5 Productivity Tips to Work from Home [Get More Done!]

These productivity hacks will help you get more done in less time while you’re working at home

You’ve started working at home. Whether it’s taking your traditional job home or starting your own work from home business, you’re excited and get up every morning amazed at how easy this is…

And then the first week passes.

After seven years working from home, both as a freelancer and on my own online businesses, I know too well the roller coaster of enthusiasm and motivation. You start strong but those distractions and bad habits start adding up.

It starts with taking a little more time at breakfast or reading the news before you sit down to work. Maybe you start getting up a few more times each day…hey, everyone needs to eat, drink water, go to the bathroom, look out the window [fill in the blank with about 100 different reasons to step away from your desk].

Pretty soon, you’re getting less than half of your work done. Your business isn’t growing or your boss is second-guessing the decision to let you work from home a few days of the week.

Worse though is the feeling. You spend the day worried that you’re procrastinating too much. Then you spend the night hating yourself that you didn’t get anything done.

Yeah…been there!

Now with the kids running around the house for many of us, we definitely need a reset. We need a way to get back to getting things done. We need to be more productive!

What All Work at Home Productivity Tips Have in Common

Fortunately, being more productive in your work at home job doesn’t mean you have to become some super-worker. The most productive people aren’t that way for any god-given talent or super-focused mind. They just use a handful of productivity hacks to keep them on schedule and making progress.

Reading through the five work-from-home productivity tips below, pay attention to what they have in common.

  • Understanding what work is important. In any job, there are routine tasks and then there are the projects and tasks that really move the needle. Focus on the big, important stuff first before worrying about the little tasks.
  • You don’t have to be disciplined. Instead of relying on your own self-discipline to get more done [what does that even mean anyway?], set rules for what you’re going to do and at what time.
  • Just get started! Even if you only have 5 minutes, you can get something done. The trick is to get your butt in that chair and get started.

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How to Work from Home without Distractions
How to Work from Home without Distractions

Deep Work First

I’ve read about the concept of ‘deep’ vs ‘shallow’ work in a few books but really it just comes down to the important work that grows your business versus all the other stuff.

Think about everything you do from projects to the routine tasks like answering emails. List all these out and estimate how much time you spend on each. It’s amazing but most people spend as much as 80% of their time on routine tasks that really aren’t that important to their job.

It’s the 20% of your time, maybe 10-15 hours a week, that you spend doing the ‘deep’ work that is the core part of your job.

Get this deep work done first! Set three hours in the morning, the first thing you do, to work on this most important work – whatever it may be.

No excuses here. You can take 5-10 minutes each hour to relax or stretch but spend at least two or three hours first thing every morning in this deep work.

Not only will you always get your most important work done, growing the business and looking like a work at home star, but you’ll feel great because you know you’re getting it done!

Start Small

Ah procrastination. I could write a book about you.

From not wanting to get started [because you only have 20 minutes until the next meeting] to just making up excuses for why you don’t want to get working, procrastination is a disease.

The trick to beating procrastination though is to make it easier to get started. Take away that inner voice saying, “Man, I don’t want to sit down to work all day.”

Break your task or project into 15 minute chunks and just sit down to do that first section. Whether this is just committing to write an intro or brainstorm what needs to go into the project, you’re just going to sit down and get that first tiny chunk done.

If you want to take a break after that first chunk of work is done, that’s fine. Take a few minutes, then sit down to tackle another piece.

What usually happens though is you start working and next time you look up, an hour or two has passed and you’ve gotten half your work done.

It’s a great little hack to trick yourself into getting started and beating procrastination.

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Set Strict Limits for Your Responsibilities and Time

You can’t be Mr. Mom and a star work-at-home employee at the same time. I see too many Facebook and Instagram posts from people that should be working but are out running errands.

Block out your time for specific tasks. Yes, you can still take care of the kids if they’re home and we all have family responsibilities but you can’t be getting up every 15 minutes to feed the family or drive them somewhere.

Treat your work-at-home job like a business, not like a hobby.

If you’re forced into juggling childcare with working from home, like so many of us are right now, then plan on a few hour-long activities the kids can do alone. Each night or each week, put together a plan of things to keep the kids busy so you can work.

Set a Strict Schedule for the Internet and Social Media

This one has been the hardest to overcome for me. It is so easy to justify a ‘quick check’ on social media and all the websites that remotely resemble ‘the news’. Even if you’re only popping over for a quick five minutes, you’re breaking up your day so often that you lose hours to the internet.

There are lots of time- and site-limiting apps that will keep you from surfing. These work by cutting off your internet access to certain sites during specified hours or after a certain amount of time. These can work wonders to make you more productive but there’s also a low-tech solution…just setting rules for when you go online.

Set one or two times each day for checking social media and other websites. Commit to only 15 minutes each time and set an alarm if you need to help you remember.

Also, don’t start your day checking email or social media. Have your first scheduled internet at 11am or after that first solid chunk of deep work. Checking email first thing in the morning puts you in reaction mode and you won’t get anything else done for hours.

I guarantee, just this alone will add another hour to your productivity every single day!

Plan Your Work at Home Productivity

Productive people aren’t naturally more self-disciplined, they just plan better. They know what they want to get done and when they want to do it. That mental schedule helps keep them on track and helps beat procrastination.

First thing each week, plan out what needs to get done and what you want to get done. This planning should include two parts.

  • The weekly tasks – the small, routine tasks that keep the business going
  • Longer-term and important projects you’re working on

At the beginning of each week, write out two or three things you want to get done that week (beyond the normal routine tasks) that you can feel good about accomplishing. These don’t have to be big, earth-moving projects but should move you closer to a long-term goal for your job or business.

This is going to ensure that you not only get the weekly routine stuff done but that you also make that marginal improvement closer to your big goals. You’ll also feel better about your work and self because you’ll have something you can feel good about that you got done each week.

Click to reserve your spot at the FREE YouTube Quick-start Webinar! I’m sharing three strategies that helped me grow my YouTube channel and double my business income. I guarantee they WILL work for you. Seats are limited for the webinar, so make sure you reserve yours.

Super-productive people don’t have any magical talents or special insight, they just know how to design their day to get as much done as possible. They use a handful of productivity tips, put them all together and get the most from their time. Whether you’re working from home or in a traditional environment, these tips will help you get more done and feel better about it every week.

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