When you are working from home without any strict schedules, it is very easy to fall into the trap of pushing all of your work later into the day. You end up wasting your mornings and having to cram a number of tasks that you put off.
If this is the habit that you have unknowingly built for yourself in your time as a remote worker, there is no better time than now to make a good, healthy change. It starts with little actions, which will help you create a better routine for yourself even while you are just at home.
Here are a few great tips that help you make your workdays more productive:
Five Daily Practices for a More Productive Day
Changing your routine is often difficult to start because you tend to view it as a huge responsibility. But really, it’s just a set of small steps that get you to your goals little by little. Try these five little things today:
1. Get good sleep and wake up refreshed.
The usual problem with getting work done early is that you are too groggy to get up every morning. This can be due to poor quality sleep due to an irregular sleep schedule.
For better sleep, you can use tools that help you support and understand your biorhythm. That is, when you lie down at night, set up your space in such a way that it invites sleep and not further activity. Lessen your gadget use, use some aromatherapy, or make use of heating blankets to help you fall asleep more quickly.
Also, don’t sleep late and have a consistent bedtime. These help you have more energy in the morning.
2. Create a to-do list for the day.
When you have not planned out your workday, it’s pretty easy to end up scrambling to figure out which task to prioritize. Avoid this by creating a to-do list when you wake up, or even better, the night before another day begins.
Don’t just set vague goals such as “Finish deliverable for the client,” as this gives you a pass to be lax about them throughout the day. Set small, clear goals such as “Write a five-part outline for client pitch” or “Edit deck for presentation on Wednesday.”
Arrange them according to priority, too, and even add the estimated time you’ll need to accomplish each task to better plan your day.
3. Make your atmosphere conducive to work.
A cluttered workspace or having no workspace at all makes it hard to get yourself in the proper mind space to start working. Clutter is a huge distraction that keeps you from doing the tasks at hand. Assign one area in your home as a workspace and always do your work there.
Before you start working in the morning or after you finish working the day before, make it a point to clean up your desk and whole work area. You can rearrange your workspace, too, to make it look good as new for the next day.
4. Work too intimidating? Start with some exercise.
Sometimes, diving into work in the morning feels a little intimidating, especially when you have some heavy deliverables to accomplish. What you can do to condition yourself properly is to start by exercising.
Doing simple stretches in bed helps wake up your mind and body to prepare for the day. An exercise routine makes you more alert and can even improve your mood. Also, they burn some calories in just five minutes or so!
5. Do one thing at a time.
You can have a neat work area and a carefully made schedule and still feel overwhelmed by all the work that has to be done. That is probably because you are trying to do too many things all at once. Simply, stop multitasking and tick off the things on your to-do list one at a time.
It is best to start with the biggest task first. When even that feels a little too intimidating, break down that big task into smaller goals and accomplish them step by step. Support yourself, too, with some music or ambient sounds that help you keep your focus on your current task.
Another important thing is to factor in some breaks in between tasks to avoid burning yourself out. That is as easy as going for a five-minute walk in your yard or standing up to a stretch after you finish one task.
Remember that a frequent barrier to productivity is information overload. When you organize your thoughts and make plans for the day, everything becomes more practical and doable, even the big stuff.