I’m sure you know what it’s like to be near the end of your work day and realize you haven’t done nearly half of what you intended to accomplish for the day.That’s why today I’m sharing 10 ways to stay focused and increase productivity working from home.
It takes a lot of self discipline to work from home with nobody telling you what you have to do and having the ability to just hit the snooze button as often as you want. I’ve been blogging for years and I still have times when I have to remind myself of what keeps me productive and stick to it. Thankfully this doesn’t happen as it used to in my earlier days, but it’s always a good idea to review what works!
These productivity ideas and tools will help trick your brain into focusing and being more productive. All ten of these are super important for you to accomplish your goals and stay productive EVERYDAY!
*This post may contain affiliate links.
10 Ways To Increase Productivity Working From Home
There are numerous things you most likely want to do in a day but there are some things that are surely more important than others and some can wait. Each day determine your top 3 priority tasks. You may have a lot of other things to do but make sure you know your most important tasks that need to get done for the day and – DO THEM FIRST! Even if it’s a task you dread doing but know has to get done, do it first and get it out of the way so you can get on with your day.
- Use a Planner
Using a planner actually ties in with the first strategy of prioritizing. You may have a planner already and if you do, just make sure you are listing those priority tasks first and actually doing them first.
A planner is one thing that will make such a BIG change to increase productivity working from home (or anywhere for that matter!). They are designed for productivity. I use my planner every day and it goes with me everywhere! I use it to plan my day the night before listing all tasks that need to get done the next day and record any important events and upcoming appointments. I also use it for any notes and life organizing in general! I use a paper planner since I like to check things off as I do them and I can’t get that same satisfaction with a digital planner. I love this life planner.
- 12 Week Year
At the end of each year many people and businesses come up with annual goals. There is a problem with this concept. What happens is, you know you have one whole year to reach a set goal and so you end up putting it off thinking you have so much time to reach your goal. Before you know it, you’re into summer and then the holidays without doing what you intended to do.
Annual goals are too broad and unfocused. Instead of using annual goals, I set my goals based on a 12 Week Year. When I read the book from Brian Moran, The 12 Week Year, it was like an AH-HA for me! I can now get more of the right things done to move me towards accomplishing my goals. It’s about creating tactical goals over 12 weeks so you could focus on a plan, adjusting each week to reach your goals in a shorter amount of time.
- Use a System To Manage Your Workflow and Projects
What do you use to organize and manage your projects? As a blogger, for my editorial calendar I use an online tool called Trello. It’s free to use and I refer to it often. I use it for a brain dump of ideas and also use it to manage my workflow so I know if a post is in progress or already published or scheduled. This keeps me working productively since I have everything organized and quick to access and know where I stand with a certain post or project. I also use Google drive for spreadsheets and writing out my posts.
Consider using Trello, Asana, Google drive, or anything that might work for you.
- Time Blocking
I love the concept of time blocking! What you do is block out your time in dedicated chunks of time, say 30-60 minutes each. During that time you focus on a particular task – just ONE. You don’t do anything else like browse through Facebook, check emails or anything else at all. After the focused time block you can then take a break and move on to the next block to complete another task or continue working on the last task if you need more time.
Time blocking will keep you super productive and actually increase productivity working from home. You’ll end up accomplishing more than you ever thought possible. You can even use this strategy in your personal life to get things done like laundry, house cleaning, and any other task.
- Minimize Distractions
There’s always something fighting for your attention and everything has a time and place but especially not when you’re working in a time block. Keep your phone on mute while you’re working, or better yet, keep it far away from where you are working. Social media is also another big distraction so get rid of notifications or log off of social media altogether while you are working in a time block. If you need Facebook to do your work but need to stop yourself from being distracted by the newsfeed, you can temporarily disable the news feed by using the ‘Kill News Feed’ extension. You will need to be working with the Chrome browser for this to work. Add this Good Chrome extension (Kill News Feed).
What else distracts you from your work? What can you intentionally do to minimize those distractions? For each one of us, this may vary slightly but for many it is the phone and social media.
The next four ways to stay focused and increase productivity working from home applies just for bloggers.
- Batch Blogging
As a blogger with so many different tasks to juggle it’s important to find a way to manage to do it all without driving yourself crazy jumping from task to task.
Batch blogging is simply doing similar tasks at one time. For example, Mondays you may just focus on writing blog posts, Tuesday creating images for your blog and social media, and Wednesdays for Editing and scheduling. This is just a brief example but I’m sure you get the point. This will help you stay focused and get things done in a timely manner.
The awesome thing with blogging is that you could automate some of your social media tasks. I don’t use it for Facebook but I know there are some wonderful tools out there that bloggers use such as Buffer or Post Planner. For automating your pinning on Pinterest, the most popular ones are Tailwind and Boardbooster. I’ve been using Boardbooster for awhile and it’s only $5 a month to start after the free trial.
- Take shortcuts
When I first started blogging wayyy back, I was eager to learn everything I could about blogging and spent hours and hours reading through blog posts and watching youtube videos. I could have saved myself a ton of hours if I had just invested a few dollars in a course or two. Eventually I did because I realized I could learn what I needed to learn in a complete package and no longer jump through hoops trying to figure everything out myself and essentially not work productively.
Take it from me and take a shortcut to learn what you need to succeed at blogging.
Here are some amazing products that I highly recommend:
- Building a Framework (very in depth course, best for brand new bloggers)
- Forever Funnels (my product on creating an effective sales funnel to make passive income)
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing (all about monetizing your blog with affiliate marketing)
- Hire help
Whether you are a brand new blogger or have been blogging for some time, it’s always a good idea to get some help with some of your tasks. You don’t have to hire an actual part-time employee. You could get someone to do a task for your quite inexpensively at Fivver. I often use Fivver to get stuff done such as graphic design, to fix any WordPress glitches, and clean up my site for faster loading. Are you stuck on a work task? Save yourself some time and stress and get someone on Fivver to quickly do it for you. Need to have your ebook checked for grammar or other errors. Fivver even has online proofreading jobs that could be done. Check the listings and you will find plenty of jobs that can be done.
Are you ready to get going and see how productive you could be working?
Implement some or all of these 10 ways to stay focused and increase productivity working from home. You will see a big difference almost immediately that you won’t even believe it!
What’s already working for you and what do you plan on doing to increase productivity working from home?