you want to set to get the most done.

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3. Add Plants & Flowers to your home office.

Featuring plants and flowers in your home office can make a huge difference in your productivity at home. It will make the space feel more comfortable and put you in the right frame of mind to supercharge your productivity.

4. Schedule a time for lunch.

It’s easy to just head to lunch at odd times when working from home. Often, it’s possible to wait way too long to eat and end up eating much later than normal. Scheduling a time for lunch will make sure you’re out when your co-workers are because nothing is worse than getting a call right when you walk out the door. And when you eat at the correct time, you won’t crave food and snack all day, which can limit productivity. Each time you get up and head to the kitchen for a snack, you lose focus.

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5. Give your eyes a rest.

Find a time to get away from the computer, especially if you eat lunch while working. Take a portion of your lunch break and take a stroll around the block or do something around the house. Limit these activities to a certain timeframe, but giving your eyes a break from the computer can help you recharge and stay productive.

6. Create a comprehensive to-do list.

While creating a to-do list is always a great strategy, when working from home it’s even more vital. It’s easy to get distracted and lose focus when you’re in your house. Make a comprehensive to-do list with times you want things done by will ensure you stay productive all day.

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7. Check in with your co-workers & boss proactively.

Nothing can make working from home more unproductive than meddling co-workers. Take a proactive approach and make contact first. It will show that you’re in the groove and there’s nothing distracting you from home. If you send your agenda out in advance, your team will be much more less likely to check-in at an inopportune time and ensure that you can stay productive throughout the entire day.

By utilizing these tips while working from home, you can make your home work office even more productive than going to work!

Featured photo credit: Jaap Stronks via flickr.com

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Kyle Robbins

Founder, BrandingBeard.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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