Working from home means distractions are all around because no one is there to see you. Whether it be from eating, or taking a break, or worse, napping, distractions are present in a work from home situation. I certainly fall victim to distractions, mostly because of my short attention span. But over the course of the few months in this situation, I’ve been slowly identifying ways to be more mindful of my day and less prone to being distracted.
Make A To-Do List
This is something that I do when I know I have a busy day ahead. Even on weekends when I have nothing else to do but chores, I write a to-do list. Writing one helps me be aware of the tasks I want to accomplish on that day. To turn it up a notch, I set time limits on it. For example, I write down folding laundry from 9 to 10 and so on. I find that, for me, if I don’t set time limits, I tend to delay my work. Setting time limits allows me to stay focused on my tasks and be aware of the time. Plus, there’s nothing more satisfying than crossing something off a to-do list. Depending on the activities you need to do, you don’t necessarily have to set a time limit on it. As long as you’ve got your tasks written down, you’re one step closer to a more productive day.
Get Rid of Distractions
Distractions are the bane of all productivity. You promise to just check your emails and, suddenly, 20 minutes have passed and you’re mindlessly scrolling through Instagram. Which is why you have to get rid of all possible distractions during workhours. To do this, first you need to identify your distractions. Is it your phone? Turn it off or store it someplace far from your work desk. Identifying and getting rid of all these distractions will assure you don’t waste precious time doing something unrelated to your work.
Decline and Delegate
Another reason why we tend to feel unproductive throughout the day is because we swallow more than we can chew. And by that, I mean saying yes to everything, doing all the work (and by all, I mean A-L-L), or not exercising accountability. Set boundaries. If the workload is getting overwhelming and someone asks you to do something, decline. Say, “I’m very sorry but I am unavailable/unable to commit to that task.” Another tip is to categorize the tasks you have to do. List those that are of highest priority. If there are tasks that are allowed and can be delegated to other people, by all means, select people you trust to get the work done, too.
These are 3 simple practices to help you have a more productive day. Some of them may take some getting used to, but as long as you’re focused on getting work done, it will be a smooth ride for you.