Let’s cut the BS. You are more capable than you think. You haven’t given yourself the chance to succeed.
You CAN accomplish a ton working from home. It’s an adjustment at first, but you need to acclimate to the environment you’re in.
How did I manage to write 15 blog posts in a month, edit them all, do research AND learn a language 5x a week on the side AND still find the time to play chess at a competitive level?
By finding a system that works. The entire day flows from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep.
I love pushing myself to the absolute max. It’s a calm insanity that I’ve learned to cultivate throughout the years. You and I are no different, you just need to learn how to cultivate your own work ethic that sticks.
Below you’ll find 13 tips to become productive at home.
How to Be Productive at Home: 13 tips
1) Wake Up – NOW
When your alarm clock goes off, what do you do? You get up and don’t go back to sleep. I find that if I press snooze, my day is over. If you’re sleeping well, your alarm should hardly even be waking you up. You’ll find that you wake up around the time you should wake up, without an alarm.
Forcing yourself the first few times to get up right away will be rough. You’ll have to put your alarm clock away from your bed. I still leave my alarm on my cabinet in case I decide to sleep snooze.
As I get older, I’ve been finding that sleeping more takes a toll on my body and mind. Find the right amount of sleep you need every day to be at equilibrium. Around 9 hours is where I feel great, anything below 7 or above 10 and my day is out the window.
2) Separate Your Work Life from Your Home Life
Find a place to work that is going to be your designated workspace at home. Having a separate room is great for this. If you don’t have a free room, putting your desk in the living room is a good option. I recommend not placing your desk in the same room that you sleep in if possible.
Having a room as a place only for sleeping or romantic nights helps to establish boundaries with yourself. You know that the moment you step into your bedroom, work is finished. When you’re in your workspace, it’s time to work.
Just like you wouldn’t step into your office and start sleeping there, treat your home life the same way.
3) The Two Minute Rule
Can’t seem to get started? Give your task two minutes of attention, that’s all you need. If after two minutes you don’t want to keep going, you’re done for the day.
It sounds silly, but anytime I try this it’s been incredibly powerful. While I do get a lot done, there are days where I want to lounge around. I’ll dread being productive and give myself two minutes. I’ve not quit after two minutes one time after hearing about this!
It’s crazy how if you trick your mind a little bit, you’ll be able to accomplish so much in the day.
4) Work Smart
It’s easy to convince yourself that you’ve been working hard and yet get nowhere. The issue lies in how you approach your tasks. I have a flow that I’ve become accustomed to over the years that has taught me I need structure within my day to accomplish my goals.
At the end of every day, quantify what you’ve accomplished and how long you’ve spent on your tasks. You won’t know what you are REALLY doing until you start writing it down and reflecting on it.
If you find that you haven’t gotten nearly as much done as you thought you did then it’s time to make change. (and time to move on to the next step that ties in with this)
5) Cut Out Distractions
As I’m writing this, I have music playing and the laptop open. Nothing else. No Facebook, Twitter, Insta, Tik Tok, etc. I know how addicting these apps can be. I’ve deleted them all.
You don’t need to be like me. You can have your cake and eat it too. Put your phone away, unplug your internet. Do whatever it is you need to do to focus on the task at hand and get it done.
Most people equate a day’s work to 8 hours, 4-5 hours of intense focus will accomplish much more than a typical 8-hour shift.
6) Work When You Don’t Want To Work
I preach a ton about finding yourself, meditating and spirituality on this blog.
That doesn’t mean you get a free pass to be lazy. What I love to do is working past the point where I feel I need a break, and then working another day. Take a break after that day. You’re pushing yourself to the brink of destruction, but you will survive. (If you feel physical pain, please don’t continue).
Mental blocks that stop you from progressing will always be there. You have much more willpower than you could ever know. Our lives are much easier compared to even 100 years ago. People forget that humans had to find their own water, food, and shelter. Nowadays, it’s all taken care of.
You’ll surprise yourself with how productive you can be at home.
7) Take a Break
Yesterday I hit my limit. I know I’m beyond the point of return when I get that feeling in my stomach that it’s time to take a break.
I used to hate myself for wanting to take a break. I would always be stressing that if I took a break, I would be taking one step backward. But what are you working so hard for, anyway?
It’s easy to obsess over your work and hobbies to the point of addiction. I’ve ruined myself for months by overworking myself to the point of destruction. I learned it doesn’t need to be like that, life can be enjoyed along the way to success!
8) Be Passionate about Your Tasks
I wouldn’t be capable of working as hard as I am if my energy was being funneled into something I deemed a waste of time. When your heart is in it, your energy is seemingly endless.
You won’t have to force yourself to work on your side project or your work at home job. You’ll work freely from the heart, and that’s where the best work is done. Life shouldn’t be a grind, so don’t make it one.
9) Make Daily, Monthly and Yearly Goals
If you’re like me, you want to live a good life. It requires hard work and dedication, though. Goal setting provides a target to aim for.
You want to be moving in the direction your mind is pointing to. If you’re working every day and hitting your daily goals, you’ll hit your monthly goals. If you hit your monthly goals, you’ll hit your yearly goals.
Make your goals around things that you can control. I can control how many blog posts I write, but I cannot control how many visitors I get. I only worry about getting tangibles done and am confident enough in myself to deal with anything that should come up.
10) Stay in a Routine
My idea of “living the life” was going to bed at 5 am and waking up at 3 pm thinking that this lifestyle would be sustainable. I tried to live like that for a while, but the lack of sunshine ended up being detrimental to my sanity.
A routine will help you be more productive at home. You’ll wake up at the same time, go to sleep at the same time, and know exactly when you’ll have time to be productive. Knowing that you have a block of time to utilize rather than waste throughout the day is how you start pushing yourself to get stuff done.
11) Enjoy the Evening
My most productive times are in the morning. As the day progresses forward, my ability to work well diminishes rapidly. How do you deal with this?
By not working any longer than you need to. You can make mistakes and put more work on your table by doing shoddy work. Instead of going back and fixing your “work”, set an allotted amount of time to be productive in a day. Anything after that is solely for enjoyment.
12) Don’t Forget About Yourself
Let yourself unwind during the time you have off. If you find yourself trying to “be productive” during the time you should be enjoying yourself, you need to figure out why that is. For me, it’s because I have dealt with a fear of inadequacy in the past.
I’ve learned how to deal with this over time, but for years I wasn’t even able to enjoy my life as a single. Work is great, but don’t let it consume you fully. Watch movies, read a book, watch TV, listen to music, talk to friends. Do what makes you happiest.
You want balance in your life, not all work and no play.
13) Find What Works for You
I can only give you what works best for me. You might not be like me and enjoy going to sleep at 10 pm and waking up an hour early to work. You do you. You’ll want to live your life how you want to live it.
It isn’t an excuse for not finding time to getting work done, though. You should aim to be as productive as you can. The way I look at it, you only have one life to live. Why not give your passion all you have?
Being productive doesn’t necessarily mean being boring. Work on things that you enjoy and you’ll have the energy to do them. It’s worked for me all these years. I’m sure it’ll work for you.