Are you struggling to get things done when you’re working from home? Facebook opened in one tab, your phone right beside you, maybe your kids are being loud (but suprisingly good!) in the room beside you, it’s a nice day and you just don’t seem to want to get anything done, you don’t seem like anything you’re doing is actually accomplishing anything.
Everyone who works from home has been there, with the exact same struggles.
There are a few easy steps to ensure that you get as much done in every precious second that you have to work.
First, if you have a social media or time wasting site up (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, whatever your vice is) simply closing them isn’t enough, because if you’re anything like me, all you have to do is type “F” into the browser search bar and it auto-corrects it to “WWW.Facebook.com” and you’re right back where you started! So, instead of just closing out your tabs, try installing an app that blocks you out of those sites for however long you need to work. The most popular app out right now for Google Chrome is StayFocused. Since quitting sites like that cold turkey is hard (even for an hour, yes, I know) you can have an allotted time to browse your sites but once you’ve used up those precious minutes, you’re locked out of it until your time is up or until you un-install the app out of frustration (if you want to get anything done, I don’t suggest doing that). Other free apps for Google Chrome include Block Site, Simple Blocker and Strict Workflow (These all work for Mac’s as well). All great, all with the same goal: To keep you on track.
Now that you have all of your distracting websites gone, if you don’t need it for work, go ahead and shut your phone on airplane mode or shut it off completely. If you need it to accept any incoming calls, turn off your wifi (and data too!) so you can get texts and calls but you can’t access the internet. So, now you have no more distractions, it’s time to get some actual work done.
Find out when your most optimal work time is -is it first thing in the morning, up before the sun and everyone else in your house is up when it’s just you, your coffee, a cozy bathrobe and your computer? Is it right after lunch when you’re full, your kids are sleepy and not loud, or is in the evening when you have time to relax into your chair and know that the only thing that lays between you and your cozy, comfy bed is this work you have to do? Whenever your time to work is, make a schedule and STICK TO IT! If you want to start working at 7pm, unless there’s an emergency, make sure your butt is sat down in the chair at exactly 7:00 and you have your site blocker opened (if you need it) and you’re finding the right sites you need to get your work done. If you need your coffee or your day planner or anything else, make sure you round that up before hand so you don’t find yourself making excuses to get up then get sidetracked.
Schedule yourself enough time to get each task done, but make sure that you’re not giving yourself too much time or you’ll find an excuse to slack off in your extra time for that task. Make your schedule as detailed as you can so you have a clear vision of how much you need – not want, but need – to accomplish and you can feel good about what you’re doing before you do it. It’s easy to not want to work if you come off every night feeling like you didn’t do a damn thing even though you had all this time.
When planning your work time, make sure that you include that ONE task – you know what I’m taking about – that one task that you absolutely dread doing every time you realize that you have to do it, a little part of you dies and you just want to crawl in that blanket fort your kids made with all the blankets from their bed you just made perfectly (sigh) and never come out. Make sure that you get that done first, as early in the day as you possibly can so that you can get it over with. Schedule yourself enough time get it done so you don’t feel rushed doing it because that’s just going to make you not want to do it even more. With tasks you don’t want to do, finding any excuse not to do it is pretty easy. Getting it out of the way as early as possible is key, because as soon as it’s done, you can sigh a big sigh of relief, crawl out of that blanket fort and feel good about what you just did. And make sure you did a good job of it! You might want to half ass it, but if you had to do it once, do you really want to do it over again? Probably not.
Finally, make sure that your head is in the game. Mindset is KEY when you’re working from home with no boss to discipline you when you’re caught slacking off. Before you start, close your eyes and visualize what you want to achieve, visualize how you’re going to feel at the end of your work time when it’s all said and done and you’ve completed all of your tasks including the most daunting one. Isn’t that a nice feeling? Make sure you actually feel that in the end. Tune the world out because when you need to accomplish something, it’s just you and that task. If you’re not going to be all in and commiting to making this whole “working-from-home” business work, maybe you’re not cut out from the job. If you really want to work from home but you also don’t think that you can commit, go ahead and prove yourself wrong, and anyone else who has doubted you. You can do this! You’re a superstar!
Good luck in your working, and may motivation always drive you to excellence.