These days, more people are working from home than ever before. But it’s not always easy to see a project through when you’re in the comfort of your own home. If you’re struggling, you’ve probably come across several methods to help you increase productivity. However, the same methods don’t work for all of us.
The following eight unconventional methods of improving your productivity when working from home take a slightly different approach to others. Let’s take a look below.
Take a Cold Shower
At home, you’re surrounded by all the comforts you long for when working from the office. However, these comforts can be the very things that put you in entirely the wrong mindset for working productively. Fortunately, there’s a quick and easy fix to that particular issue. Yep, grab a cold shower to restart your brain! While a hot shower is great for relaxing, a cold shower before starting work can sharpen your mind and get you ready to face the day’s tasks.
Leave It Until the Last Minute
Not everyone will agree with this, but few things are as effective as an impending deadline to help you shift gears. It’s how most people get through school and college, and it can also work if you find yourself working from home. What seems like a huge project when you have a whole week to complete it, is often more than do-able within three hours when that’s all the time you have for it!
Build Social Pressure
When you’re working in the office, you have your manager and colleagues around you, watching what you’re doing and making sure you keep on track. While you can’t really invite your team lead to your home to check up on you, you can schedule progress meetings and screen sharing sessions. It’s like with exercise – you’ll always do better if someone’s watching! Alternatively, try downloading a time tracking app. These monitor your progress and share it with your manager by taking screenshots every few minutes or so.
Check Out the Competition
Connected to the last point, nothing is so effective at getting you to do something than a little competition. Check in with your colleagues and see how they’re getting on with things. They’ll no doubt seem as though they’re way ahead of you, which might just make you motivated enough to focus on catching up! If you don’t have colleagues per se, check out a rival company or service provider —to stay ahead of the competition, you’ll need to work for it.
Use Caffeine As a Tool
Caffeine is another great tool in the homeworker’s arsenal, but only if it’s used wisely. Drinking coffee every morning just out of habit only desensitizes you to its energizing effects and robs you of this handy tool. Instead, drink coffee strategically. Rather than wasting this little cup of focus on going through your emails, use it when you need a little buzz to help see you through more creative and important tasks. Also, avoid drinking coffee on your days off to reduce your tolerance.
YouTube, Facebook and countless other websites and apps are absolute productivity killers when you’re working from home. With no one to keep tabs on you, it’s all too easy to ‘watch one more video’ or just ‘check out one last post on your news feed.’ Fortunately, there are plenty of apps and browser extensions available that can help you escape such distractions. Try the Facebook News Feed Eradicator, which allows you to continue to use Facebook in your work if you need to but hides your news feed.
Take It Easy
Pressure is a useful tool to pump up your productivity, but sometimes going in the opposite direction can work just as well. Rather than stressing out, relax, take the day off and try working in the evening if your company allows it. Put on some of your favorite tunes, grab a drink (non-alcoholic, of course), get cozy on the couch and let the creativity flow.
Use Pen and Paper
In this digital age, many of us have pretty much forgotten how to write with pen and paper. But, when you need to remember a list of things to do, writing by hand is much more effective at driving the point home. Try hand-writing a to-do list for the next day each night before bed, to avoid wasting an hour in the morning planning your day. Also, keep it simple, and don’t plan out an entire month, just a few tasks for the upcoming day.