I quit my job 9 months ago and started working full-time on my blog. I thought I will have all the time in the world. I’ll write for a longer time, build social media profiles, join a gym, meditate, etc, etc.
But I soon found out that it’s incredibly hard to even accomplish any of these things. Why? Because I don’t have any pressure. I don’t have any deadlines. That’s when I realized that authority is good sometimes.
The other major problem while working from home is that you get trapped in house chores. Your family won’t think like the way you do. They think that you are free and it’s your duty to do more household-related work. You could relate to me if you live with your family.
I hate this one. Anniversaries, religious functions, any other functions, etc. I would have ignored these 9 out of 10 times when I was working in a full-time job. But it’s unignorable when you are at home and someone wants you at your party. They will even ask you to come earlier to help them with the preparation.
Now, If you are like me and you are getting more unproductive as the day passes then I’ve figured out a few things. These tips are tips, not hacks. You need to implement them regularly for getting good results. Let’s get started.
Say, you wake up in the morning and have no idea on what work you have to accomplish today. No matter how much effort you put, you will always feel directionless and confused.
So the first thing you need to do is make a goal. Neither an impossible or an easy goal. But a goal which is hard to get yet achievable with some effort. Goal setting can alone be an extensive post but let me give you a quick tip.
Use 5-4-3 rule.
Here 5 stands for 5 years. Write everything that you want to accomplish in 5 years. It can be generating a 7 figure income from your blog or establishing a successful company. It depends on you but this has to be high-end goals. Many people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year and underestimate what they can achieve in 5 years.
4 stands for 4 months. Make goals that you have to achieve in 4 months. It can be 50 posts, $1000 in revenue, 1k twitter followers, etc. You get the point. Make sure you have crafted the goals that resemble with your 5-year goal.
3 stands for 3 weeks. Here you will want to set goals that you want to achieve in 3 weeks. Again it can be anything that is achievable but also resembles with your 4-month goal.
Now, you also need to make daily tasks that will help you in achieving these goals. It can be 1000 words/day, 5 tweets/day, taking a specific course, reading certain articles on your topic.
Quick tip- Write the daily tasks in a paper with column and rows and tick mark it once you complete a certain task. It feels good every time you tick mark a goal because of the dopamine your brain releases. You won’t get this feeling when you use any software for this.
Procrastination increases when you don’t have a deadline. Make a deadline like publishing 3 posts in a week (depends on you). Whatever you do, you can’t miss the deadline. You will be surprised by how much it increases your productivity.
I have a fixed schedule. I wake up at 6 am (trying to make it 5), take a 45-minute walk, meditate, breakfast then back at my desk by 9 am. You don’t need to follow everything but can add a physical workout and meditation in your morning ritual. The effects are magical.
Once you complete all these tasks, start with the more productive work like writing. Write for 2-3 hours straight (might take a pee break). Don’t get me wrong but hours don’t count, you need to have a writing goal like 500 or 1000 or 2000 words per day.
When you walk in the office. Your mind automatically shifts to the working mode. This happens because your mind has been habitual of your surrounding. When it senses the desk, some noise, your colleagues then it understands that this is work time.
Don’t roam around with your laptop and work wherever you like. It will make you less productive. Set up a separate place in your home where there are no distractions. Make it your permanent place to work.
It doesn’t mean that you can’t work from someplace else. Sometimes, it might help if you work from a park or a coffee shop or maybe from another room. It will help you in changing your mood.
Make a routine
I love to work in a routine. It makes me more disciplined. I have 4 chunks of routine- morning, afternoon, evening, night. Make your routine according to your need. You might need to spend some time with your spouse in the evening, in that case, you need to work on early morning and afternoon. If you have kids then you might like to work in a different schedule. My point is to make a timetable that suits you most.
Making a routine is easy and sticking with it is incredibly hard. But keep on trying and you will shortly become habitual to this routine.
“I am more productive”. “I accomplish all my tasks”. “I achieve all my Goals”. “I am writing 5000 words”. “I am a great writer”.
These are just examples, make changes according to what you desire but make sure to keep it in the present tense.
Affirm these sentences at least twice- in the morning and just before you go to sleep. Visualize as you affirm and your subconscious will make it happen. Read the book ‘The power of your subconscious mind‘ for delving deeper into this.
Pretend like you are going to office
Working from home doesn’t mean that you will do anything at any time. Do all your tasks at a fixed time. Take an early shower, eat breakfast, lunch, dinner on the time, do chores at a time just like you did when you were an office man.
Keep morning for writing
I already said that. Keep your morning for the most difficult task. For many people, it is writing. Sit at your desk and write whatever you want to write. Having a definite time for writing also minimizes the writer’s block. Remember, your mind gets habitual to writing at the same time for any day.
Keep away all the distractions
Do you jump from tab to tab while you work or maybe you frequently check your phones every time it beeps? Doing either of these things will break your focus. So don’t test your will-power instead keep your phone on silent mode or somewhere where you can’t reach it.
If you jump to social media while working on your laptop then you need to use a blocker like Freedom which will block all your social media (you get to choose the platforms).
Your spouse, friends should respect your work space
Make sure to convey your friend, family that this is your work time and they should respect it and let you work. Go to your home office and shut the door. Let them know that you need privacy at this time of the day. And should they only disturb if there are a life and death situation (they will get the point).
Being an introvert, I absolutely love working from home. But after a few months, I noticed that my social relationship is struggling because I was not meeting my friends, relatives. I don’t even go out for weeks.
Your case might not be as bad as mine but you do need to take out some time for social engagements. It will keep you refreshed and some occasional laugh is also healthy for your mind and body.
Working from home doesn’t mean that you’ve to work 100% of the time. Take a small break in 60-90 minutes. You might wanna check your phone at that time. That’s fine. Though I suggest to take a walk in that break, drink water or listen to music. The motive of this break is to relax your mind.
Something is better than nothing
Some days are just bad and unproductive. You can’t control it. But always remember that ‘Something is better than nothing’. You might not want to write today, that’s perfectly alright. Do something that is easy or you love the most in your work. It might be designing, engaging with social media followers, etc.
Bottom line is even you can’t make most out of the day, at least you will have done something that makes you closer to your goal. This is the difference between average and successful.
Keep momentum. If you take a break for a few days then it’s gonna break your rhythm. And getting back to that rhythm will feel like a lot of effort. Taking 1-2 day break after working for a week is good.
But if you work for a week then relax for another week then repeat that pattern. Then you will have a hard time achieving your goals.
Being productive is no rocket science. Productivity is a state of mind that comes with habit. You might not get the result straight away but trying and trying of everything will make you more productive than the previous day.
One last thing, I’ve seen many people who get drained out in 6 days. If this is the case for you then you might work 3+1 where you work for 3 straight days and then take a day off. This is a personal preference, figure out what works best for you and then stick with it.
Did I miss any other tips or do you suggest anything else? Let me know in the comment section.