Productivity tips for working from home. Everyone’s talking about it right now with the world coming to a halt due to Covid-19. So why have I decided to write about it today?
No matter if you’ve been told to work from home due to lockdown, or you just started a new remote job, working from home has its challenges. There’s no accountability of people looking over your shoulder, the temptation to run to the fridge every 5 minutes is all too real.
Below are my best productivity tips for working from home. After doing this for 8 years and now being a work from home mom (hello new challenges!), I think I’ve got some good advice for ya:
Tip #1: Put your phone on airplane mode
Or chuck it out of sight if you can’t resist the temptation to scroll. Nothing kills productivity like wasting time watching stories, or checking out the newest recipes pinned on Pinterest. Do yourself a favor and set clear boundaries around your phone time. I have the messaging app on my computer, so if there’s something urgent, or I need to message a team member quick, I just hop on there or on Slack to communicate.
Tip #2: Every Sunday night write down your primary, secondary and tertiary goals for the week
Wait, my what?! Yes, so bust out your favorite pen and notebook, and literally draw out 3 sections: Urgent, medium level urgency and lowest priority. Then, I want you to schedule those tasks that fall under the “urgent” or “primary focus” tasks, and schedule them in for days and times where YOU are most energized and productive. Unless there’s a specific, rushed deadline, think about spreading out your urgent tasks to only fall during hours where you KNOW you can get your best work done.
For example: I really suck at getting good work done in the afternoons. I’m tired, I’m achey, I’m distracted. So, if I have 3 urgent tasks for the week, I’m going to spread them out throughout the week, and make sure they’re scheduled for the morning! That way I’m able to put my best efforts and energy towards those tasks. I can get them done quicker and more efficiently too!
Once you write out those tasks and schedule them into your calendar, you’ll have SO much clarity around your week as well. This way, when it’s time to sit down and start cranking, you know EXACTLY what to work on, instead of wasting time trying to decide what to tackle first! Pssst…I have a time blocking spreadsheet in my shop that is the EXACT tool I use to block out my weeks! Check it out.
Tip #3: Time Block your days
Similar to what I said above, but getting into each 30 minute chunk of time throughout your days. Make sure you always know exactly what you need to tackle next. Yes, this can be flexible as your day unfolds, but there’s nothing like the nasty time suck of twiddling your thumbs and wondering what you should do next.
Schedule blocks of time for writing emails for a specific time and don’t go back and forth throughout the day. When it’s time to focus on painting, don’t allow yourself to bounce between tasks or “multitask”. I put this in quotations because there is no such thing as multitasking and being efficient and productive. Have that time blocking spreadsheet on hand or pulled up on your computer, so you always know what’s up next! I know it sounds simple, but imagine the minutes that are spent wondering what to do next! Those minutes reeeeally start to add up quick!
There you have it! My productivity tips for working from home! At the end of the day, it’s all about allowing yourself space to find a routine that works for you. We’re not all wired the same and we don’t all have the same lifestyle or challenges. Be flexible and most importantly, be gracious!