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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

Kyle is the founder of Branding Beard. He writes about communication tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 11, 2019

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

How often do you feel overwhelmed and disorganized in life, whether at work or home? We all seem to struggle with time management in some area of our life; one of the most common phrases besides “I love you” is “I don’t have time”. Everyone suggests working from a to-do list to start getting your life more organized, but why do these lists also have a negative connotation to them?

Let’s say you have a strong desire to turn this situation around with all your good intentions—you may then take out a piece of paper and pen to start tackling this intangible mess with a to-do list. What usually happens, is that you either get so overwhelmed seeing everything on your list, which leaves you feeling worse than you did before, or you make the list but are completely stuck on how to execute it effectively.

To-do lists can work for you, but if you are not using them effectively, they can actually leave you feeling more disillusioned and stressed than you did before. Think of a filing system: the concept is good, but if you merely file papers away with no structure or system, the filing system will have an adverse effect. It’s the same with to-do lists—you can put one together, but if you don’t do it right, it is a fruitless exercise.

Why Some People Find That General To-Do Lists Don’t Work?

Most people find that general to-do lists don’t work because:

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  • They get so overwhelmed just by looking at all the things they need to do.
  • They don’t know how to prioritize the items on list.
  • They feel that they are continuously adding to their list but not reducing it.
  • There’s a sense of confusion seeing home tasks mixed with work tasks.

Benefits of Using a To-Do List

However, there are many advantages working from a to-do list:

  • You have clarity on what you need to get done.
  • You will feel less stressed because all your ‘to do’s are on paper and out of your mind.
  • It helps you to prioritize your actions.
  • You don’t overlook so many tasks and forget anything.
  • You feel more organized.
  • It helps you with planning.

4 Golden Rules to Make a To-Do List Work

Here are my golden rules for making a “to-do” list work:

1. Categorize

Studies have shown that your brain gets overwhelmed when it sees a list of 7 or 8 options; it wants to shut down.[1] For this reason, you need to work from different lists. Separate them into different categories and don’t have more than 7 or 8 tasks on each one.

It might work well for you to have a “project” list, a “follow-up” list, and a “don’t forget” list; you will know what will work best for you, as these titles will be different for everybody.

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2. Add Estimations

You don’t merely need to know what has to be done, but how long it will take as well in order to plan effectively.

Imagine on your list you have one task that will take 30 minutes, another that could take 1 hour, and another that could take 4 hours. You need to know the moment you look at the task, otherwise you undermine your planning, so add an extra column to your list and include your estimation of how long you think the task will take, and be realistic!

Tip: If you find it a challenge to estimate accurately, then start by building this skill on a daily basis. Estimate how long it will take to get ready, cook dinner, go for a walk, etc., and then compare this to the actual time it took you. You will start to get more accurate in your estimations.

3. Prioritize

To effectively select what you should work on, you need to take into consideration: priority, sequence and estimated time. Add another column to your list for priority. Divide your tasks into four categories:

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  • Important and urgent
  • Not urgent but important
  • Not important but urgent
  • Not important or urgent

You want to work on tasks that are urgent and important of course, but also, select some tasks that are important and not urgent. Why? Because these tasks are normally related to long-term goals, and when you only work on tasks that are urgent and important, you’ll feel like your day is spent putting out fires. You’ll end up neglecting other important areas which most often end up having negative consequences.

Most of your time should be spent on the first two categories.

4.  Review

To make this list work effectively for you, it needs to become a daily tool that you use to manage your time and you review it regularly. There is no point in only having the list to record everything that you need to do, but you don’t utilize it as part of your bigger time management plan.

For example: At the end of every week, review the list and use it to plan the week ahead. Select what you want to work on taking into consideration priority, time and sequence and then schedule these items into your calendar. Golden rule in planning: don’t schedule more than 75% of your time.

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Bottom Line

So grab a pen and paper and give yourself the gift of a calm and clear mind by unloading everything in there and onto a list as now, you have all the tools you need for it to work. Knowledge is useless unless it is applied—how badly do you want more time?

To your success!

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Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews via unsplash.com

Reference

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