Do you work from home? What’s your secret to be more productive?
Since I’ve been staying in Korea for a while, I’m working from home most of the days while working on my blog and other projects. Sometimes I go out to a local coffee shop, but it’s not so working-friendly when the afternoon crowd comes in. Working from home is tough because there’s, well, everything. Making unlimited coffee and tea is oh so convenient, but there are so many temptations and distractions. On one afternoon while my mind was wondering as always, I asked this question on Facebook. The answers are too golden, I have to share it with all of you. Thank you everyone who’s sharing these gems!
Define Work Space and Work Hour
Most of the advice was about designating the work place and hour. Working from home is tough because it’s the place where everything happens. Regardless, we need a piece of place only for work, nothing else. Here are some valuable insights from the experts.
Bryan Limus Don’t work at home… Or have a separate area specifically you call office.
Ashley Gardini Defined work area
Sarah Pickard Work blocks and making sure my house is clean the night before! Designated work space helped me too!
Bea Meow I make lists and have a separate space to work. Live in a loft so my “living space” is upstairs and “working” space is downstairs. Also I try to dress up, as in, no sitting in just Ur undies in front of computer to work. It gives you a sense that you gotta concentrate. Also when push come to shove, I disconnect the bloody internet!
Nisah Haron Respect your working hour. I don’t reply e-mails, text messages / whatsapp nor take any phone calls when I am writing.
Yolanda Graham A designated workspace is a must for me. Alternate time slots for work and breaks and a to-do list. A combination of what’s been said, really!
Annabel Lam For me, working at night gives me the focus I need, and I’m less likely to be distracted by phone calls.
If it has to be during the day, I prefer starting early, begin my day with a quick and strong workout, that gives me a meta boost and helps me focus.
Running list of to-dos – always
Melissa Leong Alcohol! haha. But seriously, it was tough enough before baby arrived and now WITH a baby and working from home, it’s a whole new ballgame. Haw and I take shifts so there are no distractions. Also, we set up an office so that helps ( as everyone here can attest to).I also work during my ‘prime hours’ I.e when my brain functions best. For me, it’s the mornings.
And seriously, it’s really quite fun to write while having a beer. Or two.
Rose Simbaku Mills
For me these tricks work :
1) Have a dedicate corner /room as an office
2) Set a time (be it day, time of the day etc)
3) Tell your household its ‘office hour’
4) Make it a comfy office with office ambiance
Deborah Chan With a toddler in tow and other errands to run + other projects to focus on, I set aside (realistically) only 3-4 hours of solid work/writing time a day. And always have a list of to do’s for the day – not week, not month but DAY. The to-do list also has to be prioritized. Most important at the top. Review the to-do list at the end of the day and if you haven’t accomplished some of it, put it as a priority the next day.
Work a Small Block of Time
Short concentrated work hour is thousand times better than long but not efficient work hour.
Rachel Werz I set timers on my phone! 20 minutes to return a few emails, then set another time for the next task! That works best for me.
Nisah Haron Divide work schedule into chunks. E.g. instead of sitting at my work station for 1 hour, I break them into 3 chunks (20 minutes each). I get bored easily so this way works for me.
Erin Kirkland I work in chunks- 2 hours or so, take a break, then work more
Darren Cronian Work on the 50-10-50-30 rule. Work for 50 mins, chill out for 10, work for 50 mins, relax for 30 mins. Helps with productivity I’ve found. And continue this process.
Daniel Nahabedian Don’t aim to work many hours. 4 FOCUSED hours a day is better than working “all day” doing not much.
Schedule, Schedule, Schedule
Paula Froelich SCHEDULE EVERYTHING
Nathaniel Boyle Scheduling is huge. It protects your personal time, holds sacred your work time, and tracks your accountability.
Making list is essential. It’s one of the permanent tools for every individuals.
Sebastian Canaves I assign 20 minutes every morning thinking of the things I want to get done that day and write down (handwritten) my to do list! Feels good to cross things off the list!
Julia Chan daily to-do-list. And just good old fashioned self motivation. Yet to be determined how successful I am
Gaelle Gognau Koerckel I do not work from home most of the time but it happens. Each morning, I make a list of 3 main tasks I want to get done within the day. Works for me !
Treats, Coffee, and Tea
Treat yo’ self. I actually use this technique a lot.
Gigi Ragland Get out of the house for a coffee break
Meaghan McGurgan post its with a task on each one. when i get a task completed I get a treat, like getting a cookie or watching a tv episode. (Yes, I’m a pavlovian dog!)
Andrew Straw Coffee !
Charlotte Gosling I ask people round for coffee or lunch to break up the work day and give me a goal by when things must be done – first three items on to do list before x arrives for a cup of tea
Grasya Bangoy coffee
With or Without Technology
Turn off Wi-Fi, and get some help!
Duane Adam Focus@Will, Google it. It’s basically Spotify for productivity.
Lauren Juliff I use Self Control! Once you set it going, it takes you offline and there’s no way to get back online — restarting your laptop or uninstalling the app does nothing. I’m productive when I don’t have social media distractions, so I have it running for 10 hours a day!
Beverley Reinemann Turning off the wifi
Daniel Nahabedian Use the Pomodoro technique, combined with Trello to organize everything.
I think the lesson here is, think about the reasons why you have to concentrate and work. There will be consequences…
Bret Love Needing to pay a mortgage!
Avie Clarvie Spawa Passion!
Amy McPherson start from the beginning
Moe Luechauer Carrick Resist laundry, dishes and pets.
Dave Dean I use a few different approaches. The first one is to carve up the work I need to do each day based on when I know I’ll be at my most productive/creative. So I tend to do writing work from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, for instance. Emails and other mindless tasks are done in the evening or before bed. That kind of thing. I also do the work that will generate an immediate income before I do things that won’t.
I also get out of the house if I’m working on something that needs real focus — a quiet coffee shop, for instance, and then I’ll often use Focus@Will as well. I usually don’t take my laptop charger — it’s amazing how watching the battery icon drop is a great motivator to not f*ck around on social media etc.
Finally, I’ve just started using Trello to organise my workload, and I set up my ‘Today’ tab before bed the night before, and stick to it the next day. Having everything that needs doing for the next few weeks/months able to be seen on one screen, and then being able to drag and drop between lists and quickly update progress on each task has definitely helped.
Bjorn Troch 1. Turn off your smart phone and access your social channels only in the evening via your pc. It feels like suddenly you have an ocean of time and you’ll be able to focus better.
2. Find, create a work place.
3. Make a short list of things to do the eve before.
4. East the frog first. This means : do your most unpleasant task first
5. Take breaks every hour.
6. Don’t overdo it. Your attention reservoir per day is limited. Use it wisely.
Bethany Cleveland Gummy bears. They help me concentrate!
So there you have it. What’s the verdict? What works for you? If you have any more tips on ‘working from home’ trick, please share it with us!