If you’re an entrepreneur who has to work from home, this article is for you. It also applies to employees who have suddenly realized that the work from home part of running a business might be the hardest truth that nobody talks about… indeed, productivity at home is hard as hell.
And due to the fact that many people can’t come out to say how unproductive things are for them because of the excess freedom that working from home provides, the productivity time lost is massive but can be regained. My goal here is to show you how to do that.
1. Start your day with a morning routine
The first step towards making the best use of your day is to seize the morning with a routine that sets the tone and intention for the day.
You should have a solid routine that gets your mind together (meditation, gratitude journaling and prayer). Then put your thoughts into activating your senses (reading and goal setting). Finally, you activate your body (exercising and wellness). Then it becomes easy for your day to go as planned.
Research has proven that all the successful men on earth have a morning routine and every spiritual leader that has existed proved this to be very important through their own lives and practices.
So to make sure that your day goes well and take on colour, develop a routine that works for you, it will help you stay more focused and productive throughout the day.
And of course, jumping on twitter or WhatsApp first thing isn’t part of a good morning routine…I’m just saying
2. Make a work schedule and Stick to it
One of the most dangerous things about work from home is that you have excess freedom to enjoy the comfort of your home and family. And given the fact that many people haven’t come to calculate the cost of this freedom, they don’t know that it weighs a ton yet.
So one sure-fire way of enjoying the freedom and still getting work done is to develop a work schedule and the discipline to make it work for you.
When you don’t have a schedule to work with, nothing guides your productivity and if you have one but lack the discipline to stick with it, you still don’t get the desired result.
It then becomes extremely important to build in a disciplined focus into your work time to make your work from home experience a productive one.
3. Build fun time into your work hours
All work and no play makes you a dull businessman. Our concentration time per chunk (CTPC) is limited; some researches have suggested 60 minutes chunk time. This means that trying to work all day without breaks at reasonable intervals to help you stretch will prove to be counter-productive with time.
Also, if your brain doesn’t know when work will come to an end, it begins to interpret work as a massive stress and tries to shut down your body from working. But when fun or break time is somewhere around the corner, your brain can help you reach that corner so that it can have the much-desired fun.
For me, I batch my time and activities in 90 minutes work time and observe 30 minutes breaks in-between and that has always worked for me. Try to see what works for you and run with that.
4. Have a unique and dedicated space that lets you do nothing else but work
This one is huge. If you get it right with this, your productivity will soar.
Stop working from your dining table, or your bed, those places have their functions and if you are observant, you would have noticed that you don’t produce much from them before you start wasting time. The reason is simple, a bed is meant for sleep so when you are there, your brain activates your body to do what you have been doing on it all your life. So also is your dining table.
So if you want to by-pass this, set up a working room or a small corner in your house as your productivity zone. What eventually happens is that anytime you step into this corner, your body is naturally activated to work.
Another mistake you mustn’t make is to start desecrating this place with Netflix, chatting, twitter banters, Instagram scrolling, eating and all the things that are not work-related. If you do, it will lose its value and become a useless corner where you now go to waste time instead of work.
5. Look the part of a worker
I’m sure you have heard the “work in your Pyjamas” motto. While that might sound cool, you don’t get any solid strong long hour work done wearing that. The truth is simple, pyjamas is meant for sleeping, so you won’t do a whole lot of interesting work in it.
My office is in my house and I dress up to work daily. And I learnt this from my mentor who learnt it from his own mentor. All successful work from home people that I know agree that you have to bath, and dress up for work to convince yourself that it’s time to do something productive from home.
You don’t have to suit and tie up (though there is nothing wrong with this if you have to) to get yourself dressed up for work. Just make sure that you look serious enough with what you are wearing to work (from home).
6. Build boundaries
An effective way to do this is to let everyone around to know that the fact that you are at home doesn’t make you available. This is particularly important if you have kids or spouses who will be happy to jump on you and destroy your time since you are now just a door away.
Your time must be respected by those around you just as you also respect your time by not stopping by the parlour unnecessarily to gist or catch a scene of your favorite Soap.
Everyone around me knows that you are looking for my trouble when you open my home office door without telling me about business. If you want my gist, you will have to wait for my break time or my close of work.
Let work time be work time and let playtime be playtime. And when you do each, let no one or thing interfere.
7. Have a night routine
This is as important as the morning routine. As a rule, you shouldn’t fall at sleep, you should go to sleep. What that means is that you never should sleep off with Netflix playing on your phone or in front of African magic. That will make you to have a grumpy night that will prevent you from waking up and starting your day right.
Spend uninterrupted time with those you love, think about how the day played out then plan the next day before you sleep.
These are some of the most effective ways in the world to improve productivity in a work from home situation, either as a regular experience or as a temporary one just as we have it now.
Go ahead and start implementing them. And when you fail, don’t give up, try again till it becomes part of your life.
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