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Working At Home – Best Productivity Tips

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It can sometimes be a bit tricky to manage several things at once without feeling the urge to stray away, especially when you are working in the comfort of your own home. I myself know from experience that my mind sometimes goes elsewhere, and before I know it I’m looking at cat memes when I’m meant to be knuckling down. It is important that you keep your mind stimulated but also try not to get too distracted from what you’re supposed to be doing. Here we take a closer look at some of the things you need to be bearing in mind when keeping busy.

1. Make Notes

Just like your average nine to five job you need something to be able to reference if you find yourself drifting in and out of your work rhythm. I’m always referencing all the little notes I’ve made for each project. Not only that but when you are surrounded by colleagues they may be able to prompt you if you get stuck with something, and the same can’t be said if you are home alone. I’d like to think I’ve got a pretty good memory, but I still wouldn’t trust myself without any key points. The more notes you have around you, the more likely you are to remember certain things and get those cogs turning again. There are a few good programs out there that can aid you, from time management tools such as Toggl, to note and memo board applications such as Evernote.

2. Have Breaks

You may very well be a hard worker that gets quite a lot done in a day, but you are still human. There is only so much a brain can handle in one sitting, depending on your level of intellect. I can usually handle a fair amount of work but I know when enough is enough. Generally speaking, if you spend too much time on the one project your mind will start to doubt itself which could lead to bad times. Just have a cup of tea and a biscuit, or have a quick lie down. I certainly wouldn’t want to compromise myself. Just as long as the work is getting done you need not threat. Breaks should be taken in moderation however as you may find yourself taking more time having breaks than you do focusing on actual work.

3. Get Inspired

Depending on the work you do, you may or may not feel passionate about it. In any case it is highly suggested that you read up a little on some of the tasks you do. I’m a huge fan of the job I do, and take a lot of pride in learning as much as I can about it. Doing this can help to pinpoint anything that you may be doing wrong, or what you could improve on. It may also help you to understand your role better and give you peace of mind. There are sites all over the web that can provide you with plenty of useful and up to date articles and guides on the role that you have. I personally like to use Pro Blogger and the writing section on PR Daily. You could also learn a lesson or two from your competitors. It’s one thing to do a job, but it’s another to fully understand it.

4. Take It Steady

Jobs on the whole can be a rather stressful thing if you’re not careful, and even more so when you work alone. I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve gone a bit loopy while working. Depending on the job you do you may be expected to reach deadlines and work your backside to the bone, but with any luck you would be the one taking charge. With my particular title I have the freedom to choose my workload and arrange it in a way that suits me. Knowing how hard to push yourself is a fine line in any environment, so make sure you are not doing too much but still doing enough to keep things rolling. The last thing you want it to suddenly have a breakdown and curl up in the corner with nothing but a tub of ice cream. I’ve done similar things in the past.

Conclusion

For the most part all you need is the power of common sense to combat most of the more obvious problems, but there is no shame in admitting your struggles. I’ve never been ashamed of turning around and saying “I’m completely stuck, please help!” in times of desperate need. Keeping on the straight and narrow when working from home is an art and learning it is not a quick lesson. For me it didn’t take so long but I know others that are still cracking the code as we speak. Just as long as you have will power, patience and drive you should be absolutely golden.

By On July 17, 2013

  1. I was waiting for the ‘holier than thou’ bit, but it never came; what a very pleasant surprise, Amber, thank you.

    Great advice and certainly aspects I can identify with.

    Two things I find especially useful and have really helped me get to grips with working at home:
    1. Chrome app: StayFocusd – it’s not like other site blockers as it allows you to allow x amount of time for specific sites, but when your allocation’s done, that’s it for the day.

    2. my Editorial Calendar (used in conjunction with Toggl Desktop, obviously). Not only does an Editorial Calendar remind you what you’ve got to do and help you plan, but if you ‘save as week #’, it’s a great way to pull the info through into a ready-made invoice.

    A good one can take time to set up and the info pull-through is only worth doing for ongoing contracts, but they’re well worth the effort.

    Thanks for sharing your insight, Amber. Greatly appreciated.

  2. I would add that paper is a completely legitimate way of keeping notes. I have a notepad for random brainstorming and a day planner where I keep track of things I need to do each day. I find it helps keep me productive if I can just make a note to look into something later, rather than feeling like I need to take action on it immediately. I’ve never been able to find software that’s as quick and easy as a pen and paper for this purpose.

    Also, setting limits for how late in the day you’ll work, or whether you’ll work on weekends, can be helpful. I’ve found that when you work from home, it’s really easy to work *all the time* so I make sure to stop working at least an hour before bedtime. I also try to have non-computer projects (usually home improvement) to do in the evenings to keep me from ODing on work.

  3. “Just as long as the work is getting done you need not threat.”

    I’m no wordsmith, but isn’t the phase “you need not fret”?.