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If you’re working from home, then your ability to get lots done and stay on task is going to have a huge, direct impact on your lifestyle and happiness. Finish early and you have the option to simply head downstairs, make a cup of coffee and start relaxing! There’s no commute, no boss looking over your shoulder, and no requirement to work set hours (so long as the work gets done). Heck, you could even put that extra time to good use by starting a side project, further developing your skills, etc.
Then there’s the fact that working from home can mean working in your perfect work environment, near to the people you love, and with the freedom to come and go as you please – or even to completely change your work hours!
But if you don’t have the discipline and motivation to actually get work done, then it can be a completely different story. Now you’re more likely to find the experience highly stressful and overwhelming: you might well find yourself with a huge list of tasks that you have no idea how to tackle. The line between downtime and work might have become blurred, and you might be constantly working late, forgetting to shave, and generally failing to maintain a work-life balance.
Read on and you’ll discover 21 productivity tips, hacks, and ideas that can make a huge difference. They have been organized into categories for your convenience!
1. Eat the Frog
Eating the frog is an expression that comes from a Mark Twain quote: “If it is your job to eat a frog, then you should do that first thing in the morning. If it is your job to eat two frogs, then you should eat the biggest, ugliest one first.” What this tells us, is that it is sensible to tackle the biggest and most difficult project first. By doing that, you make sure that you have provided the maximum value each day, and you do the hardest work while you have the most energy and resolve.
Kaizen is a Japanese term that comes from the country’s manufacturing industry. This term refers to the process of making lots of tiny changes to a process, in order to see a large cumulative benefit over time.
For example, if your computer currently take 5 minutes to boot up, and you start it up twice a day, that means you’re losing 10 minutes of productive time daily. Either you could use that time to do something else (make a call for instance), or you could upgrade your computer. Either way, you might now only spend 2 minutes booting up.
That’s now reduced your wasted time from 50 minutes a week (200 minutes per month) to 14 minutes per week (56 minutes per month). That’s a gigantic difference. Changing the order you complete tasks can have a similar impact.
3. The One Minute Rule
This rule states that we should always complete tasks immediately if they will take less than one minute. This removes them from our mind, meaning that they aren’t hanging over us and causing stress.
4. The 80/20 Law
The 80/20 law tells us that 80% of your yield will come from 20% of your work. The key to being as effective as possible then, is to identify that crucial 20% that is going to result in the most profit.
The Pomodoro technique is a technique that involves setting timers for when to work and when to take a break. This structured approach ensures you get a break (removing the urge to procrastinate) but allows you to carefully define when and for how long.
RescueTime is an app that you can use in order to monitor just how much time you spend on each task during the day. They say that “that which is monitored, improves.” In other words, when you see where your time is actually going, you will be given greater control over how to spend said time.
Todoist is a to do app. This app makes it very easy to create new tasks thanks to a powerful natural language engine: you can make the tasks by speaking just as your normally would! It also offers a lot of integration with other powerful apps and tools.
8. Apple Watch
An Apple Watch is a surprisingly powerful tool for productivity. Not only does it allow you to get notifications on your wrist (meaning your phone can stay firmly in your pocket), but it can even let you add todo items and more to your wrist, making sure that they are always easily accessible.
Described by some as a “second brain,” Notion is an extremely powerful note-taking app that lets you create web pages, tables, lists, embedded images and videos, and MUCH more. It’s extremely flexible and easy to use, and essentially it can adapt to however you wish to use it.
Freedom is an app that will allow you to block specific apps and websites on your computer. This is powerful stuff for those who find themselves distracted by Facebook or other websites when they’re meant to be working!
Get More Done by Typing Faster
In the digital age, a lot of what we consider 'productivity' happens on the computer. Being productive tends to mean writing e-mails, filling in data entry and writing copy. In all these cases, typing is our main form of 'output' and that means we will always be limited by the speed at which we can type when it comes to productivity.
Learn to type at the speed of thought then and in theory you could drastically upgrade your productivity and complete a lot more work in a day. Read on and we will look at how you can learn to type faster.