5 Tips to Stay Focused and Productive
Working from home is a blessing – but it can also be a curse to your productivity. How are you supposed to stay motivated to work when the entire new season of Longmire just was released on Netflix? Here are some routines that, when followed as part of your daily habits, will help you stay on track, motivated and productive so you can enjoy those Longmire episodes without straying off your path.
I know, the reason you work from home is to have more freedom. What, you ask, is
freedom but NOT following a routine? Countless studies have shown and I am here as a witness to tell you that having an established morning routine will not only make you more productive your entire day, but will increase your productivity, creativity and positive feelings for the entire day.
Some things I include in my morning ritual:
- 10 min yoga practice (not my heart busting workout, just a light, morning routine/100 crunches)
- Light, healthy, BREAKFAST (I sit down with my partner before he goes off to work)
- Review agenda for the day
For me, this routine that awakens my heart (yoga), body (breakfast), mind (meditation) and soul (sitting with my partner before he goes off) is just what I need before I start my entrepreneurial journey every day. Whether you are your own boss, or work remotely, getting all these aspects in line before you even fire up your computer in the morning – or tune into the world news – will set your day moving in the right direction.
Big, Hairy Task
After I say goodbye to my partner, it is time for me to get busy. I get right down to the task I am going to dread the most. My moniker for this is the Big, Hairy Audacious Task (BHAT) – it is a play on Darren Hardy’s Big, Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG). For me, social media postings are my BHAT’s. I know that social media postings are important to my visibility as a solo-preneur. I know that social media is responsible for most visits to my webpage. I just haven’t learned to enjoy it yet.
So, I have created a 90 day calendar of when I post to what and follow it. I will soon switch over to a scheduler, but I am still learning what my followers like to read and will actually click on. Once that is established, the use of the auto postings will be much appreciated! But, until then, I do my postings manually, and I feel great when that is done! After that? I move onto more enjoyable things.
Making time in your day to get physical and work up a sweat IS an actual perk of working from home. I still enjoy working out in the morning, but some people find the afternoon is a great way to shake off those after-lunch blues. Working out helps your brain reset and process. It helps you make good food choices throughout the day. I’m sure by now everyone understands the benefit of focused, intentional physical activity.
There are so many options now on YouTube and home fitness routines that there is really no excuse – plus, there is always outside your front door. Yes, working in your garden and house cleaning burn calories and keep your joints lubricated and keeps you healthy. But, actually working out with mindful intention gets you fit. I’m a big fan of fit – are you?
Finally, I’m talking about work! Yes, working from home must include some work and not just provide you time to do your laundry during the week so your weekends are free. But, I’m here to tell you – you can do both AND have increased focus and creativity by using a timer and closing some windows on your screen, namely social media. Setting clear boundaries for yourself with social media and email will reduce your procrastination tendencies and increase your focused work time.
Setting your timer for a certain amount of time – anywhere from 40-90 minutes at a time, then taking a short break (from 5-10 mins) helps me clear my mind of blocks and allows me to return to my tasks with more clarity and understanding. I use these breaks to change over the laundry, play with the animals, just go stand in the sunshine or take a short walk. Flexibility and intuition is the key here. If I feel I am really on a roll and the juices are flowing, I will reset the clock for another 20 minutes and keep going. You will get to know your rhythms and trust them.
Plan Weekly, Plan Daily
Finally, to quote countless Personal Development Gurus, WHAT GET SCHEDULED, GETS DONE. Words to live by! Spending 20 minutes on a Sunday evening to plan your week can help you hit the ground running on Monday morning. I like to use my Sunday day sheet in my planner to write my 3 big goals for the year. I then list things I MUST get done this week and place them under the correct heading. If there is something I think needs done, but doesn’t fit under one of these headings, it goes into another column.
I then plug these items into day/time slots throughout the week that they need to be. I also schedule in my workouts. Schedule phone calls and follow up time. Schedule time to clear your desk/inbox. While these are not money-making tasks, they need to be done. Finally, you can schedule those things that are in that fourth column if there is time left.
This way of scheduling allows for two benefits every day. First, I know the most important tasks are scheduled and I have a plan to get them done. Second, I know I am always working toward my goals by using them every week to plan my tasks. BAM, and BAM!
But wait, there's more! One final thing you can do to run a successful, productive solo-prenuerial business or work remotely with triumph is really easy – but do you do it????
That one thing is get plenty of sleep. Yep, easy right? Going to bed early and waking up early allow all the above to happen. It allows you to be there for your family and yourself on a regular basis. What did watching that late-night show on tv do for you?
Getting enough sleep is crucial for your mind and body to heal and rejuvenate. Maybe you would have been better advised to read a couple chapters from a book and turn the light out a bit earlier. So, get to bed – you have a lot to accomplish tomorrow!
Special thanks for inspiring this article go out to the panelists from the Unite Women
Conference (pictured to the right - thank you to Photographer Christine Kronz, Cheyenne) and my client Craig Webster who asked the question – what do you do to stay so productive every day.
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