Being productive is being able to get more things done in less time. As a freelance writer, the more projects you complete, the more money you can make. You need high productivity to successfully work from home. But it is tricky for some with the children, the chores and what not. If you have trouble trying to squeeze in more work in less time, then you need to know these tips.
Productivity: How to get more things done in less amount of time.
Recently my friend, let’s call him Mr.FartsALot was curious to know how I was doing. He is new to freelance writing. I told him I can do a 1000-word article in 1 hour, while Mr.FartsALot said it takes him 4 hours! It is no wonder I make more than $1000 a month. While Mr.FartsALot was barely making $300. Mr.FartsALot just didn’t seem to have any more time. He would like to make more money and get more clients.
Does this happen to you?
What Mr.FartsALot needed to know was how to be more productive.
Why Productivity is a daily struggle when “Working from Home”
The flexibility of choosing your own working hours is one of the best reasons to work from home. You save money on travel, office clothes and even trips to the salon! Because let’s face it, who cares how you look when you work from home ?! Besides, if you are a freelance writer who works from home, then you also have the flexibility to choose your own projects and clients. While working from home, you can be tempted to slack off; not get out of bed or the couch. Get lost watching television or the latest on Netflix, the chores, the kids, the distractions are just endless. So how can you remain productive in spite of all this?
TIP#1: Set a Routine
There is a reason why both the elderly and children thrive on routines. Having a routine gives you a sense of security. You know what to expect next. You are aware of the tasks to be done, at the scheduled time. AND the structure gives you a sense of time and therefore, more control over your life.
I work when my children nap during the day, and after their bedtime at night. I also have a set time of the day for the type of projects I work for. In the peace and quiet of the night, I choose to write my articles. During the day, my focus is on social media, email, client management and other freelance writing activities.
Everyone is on some routine or the other – you may just not be aware of it!
Some are comfortable working in the day time, some absolutely stop functioning after 5pm, others thrive after midnight. You need to find your core productive time and schedule your work during those peak hours. One of the best ways to be aware of how your day typically goes is by writing down how your day is spent. If this seems a little cumbersome, use Toggl! It’s free and you can track your time and analyze your timesheet in a very effective manner.
TIP#2: Get in your Work Clothes
Yep! You need to get out of those jammies, or nighties and into some serious clothes. It doesn’t have to be a suit and a tie. You are working from home. So a pair of jeans and a decent shirt will trick your mind to be serious. If you continue your day in the same clothes as you were sleeping in at night then, chances are, you will slack off. Get serious. Go change into a reasonable outfit and get cracking on those to-do’s.
TIP#3: Switch off/ Switch on
This is an age-old management technique. When you sit down to work, switch off your personal life (in your head). That means you need to tell your brain that you are at work and practice thinking only about the task at hand. Do not think about making grocery lists, dinner plans or having a conversation with your imaginary friend while you work. Don’t get lost on social media or reading articles while you research. This was one of the core things Mr.FartsALot needed to do stay productive when working from home.
Multitasking is really a myth; you can only do one thing at a time.
When you start a task, make sure you turn off email notifications, put your phone on vibrate, kill unnecessary pages so that it’s just you and the task. When you are at work, work. When you are at play, by all means, play! Don’t make a sangria out of both.
TIP#4: Write, don’t edit
After you’ve done your research, your mind is pulsating with ideas. You need to vomit those thoughts right away or you may lose them! So just type, type, type. Do not pause, go back, spell check, right-click change spellings. NO. Stop Making Yourself Crazy with Self-Editing. When you edit every sentence before moving forward, it disturbs your trail of thought. So first, get it all out of your system and onto paper/Google Doc/Word, whatever rocks your boat. After you’ve you got your initial thoughts out on paper, edit your draft. Then proofread and edit some more.
TIP#5: Make a workspace at home, you Fuckers
This is one of the most crucial aspects of staying productive while working from home. When you have your own workspace it gives you that sense of seriousness to work. The couch in your home is meant to relax on and beds are dedicated to sleep (and sex). So bringing your work there is only going to may make you sleepy, lazy or both. Your workspace doesn’t have to be a separate room. Well, if you can afford it, then why not! My dining table doubles as my workspace. Small spaces can make brilliant workspaces.
Important Points to remember:
- Clear the clutter from your desk. Clutter will only hamper your productivity, so keep your desk as squeaky clean as possible.
- Face the wall. For a workspace at home, I recommend you just face the wall. You will remain focused, with no distractions of a window or the door.
- Keep sipping on water. Keep a bottle or a glass of water handy and take regular sips (not gulps). The oxygen and minerals in the water keep your brain active. You will remain alert the whole time you are at work! If you only do one thing this week … drink more water.
So what else do you do to stay productive while working from home? Comment here!
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