This is the second post in a series on being productive when working from home. You can read the first post here.
5. Work for a sustained period and then take a break.
I consider a sustained period 1-2 hours and a break 10-20 minutes. If I'm on a roll and getting stuff done I'll go longer and then take a break. This allows you to reward yourself for work well done and helps you to break down tasks into manageable chunks, something our brains need. This article touches on this a little bit. Again, an app like 30/30 can help you.
6. Turn off all notifications.
Does your phone or computer buzz, ring, or dance when you receive a new email or when someone responds to that photo you tweeted with, "Whoa Bra! Awesome sesh at the beach! #rad #gnar #killer." Don't let it. When I'm working and I hear an alert my mind instantly looses focus. I want to check what's going on so badly. I'm like a dog salivating at the sight of a bone. I have to know what's going on and it's pathetic. What if someone is trying to warn me the four horsemen of the apocalypse are about to ring my door bell and I need to run? Blocking these notifications allows me to focus.
7. Stop multitasking.
A lot of experts are starting to find multitasking isn't productive. Personally, I try to allocate my first 1-2 hours of sustained work to one task. Sometimes I start to get exhausted from this one task, which usually leads me to start multitasking. After this work period and my break I'll tackle another project or task then revisit the first project on my third set of sustained work.
8. Start a project with a deadline.
Nothing kicks your butt into gear like a deadline. For me, a self imposed deadline isn't good enough. They come and they go and I simply ignore them. What is better is having someone keep you accountable (which is why we have bosses). Being held accountable to your deadlines really makes a difference. Find a good friend, someone who cares about your success, and have them keep you accountable to your project's deadlines. Tell them to be hard on you (just don't let it ruin your friendship). If you can find a friend who also works at home whom you can keep accountable too, even better.
I did this by starting my 11 Questions blog posts. I knew I needed to get more work in my portfolio. I needed to get out there and shoot. Photography gives me joy. Conceptualizing a shoot, pressing the shutter, and editing the photos invigorates me. I also knew I wanted to create some rich content for my blog as well as get to know some new people in my community. The 11 Questions series has fulfilled all these needs and more.
Do you have any tips on staying productive at work? I’d love to hear them so leave them in the comments below!