This post was originally published on August 19th, 2015. It was updated on June 28th, 2017.
When I started working from home, I quickly began to realize it wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Although I enjoy it, working from your own home office isn’t without its challenges. It’s easy to slack off when you don’t have someone checking in to make sure you’re getting your work done. Procrastination is more prevalent when you have a television to watch and a plethora of snacks in the kitchen. There are distractions all around us, so I began researching productivity tips to ensure I was making the most of my days. I wanted to maximize my time and staying on top of what seemed like an endless to-do list.
Now that I’ve been working from home for a few years, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I enjoy being able to create my own schedule and I’ve become better at staying focused on the task at hand. I’ve been able to get myself into a routine that works, but it wasn’t without some trial and error. Even though I know what works for me, you might be in a place where you struggle to get things done. So, if you’re looking for a few productivity tips to help you have a successful day, just keep reading.
4 Productivity Tips for a Successful Day
The productivity tips I’m about to share are four things that I’ve implemented myself and have thoroughly benefited from. I wouldn’t recommend them otherwise! Not only that, but they’ve been game-changing when it comes to how focused I am throughout the day. They’ve also helped me accomplish a lot more. Keep these tips in mind to ensure you always have a successful, productive day whether you work from home or the office.
1. Create a Morning Routine
It wasn’t until I read The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod that I realized the importance of having a morning routine. When you start your morning off on the right foot, it’s going to set the tone for the day ahead. It’s the best way to get you into the right mindset so you’re ready to tackle the day ahead. This is why I feel having a morning routine is so important when it comes to our daily success.
Think about this for a second… You wake up feeling groggy and tired. And to top it off, you’re running late to get out of the door for an important meeting. As a result, you spend your time hurriedly getting ready and you skip breakfast. If your morning is spent like this, do you really think you’re going to have a good day? Probably not. You’ll likely wind up bringing those frazzled feelings into the office with you. Plus, skipping breakfast means your body didn’t get the hydration and nourishment it needs after sleeping.
Instead, it’s better to plan your morning where you can ease into your day by doing the things that will boost your energy and lift your mood. The key to doing this is creating a morning routine that works for you. Now, I’m sure many of you who read this will have read The Miracle Morning. While the routine Elrod outlines is certainly a great one, it might not be your personal preference. So, it’s best to create the routine that’s indicative of how you’d like to start your day.
In order to do this, you may have to wake up a little earlier than you normally would. But trust me, it’s worth it! Just imagine what your perfect morning would be like and incorporate those things into the routine you create. For me, I like to take time for breakfast and then do the things that make me feel good, such as meditation and yoga.
2. Find Your Productivity Zone
If you want to make the most of the time you have, you should consider what time of day you’re the most productive. For some of us, we find it easier to work in the early morning hours while everyone else is still asleep. For others, we crave the afternoon or we’re night owls who love to burn the midnight oil. So, ask yourself what time of day you feel your best. When do you typically feel the most energized? What time do you feel you’re able to accomplish the most work with ease? No matter which type of person you are, you should make the most of your productivity zone.
Once you determine which time of day you’re the most focused and motivated, block off those hours in your calendar. You want to be protective of this time so you can make the most of it. What you choose to do with those hours is entirely up to you though. You might want to utilize your productivity zone to work on those bigger projects on your task list, which is what I tend to do. Because I find I’m most inspired and creative during this time, it’s a great opportunity to for me to write content like blog posts, newsletters, and content for projects.
3. Batch Your Tasks
Another one of the productivity tips that has made a huge difference in how I plan out my week has been batching tasks. It’s been essential for making sure I’m efficient when it comes to my work tasks. For example, when my to-do list requires me to write three blog posts within one week, I block off a longer period of time and write all of the posts in one sitting. Once I’m in that writing groove, it’s easier to keep going and do more writing. And it helps much be much more efficient than if I was writing just one blog post every day. So, I batch the writing process and batch the editing process as well.
The reason this works is because our brains crave repetition. When you repeat the same task over and over, it helps to create neural pathways. If that sounds a little confusing to you, all you need to know is that it’s going to make you more efficient. Once you get into that zone of doing the same task repeatedly, the process becomes simpler and the speed at which you work will increase. Ultimately, you’ll become more productivity and your day will be incredibly successful when you’re able to see just how much you accomplished.
4. Minimize Distractions
And finally, my last piece of advice is to minimize the distractions around you. This is often easier said than done. Distractions are all around us and are constantly trying to soak up our attention. If you want to get anything done, you have to minimize the distractions that usually interrupt your work.
Emails and social media are two of the biggest time-consuming tasks we have on our daily task list. So, to make handling them more efficient, I’d suggest setting aside specific times during the day to check both instead of having them open all day long. You won’t get distracted by them while you’re working on other tasks. To do this, silence the notifications on your phone and close the browser tab that houses your inbox. When messages pop-up, don’t be tempted to drop what you’re doing to check them and respond right away. Instead, check emails and social media two or three times throughout the day. Morning, midday, and at the end of the work day are great times for these tasks.
Now, depending on your business, you may have urgent emails that you’re waiting for each day, which means this won’t always work for you. But keep in mind that when you’re constantly switching tasks, it makes it hard to get back into your groove. Don’t drop everything for one email, so use this strategy for most days when you aren’t depending on something urgent.