Reading Time: 3 minutes
I owe a huge proportion of my productivity to bribery (a skill I honed while raising my 3 children!) For me, bribery usually looks like a cup of tea and/or a read of my social media feed after a period of concentration. Other times it could be an episode of a TV show for a morning’s hard work. Surprisingly, once that period of time is over, I’m often still really focused on whatever it was I was bribing myself to do. I used to stop and congratulate myself when the timer went off, but now, I really try to stay at it for as long as I’m engaged – to me this is when remote or flexible working is really at its best.
2. Work in Bed
This goes against many, many pieces of advice and if you have difficulty sleeping at night, this may not be the best idea for you. For me, my bed is my favourite place. I’m never more productive than when I’m snuggled up in bed in my PJs (with my heated mattress on in the winter!). From my bed, I’m not able to look around the house and notice all the other things that need to be done. If I need to do some writing or something that requires a lot of focus, I try to do it first thing, before I’ve even got out of bed whenever possible.
3. Don’t Peek at your Email/To Do List
Try tackling the hardest thing on your list (or perhaps the thing you’ve been procrastinating over) before you even check your email. Each day just check your email one or twice a day (this is known as ‘batching’). You’ll find you free up a considerable amount of time. Same goes for your to do list. I try to make sure I’ve checked my to do list at the end of the day and identified the most important thing on the list. This means I can wake up with just that important item on my mind. It also means I will have already identified anything that is in danger of falling through the cracks.
If you really can’t resist checking your email, try applying the 3-minute rule. Give yourself three minutes each hour to scan and respond to important emails (or empty the dishwasher or throw a load of laundry on).
Whenever you feel yourself starting to get a little antsy. Think about relocating yourself. I don’t have a dedicated office in my home, so I tend to alternate between my dining table, the balcony, my bed and my sofa. As long as you are well supported wherever you sit, moving around also has the added benefit of being great for your spine!
One of the luxuries of working from home is being able to exercise during the day. When you really need a break, go for a jog, bike ride, walk or do some yoga.
5. Invest in an Excellent Thermal Mug
Whether you’re a coffee drinker or a tea drinker a good thermal mug is worth the investment. I fill my Contigo travel mug first thing in the morning. It holds about 3 of my regular cups of tea which means I don’t have an excuse to get up and make yet another cup of tea. I do the same thing after lunch. My drink stays warm for an entire morning or afternoon.
Whatever you do, make sure you find a way of working that is best for you. Ensure that you have an excellent task management tool. For anyone in a small company on a tight budget, both Asana and Podio are great solutions. For more information on implementing either system, try contacting Sheldrake & Ross.
Finally, if you’ve tried everything and are still struggling, take a look at our post on “What to Do If You’re Not as Productive as You Promised.”