Work here, work there, work everywhere! Most of us are busy, while only some remain to be productive. With remote work here to stay, the one metric companies monitor to assess employees is – productivity. Knowledge of productivity hacks helps us to realize the difference between staying busy and productive.
Work from home productivity tips
Given below are productivity hacks for super busy professionals keen to enjoy their remote work-life and maximize productivity.
#1: Believe in the power of planning
As Dwight D. Eisenhower puts it – Plans are nothing; planning is everything.
Create a task list well ahead to gain clarity for your day-to-day work.
A planner serves as a reminder and saves time. Schedule a monthly work plan, if possible, or a weekly plan without a miss.
Use the last days of the month to plan for the upcoming one.
Spend the last working hour of Friday to plan for the next week.
Use 5-10 minutes daily before wrapping up work to chalk out things for the next day.
That’s it. Planning is simple. And a super productivity hack for professionals.
#2: Remember it’s okay to say ‘No’
Collaboration is a good thing. Till it doesn’t burden you.
Schedule some time in the week to help colleagues and peers. Use other hours for your work productivity. If they approach for help, politely tell them that you would check it out as per the set schedule.
It might be tempting to take up too much work of others to showcase as a team player. But it sounds no fun beyond a limit.
It may sound harsh, but saying ‘no’ is one of the proven productivity hacks for professionals.
#3: Follow Time Blocking
Ever heard of time blocking?
Time blocking is tested and tried productivity hack for professionals. Time blocking is a time management principle that suggests devoting a specified time for a specific task.
For instance, you are a recruiter and juggle multiple tasks in a day. Use the first two hours to search for candidates, the next two to talk to the candidates, the latter two to send out emails, and the last two hours to team collaboration and communication.
It might be just an example, but you get it.
A fixed task in a fixed time. You are already in line for the productivity game.
#4: Create a motivating workspace
Your TV couch or bedroom cot never makes the ideal workspace. Why?
Besides being not ergonomic, such places can lead to distractions and drift your focus away from work.
Set up an ergonomic workspace. Invest in a quality work-from-home setup. Choose a silent, no distraction zone in your home. Bonus if it has natural ventilation and greenery. Stick motivating posters and use desk décor that recreates the office environment.
And there you go! See your productivity levels shoot up.
#5: Try Pomodoro Technique
Unless you are an AI-powered humanoid, remember that you are human and will have focus issues.
To beat the issues with attention span, try Pomodoro Technique – one of the experts suggested productivity hacks.
It says humans cannot concentrate for longer periods. Hence, the technique suggests humans work for 25 minutes and then take a break for 5 minutes.
#6: Save your ideas
Ideas are really weird. They strike at the most irrelevant moment. Like gardening, cooking, walking, observing, or even in a shower.
And guess what? It is healthy and natural too.
Do you know that the idea of Harry Potter occurred to J.K. Rowling while waiting for a delayed train?
Hence, make an arrangement to save ideas as and when they strike your busy mind.
Keep a notepad and pen ready on your homework table. You could even try sticking notes to your refrigerator.
Ideas saved are time saved. Direct proportionality with productivity, agree?
#7: Encourage productive meetings
Managers may not like this, but most meetings are not necessary. And studies support the same.
Inc. suggests that – “Sometimes deciding not to hold a meeting may be the best use of everyone’s valuable time.”
Instead of staying on zoom for hours together just for the sake of it, try sending emails. It saves hours for everyone on the team.
Plan team meetings only if necessary. Else try the fastest way of communication – chats, emails, and messages.
Thus, encouraging productive meetings is one of the best productivity hacks we often ignore.
#8: Set healthy deadlines
Remote work can be demotivating without any doubt. The lack of collaboration and peer presence can make the work dull.
Beat this boredom by setting healthy deadlines. Set a time frame for every deliverable from your side and stick to them. This way, even if you lack the enthusiasm to work for some time, you will bounce back at least to meet the deadline.
#9: Organize passwords
Passwords can consume time if you lose track. Save time and maximize productivity by organizing passwords.
Try online tools that accomplish the same. Autosave feature can be a great option too.
Additionally, write down passwords in a small notepad (since you are working from home, and any mishap to your laptop can mean loss of passwords and hamper work) and save it somewhere safe.
#10: Prioritize and execute
The list of tasks can seem daunting at first glance. Your energy levels may fall looking at the piling up to-dos.
To win over this, prioritize the tasks. Start working on them based on urgency and criticality.
Strike off one by one task as and when you complete it. Treat yourself to something nice when you do so. (A small bite of dark chocolate is not a guilty indulgence!)
Similarly, start with the most challenging tasks in the morning hours when your mind is fresh. Leave the monotonous works like checking emails or social media to the later hours of the day.
#11: Declutter and organize home
Your productivity levels and clutter in the house are indirectly related.
It can be annoying to work amidst clutter as it spreads negative energy and distracts our attention.
Use the weekend productively to declutter and clean the home. Invite fresh energy and cheery vibes by adding some greenery that can help to maximize productivity.
#12: Make things simple
Now that we are discussing productivity hacks for professionals, you might be tempted to try your hand with productivity apps and tools.
A gentle reminder here is – relying too much technology can be counter-productive.
Make things simple. Wherever things work with pen and paper, do them so. Likewise, keep communication amongst team members straight and smooth.
Simplifying tasks saves time and hence is an unbeatable productivity hack for employees.
