Every single freelancer & digital nomad knows the struggle of juggling their work, especially when their work is their home. As the trend towards people leaving their offices behind working for their neighborhood coffee shop or home continues to grow it’s never been more important to learn how to get more done at home.
5 Tips To Be More Productive Working From Home
1. Create A Work Space
One of the worst mistakes most freelancers make when starting from working from home is just getting out of bed and opening up their laptop. That’s a surefire way to fail to create a separation of your life and work and in the process fail at both. It’s easy to think that you can work while sitting on your couch with the TV on in the background but that’s just lying to yourself.
Create a particular spot in your home where “you work” is one of the easiest ways to be productive while not letting the work sweep into your life.
2. Limit Social Media
Limiting Social Media is the most obvious hack to improve productivity, however, many of you reading this actually need social media for your work and its not easy to just tell someone to “just don’t check facebook”.
Using a tool like RescueTime to track your usage on your device can help you understand where you’re currently spending your time and use the data you gather to find what apps or website are gobbling up your hours.
While getting notifications on your Apple Watch may be nice while you’re out on a run, it’s a sure fire way to distract you if you have 100s of notifications on across all your devices. Using Downtime or limiting your notifications during your work time can skyrocket your productivity.
It might also make sense to get a Standalone Smartwatch that you can make calls with that you share with your close ones for emergencies, so that you can work with your phone off or in a different room.
Also it’s a good idea to get a Kindle instead of reading on a iPad or other internet connected device.
3. Track Completed Actions Instead of A To-do-list
One of the largest mistakes I’ve seen many freelancers and remote workers make is that they track their To-dos instead of their “To-Done’s”. Making a To-do list gives people a fake sense of success. Just as telling your friends of something you are going to do actually lowers your odds of success, making a to-do list gives you a fake sense of achievement and productivity.
It’s also easy to make a list of 100 to-do (many of which could be completed in less time than actually making the list), and get a big hit of dopamine every time you cross out one (even if you didn’t actually get anything done).
A better strategy is to look back at what you did, and based on that data optimize your life.
4. Leave Your House
Changing your environment can be a great strategy to get things done. Going to a new cafe can often times get me in the mood to write. They’re so many places that you can work from; coffee shops, libraries, coworking spaces etc etc. Getting out of the house can often be enough to put you in a different state of mind.
You’re less likely to be thinking about your half done dishes, the unmade bed or your friends on Fortnight once you leave the house.
Note: Don’t forget to bring along a WiFi hotspot just in case your connection isn’t reliable!
5. High Priority Tasks
In 1954 the former U.S President Dwight D. Eisenhower said:
“I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.” — Eisenhower
Based on that quote a popular productivity system called the Eisenhower Box was created.
Here’s a great way how the Eisenhower Box works:
The Eisenhower Box: Urgent vs. Important
- Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
- Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
- Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
- Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).
Eliminating things that are not necessary is a surefire way to get more of what’s actually important done instead of getting more done.