I am writing this mainly for those who are working from home either in the evenings or weekends trying to build up a business that will one day free them of the day job. Of course people who are working from home full time could still benefit from this post. It all depends on how they manage their work and time during the day.
This might be a short post as the most important tips for increasing productivity are few. Some people write long winded posts giving as many ideas as possible but in truth the real way to increase productivity at work is get rid of all distraction. Simple!
Many hours of valuable time is wasted by distractions. In reality for most of us four hours of work can be reduced to one or two pure focused hours leaving you more time to relax and chill, or do more work, whatever you want to spend your time on.
What normally happens is this, people sit down to work at home on the computer and within a few minutes they will be checking emails, searching YouTube for videos and texting, myself included. I am not sure why, but it does seem to be a human trait, most of us do it.
We cannot help but be distracted; it probably has a lot to do with the genetic make-up of humans. We are pleasure seekers, we desire happiness. Scientists have told us that this desire is what makes us grow and evolve, without it we probably would have died out long ago.
Interestingly the most successful people are often successful because they enjoy the work they do so doing more of it fills their desires for pleasure and enjoyment.
Most of us know that if we totally focused on doing what needs doing then we would probably be done in half the time and then we can relax, have fun and chill. Whatever your time scale is, it could be hours, days, weeks or even years, the more we do undistracted and with complete focus, the faster we will get to what it is we want.
The life we live now is nothing but the results from what we have already done. JK Rowling is an author and multi-millionaire because she wrote books, if she sat on a sofa eating crisps every night watching TV wanting to be an author then she would not be an author or wealthy. She would be an unhealthy overweight Coronation St fan probably.
The pain of working hard and being seriously disciplined can scare us and make us hold back a bit but in the long run, after years of wasting a lot of time, looking back and realising that you could have reached your goal earlier if you had been more focused, more disciplined and more committed which resulted in more free time to enjoy life will hurt even more.
We sit down with good intentions of getting as much work done as possible but we are soon distracted, and sadly we often happily allow ourselves to become distracted.
If you are an evening blogger or writer it is possible that you will have family around and if you do not have the space in your home to work away from everyone then the chances are you will be in the lounge on the table while the children or the better half is sat watching TV.
It won’t take long before you are soon chatting about what is on the TV or sat at the table staring at the TV yourself. I know, I do it!
When you are distracted work doesn’t get done, so you carry on until it is finished then by the end of the night you might get moaned at for being ‘pre occupied’ for five or six hours and not spending the time with your family.
It is only right and fair that you spend time with your loved ones but getting that work done is equally important, after all, if you want or need to change your life or circumstance, then the only way to get different results is to do different things.
“If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten.” – Tony Robbins
You need a balance and trying to get a balance is hard but it must be done. Discipline is important but interestingly the discipline needed will actually make your life easier, and you will get more done in the long run. The more you get done then the less frustrated you will be and you will become more relaxed.
How To Increase Productivity In The Workplace
Make a space in your house away from everyone, even if you have to use a fold away table in the bedroom so you are not distracted. Turn off your mobile phone or leave it on a shelf away from you.
Check your emails if you must, or write it in as part of a plan, do it every other day then leave the other days free to get on with other jobs like producing content.
Create a schedule of what to do each day or evening and stick to it, having a plan and schedule can keep us focused and direct our attention otherwise we will be bumbling around between half jobs and wondering what to do next.
Make sure you do not have Facebook or Twitter open; it is so easy to get into chats and commenting on things that are not relevant. Do that in your chill time unless it is your business account and that is what you have scheduled for the hour.
Turn music off, as a lover of music this one is difficult, sometimes music can help me work better and I know many others would say the same. The choice of music is vital if you insist on having some on while you work. I try and have some Ibiza style chill out music playing so I am not distracted by heavy energetic bass lines, beats or vocals otherwise I would be dancing around the room like a loon.
However even chill out music can still have me drifting off into imagined scenes of sun kissed beaches with blue skies and clear seas. Sometimes I just want to close my eyes and listen to the music. What happens when I drift off into Secret Insider Land? Nothing! As far as productive work is concerned.
My better half is often right, she tells me to switch it all off completely, turn it all off and work for a few pure undisturbed hours and you will get far more done, especially if you have a plan to follow as soon as you sit down.
Newbie bloggers can get distracted with statistics, we all know the importance of getting site visitors and we want to see the amounts increase each week but checking them every 5 or 10 minutes will not help us to be more productive.
Ironically, the number of visitors we get would more likely increase if we got more articles and posts written. If you add up the time spent checking on site statistics and social media comments you will probably find that over a week you would have wasted the amount of time needed to write 1 or 2 great posts.
Sometimes we delude ourselves by saying that ‘checking social media comments and answering questions’ is working and being business like, in some ways it is, but if every time we sit down to work we spend an hour two doing that, nothing gets done.
I bet if you read back all those comments and answers you will see that they are probably not that important and beneficial to your work anyway making them a waste of your time. Not good!
I know, as I write this I have ended up in a Facebook chat which I am bringing to a quick end now! I needed to thank someone for sharing a post and then out of nowhere he replied with questions… Aggrrr.
I sit here watching as my time is slowly draining away. Fortunately I realise that and have now stopped the conversation otherwise this post will not get finished as quick as it could, sorry I mean ‘as quick as it should’.
You need to develop an anti-social attitude to social media, sounds strange but you must otherwise you will be sat wasting your time playing Zynga games and chatting most nights and when the new year arrives you would be wondering why you are still stuck in the same old rut you are trying to escape from.
The New Year has started, it is now 2013, so how did you get on in 2012? Have you done what needed doing? Are you where you wanted to be? If not, don’t berate yourself, now is the time to start and get back on track, make 2013 a great year. Turn off all distractions when you sit down to work. Schedule some proper time to do your work, decide what you are doing each time and really focus. When you do, you will be done quicker, taking you nearer to the results you desire or at least giving you some of your evening back.- SI