If you work from home, then you probably understand the struggle of productivity. You have an entire day in front of you that's full of both things you want to do and things you have to do. You also have distractions. The laundry is only a few steps away, staring you in the face. Those running shoes are suggesting that you haven't hit the pavement in weeks. Getting work done can be a challenge in this environment. How do you master it to become more productive? Here are five hacks to get you going.
Download productivity software
There are several good companies out there that make software to brick up your computer so you can get writing done during the day. Cold Turkey is an excellent option for writers, while options several browser extensions can block social media sites for those who fall prey to those distractions. Don't be afraid to use these tools to control your environment. Nothing feels worse than wasting an entire day fidgeting with the distractions of social media.
Create a dedicated office full of things that motivate you
Every person is different when it comes to motivation. Science shows, however, that people are motivated more by their feelings than by anything else. For writers, you may be motivated to knock out two chapters of your book after seeing a news report that suggests the need for that book. Stock traders may be motivated to work harder by seeing images of their future vacation home. Find what motivates you and fill your office space with those things.
Work in strategic breaks
Most people are productive when they're facing a deadline. If they know they have the entire day to get something done, they will naturally put that thing off. When they're confronted with a set deadline, they can get much more work done. This tendency makes it important to manufacture deadlines for yourself. Plan things throughout the day that you must do outside of the workplace, to create little barriers that you'll work against, thereby increasing your productivity in those moments that lead up to whatever you have planned.
The benefit of mindless music
It's almost impossible to get work done when you're focusing on a television show or listening to a podcast. Think of these things not as distractions, but as separate activities that should have all of your time. When you're working, you should enlist the help of mindless music. Most people can work with background music going as long as that music soft. While this doesn't mean you have to go out and purchase classical records, you should find something that doesn't engage your mind.
Set daily goals with actual rewards
Traditional workplaces reward people for hitting various targets. Just because you work from home should not mean you lose the benefit of this productivity tool. Don't just set out each day to work as much as you can. Figure out an amount of work that's both aggressive and attainable. When you hit that mark, reward yourself with an experience or even a purchase you've wanted to make. It's easier to muster the will to work when you know a good steak dinner is awaiting you at the end of the day or week.
Productivity can be a challenge when you're working from home. It's important to construct an environment that minimizes distractions and offers rewards. These productivity hacks can help you turn a home office into a place where you get stuff done.