Isn’t it irritating how when you work from home it’s so terribly easy to “waste” huge chunks of time every day: Time that should be spent engaged in some worthwhile activity designed to leave your mark on the world and/or save the planet – alright then, doing the ironing at the very least!
My mischievous Inner Imp Temptation’s got so many tricks up her sleeve, I have the devil’s own job resisting her sometimes, especially when Self-Discipline’s proving to be a little, well… undisciplined.
Before I know it, Temptation’s whittled away at my productivity to a point where my to-do list ends up looking more like a XXXX-I-should-a-done list.
Because I know only too well how easy it is to give in to this siren and let productivity slide, I thought I’d help you out here today with a list of top tips of things to avoid if you want to stay focussed and use your time effectively when you’re working at home. If we’re honest here, some of them are probably equally effective if you’re in an office.
Steer Clear of Social Media Sites
These guys are like red flags to Temptation’s bull.
Okay, I get that it’s SO much more fun sometimes to check out what your 14 year old niece is saying to her school chums but, in all honesty, it’s unlikely to be earth shatteringly important that she’s “not friends with Chloe anymore” or that you check out the photo of her “planking” in biology. You’ll also find yourself so addicted to finding out “what happened next” that you’ll be popping over for an update every few minutes if you’re not careful.
Log out of them.
Close all the windows for them on your PC and keep it for an appropriate time (if there ever is one!).
A good option is to allow yourself a specific time to check for a specific amount of time, e.g., 10 minutes with lunch. Have your Self-Discipline Imp limit you.
Again, this one’s a killer for Temptation and even worse if you get pop-ups or a “ping” when you receive one.
Checking emails has probably become such a habit for you that your Autonomy Imp has taken it into protective custody and you’re checking your emails every 10 minutes without even realising it.
Research shows that if Temptation manages to distract you into switching from what you should be concentrating on to something like email, you’ll need another 15-20 minutes to re-focus yourself on what you were originally doing. If you’re checking your email every hour, just calculate how much time you’re losing.
Go get another, more productive habit!
SMS Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere – or should that be Martini
Texting is a great way to communicate quickly with people but, you can have too much of a good thing.
That little ping will keep tormenting you every time it goes off.
You’ll try to ignore it, but it’ll be there.
Read me! Look at me! Open Me! Don’t you want to know what I say?
I’m important! The world will stop turning if you don’t check what I’ve got to say now!
You won’t be able to resist, you know you won’t – so don’t go there.
Too much texting can seriously damage your productivity so switch the XXXX tone or ping for an SMS message off during “focusing” moments and keep it for appropriate times.
Another productivity killer – and one of my archenemies if my Honesty Imp twists my arm enough for me to admit it!
A disorganised workplace/desk is an unproductive workplace/desk.
I’ve lost count of the amount of time I’ve wasted hunting for this or that lost thing. Everything should have a home and GO HOME after it’s been used/taken care of.
This really is one of life’s great myths.
Jumping around from one thing to another is not the most productive way to get things done. Keep a to-do list and “schedule” really important stuff. When it’s time to do something on the “important” schedule, switch off your phone, close all other windows on your PC, etc., and do just that one thing for the allotted time. You’ll be much more productive and less likely to make stupid errors/re-read something 10 times, etc.
Surfing the Net
You know the story. You start off full of good intentions to limit yourself to a quick, 5 minute update/check on something but then this miraculously morphs into a wasted two hours with nothing to show for your efforts.
Do yourself a favour and focus on what you really want to achieve.
Deciding to be productive is an easy thing to do. Achieving it somewhat harder.
Make use of some of these CANDo kick-ass tips and you’ll quickly bring forth the best in yourself.