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If You Work From Home, You Need These 5 Tips To Boost Your Productivity

If You Work From Home, You Need These 5 Tips To Boost Your Productivity
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Working from home was not as I thought it would be. I started blogging almost a year ago and I have learned quite a bit.

If you want to be prepared to work from home you will have to be prepared to lose the crowd. Prepare to be isolated and to be out of the social life of the workplace (for at least 5-8 straight hours a day).

However, everyone has their own working time and different personal experience, but what I’ve learned is that some things steal our full potential. They are so small that we don’t notice them, and yet they take a lot of our time.

If you work from home, the next five tips to boost your productivity will help you execute your tasks by 100 percent.

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1. Prepare to be a bit isolated.

As I previously mentioned, accepting your isolation will boost your productivity big time!

Being isolated and accepting it can make a difference in how you deal with it. When I started blogging, I thought I would be able to see my friends all day, call them to give me company, go out and have fun as I did, unfortunately that was all one big fat lie. Working from home is being isolated at least 5-8 hours a day. It’s not like we are going on a deserted island and we need to be alone for the rest of our lives, but we are going to be alone most of the time.

To be honest, I found deep peace while I am alone on my computer every day, and that helped me chase my vision. Although I am more of an extrovert, blogging helped bridge that gap and find a balance between my isolation and extroversion.

2. Coffee helps

It’s not strange that in every movie, all the computer geeks come along with a cup of coffee. Coffee and working from home seem to go hand in hand.

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As scientists claim that coffee is healthy if we drink one up to two cups, this rule has no meaning for home-preneurs.

My own experience with coffee is 2-3 cups a day, and I am not coffee addict type of a guy.

A computer radiates positive ions which mean that it drains our energy and makes us tired just by staring at it. People that work from home need coffee. Period.

3. Have a written plan (I use Momentum app)

Before six months I was sheep in the big city. I was lost all over. I was doing one thing in the middle of another and I wasn’t executing anything. All the tasks I did, at the end of the day, were half-finished and I was nervous all the time.

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I started writing in the notes section what should I do the first second I wake up, until the last second I am finished with working. Not that it only helped me execute all my tasks, but I was finishing my work one hour earlier which gave me an extra for work.

A month ago, I discovered Momentum app. It’s a “new tab” application where you can add your to-do lists; your goal for the day and you can see different backgrounds and different motivational quotes every day. You can check this app at google store.

4. Close all unnecessary tabs

If something helped me focus on my tasks, it was closing all the unnecessary tabs.

First I had opened like 20 tabs that I didn’t even need for the rest of the day. I had one picture opened on Pinterest, checked mail tabs, Facebook comment tab, Quora answered question tab and ten more. They only made it hard for me to find the one tab I was working on and from time to time I was stopping by on the tabs just to stare at them. The most unproductive work I’ve done.

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Close all the unnecessary tabs and you will narrow your focus on the actual work.

5. Phone on silent

I was so harsh, that I sold my phone away just to be without it. I sold my phone since it distracted me for about 2-3 hours a day with twitter notifications, Facebook notifications, calls, messages, WhatsApp, Viber, foursquare and Snapchat.

You don’t have to be so harsh, but the least you can do is put it on silent and put it away. If you have to work you work. Phone needs to be away and you need to force your full potential.

If you follow the five tips above, I guarantee you a 100% more productivity.

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Featured photo credit: My via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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