Work From Home Moms/Dads: Ways To Increase Your Productivity

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Mar 21, 2018
Being productive while working from home requires, most of all, great strength and self-accountability. It’s something that anyone can do in theory. In practice however, only a selected few are actually doing it right, with great efficiency and success. After years of working from home, I still struggle at times to maintain focus and stay productive. Here are some strategies that have been working for me:

1. Schedule your work. At the beginning of every month, plan your tasks and responsibilities dividing them per weeks and days. Planning each week carefully helps you keep a healthy balance between work and personal time. I found that not planning every single week makes it more tempting to postpone work for the second part of the month. Don’t make the same mistake if having a balanced life is important to you. Of course, daily planning is equally important and I absolutely recommend it.

2. Take frequent breaks. The human brain can only stay focused on a particular subject for a very limited amount of time. After approximately 20 minutes, it finds ways to disconnect and switch focus to something else. However, you can learn how to control this by scheduling frequent breaks and telling your brain when it can disconnect. This is the best way to make sure that your work is done efficiently. More than that, it also makes procrastination less likely to happen since short time spawns of work are perceived as less threatening. Use the Pomodoro technique to learn how to alternate sessions of uninterrupted work with short breaks.

3. Start your days with the most important task. Ever heard of Mark Twain’s quote 'Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.'? It is often used in time management strategies to express the importance of starting the day with the most complicated task. Once you are done with it, the rest of the day will seem a lot easier.

4. Have your own rituals. Personal rituals and habits are hard to break. So, by incorporating work into your daily rituals, you can make sure you’re going to work on what you need to. Other rituals are important too when it comes to productivity. Exercising or listening to music increases the levels of dopamine in the brain, making you more motivated and productive.

5. Avoid distractions. One of the greatest challenges when working from home is ditching the numerous distractions. Your cat wants attention, dog wants food, friends and family call you on the phone, and you don’t have the excuse of being at the office, in a space where you can’t take personal phone calls all the time. Learning how to avoid all these comes with experience and a lot of will-power. Set boundaries with friends and family and let them know when it is OK to call or write to you. Put your phone in silent mode and lock it in a drawer, checking it only during the breaks.