Whether you’re working from home, a studio or a co-working space, there are times when you feel like you’re not getting as much done as you could.
Although you’ve been sat in front of your computer for hours, your ‘to do’ list doesn’t seem to be getting any shorter. You’ve got a ton of deadlines coming up and so you’re starting to get worried; working extra hours, burning the candle at both ends and skipping breaks to try to catch up somehow.
But there is a better way.
Apply a few proven productivity techniques to your workday and you can get it all done without needing to sacrifice sleep, your social life or your sanity. Below are ten tips that can help.
1. Track your time
Give your productivity an instant boost by tracking your time.
You’ll be surprised to learn how much time you actually spend working on the core of your business, compared to how much time you’re spending on social media or getting distracted by other things. Tools like Clockify and Toggl are great tools that can help.
2. Manage your email better
Most of us spend far too much time dealing with our emails which would be better spent concentrating on the most important aspects of our business. Those constant notifications can be distracting and cause you to shift your focus from what you need to get done.
Overcome this by turning off notifications, adding folders to help you stay organised and clear your inbox. It’s also worth following the advice of ‘4 Hour Work Week’ by author Tim Ferris and limiting your email to certain periods during the day.
3. Do a Pomodoro
Break free from procrastination and get into a flow state faster by using a productivity technique called Pomodoro. This involves working in a focused way for 25 minutes then allowing yourself five minutes to take a short break, then repeating as many times as necessary.
It’s a great way to break those longer, overwhelming tasks into smaller chunks and you’ll be surprised at how much you can achieve in this short time.
4. Take a break
Instead of sitting for hours at your desk and struggling to stay motivated and creative, make sure you allow yourself regular breaks. These will help keep your brain fresh, give you more energy and allow you to focus better on the task at hand.
Set scheduled break times and lunch times for yourself and then stick to them.
5. Get rid of distractions
Distractions are your enemy, especially when you’re working from home. They can come in many shapes and sizes including the ping of email notifications, the dog barking next door, your partner or kids interrupting you and even too much clutter at your desk.
Become aware of what distracts you the most then work out how to eliminate them.
6. Set a working schedule
Building your working day around a solid schedule will help you to make the most of your time and help ensure that you can be as focused at you need to.
Start by thinking about your daily obligations, such as whether you need to take the kids to school or take the dog for a walk. Then consider what tasks you need to complete and when you find these easiest to achieve.
Use these factors to build a schedule that builds on your strengths and helps you achieve greater success.
7. Get moving
Sitting in front of a desk all day leaves us feeling sluggish, tired, lazy and altogether ‘yuck’ so try to get up, move around and stay active as much as possible. Pop to get yourself a cup of tea, take a walk outside to stretch your legs or even start or end your day with some exercise.
This will also flood your brain with oxygen, increase those feel-good hormones and give you a well-deserved boost of energy.
8. Tidy up once a week
You’ll feel much more positive, motivated and ready for the week ahead if you find time every week for a quick clean up.
Get rid of old papers, file everything away and put anything you don’t need into the recycling. The same goes for those old computer files - upload them to the cloud and get them off your desktop. Then organise your calendar, sort out your invoices and solve any other admin tasks so you can stay on top of it all.
9. Plan your day beforehand
Stay organised and get your tasks completed more quickly by deciding your most important tasks for the day ahead. Focus on three then write them down, adding how much time you estimate each will take.
Getting enough rest is the secret sauce that can help you stay productive throughout the day. By prioritising sleep and making sure that you’re getting at least 7-8 hours per night, you’ll feel more mentally sharp, focused, and creative and you’ll get more done.
Everyone can significantly increase their productivity and stop wasting time on unimportant tasks by learning a few tricks of the trade.
By optimising breaks and sleep, working in chunks, focusing on your most important tasks, staying organised and sticking to a schedule, you can boost your output and meet those deadlines without stress.
To learn more about how we can support you to grow your online business, please contact us today.