#13: Ditch perfectionism
It may sound cliché, but perfectionism is a fantastic time killer. Instead of trying to attain perfectionism, focus on productivity.
Complete a task, leave it aside and revisit it later to improve it instead of struggling with perfecting it at one go.
#14: Make it clear to family
With remote work on the rise and everyone one wearing multiple hats, delineating the work and home is emerging into a greater challenge.
Strictly shun yourself away from family-based distractions for a couple of hours to maximize productivity.
Explain the necessity for an undisturbed work environment for your family. Request them not to knock when you are working.
#15: Get up early
Most of us may be night owls, but getting up early is an evergreen productivity hack for professionals.
Our mind works fast and sharp in the fresh hours of the day rather than in the late night. Hence, wake up at least an hour early than you do daily and start your day.
Getting up early lets you complete the work faster with boosted energy levels and maximize productivity.
#16: Monitor your sanity
Staying sane is what everyone must focus on seriously. With juggling between family and work taking a toll on mental health, it is equally important that we make every effort to stay sane.
Monitor your workload. Check if you are on the verge of burnout. Take breaks and enjoy me-time and get back to work.
Good sanity is the best productivity hack for employees.
#17: Procrastinate procrastination
Tomorrow never comes. And we mean it!
Stop procrastination at work. The tasks you postpone can pile up and cause an extra burden on yourself later on.
Instead, as we saw just a while ago, prioritize, set healthy deadlines and complete the tasks one by one.
#18: Set time for non-work related tasks
During work hours, make everything else wait. Whether it is social media or phone messages, set separate time to deal with non-work-related tasks.
One easy to implement productivity tip would be:
Do not save social media passwords on your office laptop. This way you won’t log in frequently and waste time on it.
Also, put your phone away in another room and do not check it until you complete your deliverables.
#19: Delegate and outsource
Before trying to up your productivity game, it is crucial to learn the power of delegation and outsourcing.
Delegate works to your peers and team members as and where possible. Likewise, outsource your works at home to grab enough time to focus on office work and maximize productivity.
#20: Snack healthy
No surprise for guessing; healthy eating helps us stay healthy and maximize productivity.
Keep unhealthy snacks away from your desk. Snack on salads, nuts, and fruits, and drink ample water.
A healthy mind in a healthy body. A healthy mind is a key to super productivity.
#21: Bid adieu to multi-tasking
“I am a multi tasker!” sounds great to hear. In reality, the trait can often kill productivity.
Multi-tasking is an absolute misnomer in the list of productivity hacks.
Instead, focus on one task at a time. A task in the hand is worth two in the list. Complete it first before you move on to the next.
Implement single-tasking and enjoy a spike in productivity.
#22: Stay away from the TV
With OTTs tempting us with a never-ending list of new releases, it sounds fun to sit in front of the TV and work watching the latest releases.
But only later do we realize that the result would be an absolute disaster.
During work hours, stay away from TV, focus on the work and wrap it off fast.
Instead, save the TV watching to the weekends or after work hours.
#23: Take help
Wherever you feel stuck with your work, seek the help of your team. Taking help is one of the productivity hacks of highly successful people.
That said, do not burden them with your works. Notice the thin line between taking help and disturbing them too often.
#24: Use productivity tools
If your office provides productivity tools for team collaboration, make the best use of them. They simplify work by providing a visible picture of what to do when and who must do what.
#25: Avoid distractions
Strictly avoid distractions such as pets, chat messages, social media, or entertainment while working. Resist the urge to check online notifications and emails outside of work during work hours.
You may find this challenging at first. However, later you would realize that this is a super productivity tip for employees.
#26: Take healthy breaks
No, we are not again talking about a 5-minute break after every 25 minutes.
What we suggest here is – take healthy and rejuvenating breaks often.
Go on a walk. Get the sunlight and feel the fresh breeze. Enjoy the freshly brewed coffee or tea. Play with kids and pets.
Take breaks in such a way that you are away from digital devices and spend time with family.
#27: Have backups
Technology can be so convenient till the moment it starts troubling us. Now that we are not working from the office and our admin team is no more a cubicle away to troubleshoot the laptop or internet issues, the entire responsibility of having backups stays on us.
Have a backup computer and Wi-Fi. Save your work on the cloud regularly so you won’t lose it when something happens to your laptop.
Backups can be life saviours as much as they are productivity boosters.
#28: Switch off after work
Now, this is one of the main challenges of workers working remotely. The State of Remote Report of Buffer identifies that unplugging after work is the prime concern for remote employees. ,
Switching off the computer after work can boost productivity. Refrain from using laptops and computers or mobiles to watch movies or relax.
Stay away from these gadgets and vote for the traditional TV for entertainment.
#29: Sleep well
Quality sleep is the greatest of productivity hacks. The importance of good sleep for professionals is often ignored. Thankfully, we are identifying the necessity of sleeping well to maximize productivity.
Get that beauty sleep of 7-8 hours in the night and enjoy a boost in productivity.
#30: Spend time with nature
Use weekends and early morning daily to spend time with nature. Studies indicate that nature is a fabulous rejuvenator, boosts our mental health, and directly impacts productivity.
Whether you do gardening or love swimming, go ahead and do them on the weekends to come back to display better productivity levels in the coming week.
Productivity at work not only helps to prove yourself as a professional but also relieves your mental burden. Implement these productivity hacks and stay super productive in the new normal of working remotely.
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