Trying to get things done while working from home?
Like everyone else right? Except it’s hard to infuse spurts of motivation into a non-productive cycle.
Each time I tried to quickly finish my simultaneous projects, my stress levels soared. And in the end, what did I have? Stacks of unfinished work.
It seemed everyone else was getting things done in such an insane way that I almost bought into the hype and felt left behind.
For months I’ve found articles that say: wake up at 5 am, meditate, exercise, work work work, multitask until you drop, set all your goals then break them down, put on that turbo to achieve insane levels of productivity, and earn a million dollars. 6 figures seems to be the minimum! Easy!
And here I am, struggling to write one paragraph and trying to put a dent into the many projects I’ve already started but can’t seem to finish…
World crises do strange things to our thoughts – as if the worry cloud forever lingers in the back of our minds. And for many, it’s hard to get things done when we collectively find ourselves in a place that offers no stable perspective.
It saps our concentration making it hard to feel productive when you work from home. It also makes us lose our legendary focus.
In the end, getting work done from home gets complicated unless you learn to create your own rhythm.
I had to resort to beginner tactics. Of course, I wasn’t happy about it because my to-do list is always too long and I wanted to get everything done like yesterday, but I pushed forward methodically and slowly.
And it worked.
Read further. These 5 simple ways will get your focus back and help you get things done when you work from home.
GET THINGS DONE IN A CLEAR SPACE
When you work in a mess, well, your brain gets messy.
The opposite is also true.
Since we instinctively (and sometimes unconsciously) react to our environment, it’s very beneficial and calming to keep things in order and have enough space to think clearly.
Try getting rid of things you don’t need. If it’s too hard, then start sorting only a few things.
And If even that seems like a hugely daunting task, then just take 30 minutes to clean up the mess and put things away. Make your entire living and work area visually uncluttered.
However tiny, your workspace should feel inviting and in harmony as it will help you reduce the stress and get to work.
TOP 3 THINGS
If you’ve written out so many lists that you can’t even remember what’s on them, then chances are you don’t get things done easily. Perhaps because not every single to-do item on your list is super important.
Writing lists makes us feel like we’re moving forward.
But there’s a difference between writing endless lists and actually accomplishing what’s on them.
If we take on too much at once, overwhelm quickly sets in, and in the end, we get stuck without knowing what’s next.
And so we write up another list.
Narrow your list. Write only what’s truly important for you, your space, your work, your family, and your future.
Take 10 minutes.
- Consolidate all your lists.
- Take 10 minutes, and instinctively circle the 3 things that should be on top. Don’t start overthinking again!
- Now the most crucial step: Choose 1 thing – of the top 3.
- On a blank sheet of paper rewrite your Top 3 then circle your Number 1.
Set a specific time block to only work on your circled top priority.
When you’re finished, be proud and move on to the next priority.
Make sure that you have your top 3 every day when you wake up –
which means preparing your list the night before.
Not only will you have a specific goal for each day, but by preparing in advance, you’ll have more time for your morning routine.
SET A TIMER
It’s sometimes hard to get things done when you work from home because there’s so much going on to distract us. We’re working, but we’re also at home and things can get pretty mixed up.
Since no one is telling you what to do, self-discipline is essential here and that usually takes some practice. So after you’ve blocked your specific hours (or minutes) as mentioned above, try the timer test, it really does work.
It’s a healthy competition between you and you. And that’s the only competition that counts!
Set your timer for 1 hour. Or maybe 10 minutes at a time if you’re having trouble getting through a project or task.
10 minutes a time is sufficient. It serves the purpose of traction and will get you doing more things with focus.
It’s worth it. You can get things done in increments vs. not done at all.
AVOID THE RABBIT HOLE
Ok, this isn’t easy. It’s like being a kid, and someone wants to take your toys away.
Of course, you’re not going to let it happen that easily right?
Add to that the fear of missing out on something super incredibly important that just went through your feed… and there you go again, scrolling endlessly and mindlessly while your top 3 items are patiently waiting for your undevoted attention.
You just feel bad about yourself because you know you should have been productive and stress levels rise again.
Put an app on your phone to monitor how much time you spend on social media… It will clearly show you why you can’t get things done when you work from home.
Another solution if you’re serious about getting motivated to finish your work: just shut off the phone.
Yes, most will panic at the thought of a complete shutdown while the timer is on.
And that’s ok.
Tell yourself that you’re just experimenting, not giving up your lifeline forever.
Try it for 10 minutes. Then try for 1 hour. Turn it off before going to bed.
Once you realize that your phone is an integral part of your life, (not always positive) you can consciously reduce screen time.
And only then can you start seriously getting things done when you work from home.
Related Reading: Teens and Phone Addiction: How to Cut Down on Social Media.
MULTITASK TO GET THINGS DONE?
It used to be that if you did lots of things simultaneously or have the ability to switch from one project to another, you had superpowers.
But it’s actually been proven that multitasking or switch tasking dissipates your focus. The reason being it takes you longer to repeatedly find where you left off than finish what you started.
In other words, by backtracking, which is what you end up doing, your productivity goes down, and in the end, you won’t perform any of your tasks very well.
TRY IT FOR 10 MINUTES
It’s hard to work from home and always stay motivated while the world around us is going crazy.
Avoid listening to all the people that tell you they’ve achieved amazing things in one day or are earning millions from simple steps.
Maybe it’s true for some, but it’s certainly not the majority.
Focus on you and where you’re at, what you’re capable of doing, and learn to gently push yourself out of your comfort zone. Once you gain traction, the rest will follow in due time.
Try just one tip above for 10 minutes.
Then move on to the next one.
Slowly but surely you’ll learn how to gain the necessary focus to help you get things done when you work from home and the blurry line will get clear!
NOW LET’S GET TO WORK 🙂