With the extended lockdown across Australia, many of us are yet again, working from home. Whilst working from home offers a range of benefits, it also comes with many distractions making it increasingly hard to concentrate. So we’ve put together six of the best productivity hacks to help you out:
1. If working from home, get dressed
Believe it or not, getting dressed for the day can help you improve productivity when working from home. According to workplace expert Mason Donovan, getting dressed makes you feel more determined to get your work done as it provides a visual and physical distinction. You recognise that you’re ready for work, rather than ready to relax at home. As enjoyable as working in your pyjamas sounds, it's time to get up and get dressed into something that makes you feel more professional.
For some people, all it takes is some normal clothing to feel more motivated and productive. For others, you could wear business clothing or what you might typically wear to the office. It's such a great mental stimulator to force you into a working zone.
2. Have clear goals and priorities
Set yourself clear daily and weekly goals to help you identify the one key task you have to do today, in order to achieve your long-term goals. Our CEO - Shivani Gopal - puts things perfectly with this quote:
"Our brain doesn’t do two tasks simultaneously, instead, it rapidly switches focus and energy to each task. This is fine for doing simple and habitual things, but not for hard tasks. The constant switching drains precious energy and focus, whilst building up attention residue when we’re juggling difficult and complex tasks. In short, we’re at a huge disadvantage because we can’t do our best work.”
As such, you need to focus on one task that will help you achieve an overall goal. Take things one day at a time; set a goal for the day, then break that goal down into single tasks that you can complete in a row. It makes you far more productive as you can focus on one thing at a time while seeing yourself progress towards an endpoint. Each daily goal moves you a step closer to a weekly goal, and weekly goals to monthly ones, etc.
3. Apply the 80/20 rule
The 80/20 rule is also known as the Pareto Principle, and it is one of the most popular productivity hacks of the modern age. In essence, it revolves around the concept that 80% of outcomes result from 20% of all causes for any given event. From a working-from-home sense, it's about finding the tasks you can do that are the most productive to help you reach your outcomes.
For example, what can you do to help you get closer to your goals? It's all about finding the important work and ignoring the little things that don't really make a contribution to the overall outcome.
If you'd like more info and help on the 80/20 rule, we've got a great blog that provides a deep dive into it right here.
4. Use the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The basics behind the technique are that you break your work down into intervals, rather than doing a massive chunk in one go. It typically looks something like this:
- Create a to-do list of tasks
- Set a timer for 25 minutes and work on one task until it rings
- When the timer goes, mark off one Pomodoro and make a note of what you completed
- Take a five-minute break to stretch and decompress
- After you've marked down four Pomodoros, take a longer break of 15-30 minutes
The concept is that you work hard and keep a sharp focus for 25 minutes before giving your mind and body a short break. It helps to narrow down your concentration and get you working more efficiently.
5. Create a motivational swipe file
Mostly, your lack of productivity comes from a lack of motivation when working from home. One way to combat this is with a motivational swipe file. Effectively, this is a file that includes as many inspirational stories and quotes as possible, giving you the boost you need to feel motivated and work hard. It's a brilliant way to re-centre your focus and remind yourself that you can get through the hurdles and be better for it.
If you want a step-by-step breakdown of how to create your own motivational swipe file, we have the perfect guide for you here.
6. Take regular breaks
As demonstrated in the Pomodoro technique, regular breaks are necessary to optimise productivity levels at work. If you keep working for too long, you start burning yourself out. Think of your body and mind as a car engine. If you keep your car running all day long, the engine will eventually run out of fuel and the car will come to a standing stop. You need to park up once in a while and take time to refuel.
The same goes for your mind when you work; it needs little breaks to recharge and refocus. Staring at a screen for 7 hours straight is not going to be good for you, so take regular breaks to go for a walk, have a little stretch, eat well and take care of yourself. Walking and stretching are crucial as they help you get out of the seated posture and prevent aches and pains. Sitting down for extended periods creates a lot of physical tension and stress, which distracts you from your work. Regular breaks can prevent this, keeping you focused.
Our Signature Membership has several resources that will help you stay on task and give you the goals you need to achieve your overall personal and professional goals. We have all the content to help you grow your career, business and yourself personally. Our events cover every aspect of how to achieve our life goals and develop the perfect work-life balance. If you want to join the Signature Membership and unlock access to all of this exclusive content, courses and event 1:1 mentoring to give you an extra hand, click here to sign up today.