Working from home is great. You can look like a hot mess in your dressing gown whilst corresponding to emails and telephone calls channelling your inner Anna Wintour.
Wanna pop on a facemask and paint your toe nails whilst liaising with manufacturers on the phone – course!
Wanna pop on abit of crappy daytime TV, whilst reassuring yourself it won’t disrupt your work flow – no problem!
Now don’t get me wrong I obviously do work whilst I’m at home otherwise my online business and design work would cease to exist, but one thing I did start to notice a little while ago is that I’m not half as productive as I could be and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone.
Seriously sometimes I’ll sit at my desk with every intention of getting work done only to find myself daydreaming nonchalantly, surfing the web (only yesterday I found myself watching a YouTube video of a man who shares his swimming pool with his pet polar bear?) or God forbid, checking out the Daily Fail (Mail) don’t judge me!
So I realised if I wanted to kick my work loads ass I’d need to install some type of order into my daily routine, so here’s afew handy tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way to keep you on your A game!
Image sourced healthycurve.com
GET OUT OF BED EARLY.
Yes I know this sucks, but annoyingly it really does work. I wake up at 07:00am to 07:30am every morning, although afew of my friends wake up at 06:00 am to start their day, and not all of them have children!
It does seem worse in the winter as the mornings are so bleak and depressing but truth be told the figures don’t lie. Early risers are more optimistic and set and achieve goals more easily.
According to Forbes: Harvard biologist Christoph Randler discovered in 2008 that early risers are more proactive. They were more likely to agree with statements like “I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself” and “I feel in charge of making things happen.”
Also, one of my businesswoman hero’s Angela Arendt’s, who is the former CEO of Burberry and current Senior Vice President of Retail for Apple, credits rising early (04:35am most mornings to be exact!) to instilling her with calm and inspiring her for the day ahead. Last year she reportedly took home an earning of seventy million dollars so I guess whatever she’s doing seems to be working!
Hmmm. Yep. I know. Once again as much as I hate to admit it, every single successful person I know, gets up early and works out early in the morning. It doesn’t have to be a 10k run in the freezing cold, perhaps just a fithteen minute workout in your living room, seriously fithteen minutes out of your entire day, why do we make ourselves believe this is so hard, It doesn’t even need to be every day, perhaps every other day, whatever suits you more. Click on YouTube to find a plethora of quick, easy workout videos to kick-start your day.
Regular exercise boosts your mood and fitness, increases energy for the day ahead and also improves sleeping patterns, which is gold for any insomnia sufferers. Plus you end up with a great butt too; if that’s not motivation then I don’t know what is!
Image sourced macleans.ca
FIND A QUIET SPACE
If you really don’t have a quiet area in your home then I would strongly suggest purchasing some earplugs or noise reducing headphones. We become distracted so easily and once that distraction is broken it takes more precious minutes to re-enter workflow mode. Your children, partner or flatmates will always be bugging you for something. You need to let everyone know that unless it’s an emergency, you’re in full on office mode now, so please do not disturb!
SET YOURSELF OFFICE HOURS
Now this coincides again with waking up early. After you’ve squeezed in your morning work out, taken the kids to school or carried out other miscellaneous chores that need fulfilling, you can be ready and sat at the desk for 09:00am. I tend to work a 09:30am to 5:30pm day. Unless I have a particular piece of artwork that I need to finish for a client which often I don’t mind working late on, otherwise I switch my laptop off no later than 6pm.
Image sourced Kairossocial.com
LIMIT YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA INTAKE
Instagram, for me, is far too addictive, it can start with a simple, ‘Oh her dress is cute’ you click through to her page and ten minutes later you’re on her sisters, friends, Aunties, daughters distant cousins ‘official bungee jumping page’ and yet you have a severe phobia of heights and wouldn’t jump off a bench never mind a bridge! Don’t get suckered in. Place your phone in the other room if you can, or at least place it face down and just out of arms length so you don’t get distracted by the flashing alerts on your phone throughout the day.
And before you say, well I needed to hop on Facebook to post my latest marketing post. For those of you who use social media for your business there are plenty of programmes such as Hootsuite or Latergram, which do exactly that for you; only they do it better. I think for Hootsuite, the first three social media accounts you sign up are totally free of charge. Basically these platforms schedule and post all of your social media posts for you in a timely and coordinated manner, taking away all the hassle from you. Ok, so you need to be abit organised before hand in uploading the social media content you’d like to be broadcast that week but think how much time you will save so day to day you can get down to the more pressing tasks. Also because your marketing will be more consistent through using one of these platforms, your business will thrive aswell.
CREATE A DAILY AND WEEKLY TO DO LIST
If you can, scheduling out your to-do list for the week ahead is always beneficial. Then you can divide those tasks into daily errands that you can tick off day by day. At the end of each working day make sure you jot down all the jobs you need to fulfil for the following day, that way your workload won’t bug you for the rest of the evening. It doesn’t have to be some fancy excel spread-sheet printed out onto A3 paper, just a simple list broken up into morning and afternoon slots so you have something to reference.
JUST DO IT.
Yes, I know this is an obvious one but if you really find yourself in a fix after staring into space for the past twenty minutes or suddenly deciding you need to reorganise your wardrobe, you need to just snap out of it. I even set an alarm on my phone and write a powerful statement, something that really resonates with me and gives me a virtual kick up the backside. So randomly when your phone alarm goes off throughout the day at say 11:00am and 14:00pm you’ll go to swipe it off and maybe read, “Remember why you started!’ or “Where would you like to be in three months from now?’ or perhaps even, “Beyonce would have finished this by now!’ You know, whatever floats your boat or pulls your cord, we all have something.
So there you have it, if you haven’t already, try these out and let me know how you get on, I’d love to hear how they worked for you. Or if you have any other golden tips that you swear by then please let me know, sharing is caring folks!