Millions more Americans have been introduced to the joys and difficulties of remote working. After the initial excitement that comes from working in your underwear while watching daytime TV, remote workers usually slip into an unproductive and frustrated state. After a couple of weeks, they are desperate to return to the office and restore some normality. But while it can be difficult to keep your productivity levels high, it’s certainly not impossible, and with a few little tricks, you can work harder and more productively at home than you do at the office.
1. Remember That You’re an Individual
That header may sound like a generic statement, not to mention one that has been paraphrased on countless aspirational posters. But bear with us on this one. What we mean is that just because a “productivity hack” works for you, doesn’t mean that it will work for someone else. Take sleep as an example. We all need it and, at some point, we all struggle to get enough of it. We also know that distractions, bright lights, caffeine, and alcohol are a bad idea if you can’t get your forty winks. But some people like to wear headphones and listen to podcasts while they sleep. Others listen to heavy metal music or watch their favorite TV show in the background. Some people need a warm glass of milk and a good book. The point is, everyone is unique, everyone’s mind works in a unique way, and the same is true for productivity. If you find that you’re too easily distracted, then remove all of those distractions. If you struggle to work long hours because of boredom and a lack of stimulation, play some music in the background. You could even watch TV—as long as you’re still working, it doesn’t matter!
2. Fix Your Diet
How do you start your day? If it’s with a cup of coffee and a sugary breakfast, it’s no wonder you’re struggling with productivity. All that sugar and caffeine will cause you to crash within a couple of hours. You will lose focus, struggle to stay awake, and as a result, you’ll spend more time randomly searching through Facebook than actually working. By all means, drink coffee or tea if that’s what you like but try to eat a more balanced meal along with that caffeinated beverage. Consume slow-release carbs and lots of protein, and make sure you continue to eat balanced meals throughout the day. You may also benefit from a regular dose of UBN Activate, a supplement that is proven to boost your focus and could drastically improve your productivity levels.
3. Start Working
Ask any experienced author how they deal with writer’s block and you’ll get a litany of tips and recommendations in reply, from walking and working out to copious amounts of caffeine and booze. But every single one of those authors will tell you that the best thing you can do is write. It sounds overly simple. Stupid, even. But it’s true. Once you start writing, everything will flow, and if those initial paragraphs are terrible, you can just delete them. You can adopt a similar attitude with all types of work. Whatever you’re doing, just make sure you start. It doesn’t matter what you do or how well you do it, what matters is that you force yourself to make a start.
4. Incentivize Yourself
Don’t starve yourself of entertainment when you’re trying to increase your productivity levels. If you tell yourself that you need to work 15 hours tomorrow, you’ll probably give up on hour 2. After all, how can you possibly get motivated to work for 15 straight hours? Instead, tell yourself that you will work for a couple of hours and then enjoy a treat—a drink, a snack, a TV show, a game. Limit your enjoyment to just 20 minutes or so, and then go again. You’ll be breaking your day into lots of little segments, which is usually a bad idea, but it pushes you to work hard during those segments. More importantly, when you get into a rhythm, you won’t allow yourself to take a break and will just keep going.
5. Don’t Look at the Clock
A watched pot never boils. If you spend your days staring at the clock, those minutes will drag by and your work will be slow and difficult. Instead, block out the time, get into a rhythm, and don’t check unless you need to be somewhere or do something. This tip works whether you’re getting paid by the hour or by the contract. With the former, it means you’re not constantly hoping for the minutes to crawl by. With the latter, it means you’re not getting to the hour mark and telling yourself that it’s time for a break.
6. Audit Your Activity
When you want to make major changes and improvements in a business, you run an audit. If you want to make changes to your productivity levels, you should do the same. You can download a number of different programs that will check what you’re doing, where you’re browsing, and how much time you spend on documents, spreadsheets, and databases compared to Facebook and other distractions. You probably think that you have a pretty good idea of how much you’re working and how much you’re procrastinating. But those estimations will almost certainly be off. We tend to massively underestimate how much time we spend idly browsing and wasting time on games, social networks, and entertainment websites. By performing a self-audit, you could get the wake-up call that you need. You’ll also learn what your worst distractions are and can do something about them!