I don’t think I’ve hidden the fact that I’m lazy.
Do I try to be productive while working at home? Yes, I do.
Do I sometimes show a complete lack of regard to my laptop, letting it wither on the counter while I suck up a Golden Girls mini-marathon? Heck yeah I do !
And what’s worse than that except, of course, a day of reading the endless tripe that spews forth from the internet machine.
I’m a full-time blogger, I take care of the house, and I love my vices. So, when I stumbled upon this time use table, my eyes were opened to how much time I actually spend doing the everyday things that are not work related.
And if I add in the time I spend making a living, well, I seriously have to cut back on the time spent on everything if I want to enjoy a little down time.
So I set a goal for myself: Be insanely productive while working from home and meet ALL my goals.
How do I pull it off, and how can you do the same ?
How To Be More Productive While Working At Home
This is a little trick I learned during my 9-5 office jobs (all of which I hated, by the way). Delegate. Back in the day it was called “passing the buck”, but I call it “letting someone else do the crap”.
I can list off a dozen crappy things that I have to do every day – things I’d rather pawn off to someone else.
Like an intern.
Or my kids. Yep, they’re great little worker bees when I need some paper-sorting and label-sticking sort of things done.
And if the “crap” is a bit too advanced for my kids, I turn to the freelance-finding platform known as Upwork. I’ve found some great – and cheap – freelancers who have saved my fanny on more than one occasion.
Cut The Clutter
I don’t know about you, but I like to keep things simple. And when it comes to work, the less hassle the better. Unfortunately for me, this lesson took a lot of heartaches, stress and secret anger before it sank in.
This is what I learned NOT to do:
- Take on any tasks or projects if I know the job and I are not a good match
- Accept work if I sense a problem – like a scam
- Waste my time if I know – deep down – the project or job will be a pain in my rump
- Sweat the small stuff
Ahhh, the Kaboom toilet cleaning system…where have you been all my life? Even when I’m at my laziest I can clean my toilets without cleaning my toilets.
I have made it my mission to seek out tools that make all my jobs easier.
Like scrubbing the pot.
And sweeping the floor.
If only I had a robot to take out the garbage.
Not only do I automate my everyday house cleaning chores, I use an assortment of productivity tools to get my work-work done.
For instance, when I need to do an online chat with a client I always use Skype.
And to track my time usage, Everhour is a life saver.
For jotting down notes, I use the Simplenote app on my phone.
But my all-time best productivity “tool” is this: Setting up my browser’s start page to go directly to my blog so I get straight to work.
Is procrastination a fancy word for lazy? Well, if pulling out all of my delay tactics is kin to my slothiness, then yes.
A study on procrastination tells us that it doesn’t matter when a task gets done as long as it eventually gets finished. And I couldn’t agree more because I do get all my work done…eventually.
Procrastinating as a good thing – it forces me to get off my butt and do what needs to be done.
Looming deadline ? No problem ! I just look at my to-do list, figure out what I have to do NOW, what can wait til later, and get cracking. Surprisingly, the things I shove down the “wait” list get done…eventually.
Another little tid-bit I learned from my stint in the 9-5 world was to split-up projects into several smaller segments and do each piece when I was able to. I always seemed to have a deadline, but that only ensured the entire job would get done.
Now, Because I am a Golden Girls-aholic, I employ this work-in-short-bursts strategy so I never miss the slutatious antics of Blanche Devereaux.
Truth is, working like this makes every job seem as though the entire project is smaller than it really is. I just have to be sure the end result is to the satisfaction of my client – even if my client is my family.
I love nap time ! Sometimes, a ten minute re-charge of my brain is all I need.
A while ago I read about sleeping less to do more and I took on some of those little challenges. It didn’t take me long to realize that I could make sleep work for me. But sometimes I need a teeny-weeny bit more because it’s not always possible to wind-down and get a good night’s sleep (especially when hot flashes are raging !).
So I nap.
Trying to remember everything that goes through my mind can be a little challenging.
New blog post ideas.
Remembering to make a new Pinterest Pin.
The occasional non-staple grocery item.
So I keep notes. A lot of notes. I scribble things down on a notepad I have in my office (and one in the kitchen), but my favorite note-taking device is my phone. It’s always handy.
Turn Off All Notifications
This is a new one for me: turning off all notifications…at least while I’m working.
I don’t need to be distracted with the stupid little “someone liked your post” or “here’s a new email”. Nope. Don’t want to check my phone, email, anything every time I get a notification so I turn them off. Simple as that.
Have A True Work Environment
For years, my preferred way to work was sitting on my bed, laptop propped on my…lap…TV on.
But this turned out to bad for two reasons:
- My neck started to HATE me.
- I was often distracted by what was on TV
Know what I did ? I carved out a little space in my tiny guest room and built a makeshift desk. I re-seated a $15.00 chair from Habitat For Humanity Restore, bought an $8.00 shelf, and used a couple existing furniture pieces for the “legs”. When the weather warms up, my husband will create real legs and storage for my desk BUT, in the meantime, this works perfectly !
No more TV distractions, my neck is feeling better, and I get a lot more work done.
Hack Your Way To Goal Smashing
When I started working from home, I learned how unproductive I really was. The days slipped by so fast and I hardly got anything done. I HAD to make changes. Which is exactly what I did. and I hope these tips help you become more productive and smash your goals.
Now I’d like to hear from you:
Which of these tips help you become more productive ?
Do you have any productivity tips to share?
Feel free to leave a comment below.