16 ways to boost productivity

16 ways to boost productivity when working from home, part 2 - how you work

How do you learn the art of productivity working from home every day?  We’ve compiled some tips to help you understand how to be your most productive self, covering 3 key areas.

In this second part, we’re looking at how you work, and how you can discipline yourself in realistic ways to achieve more.

Important Note: ’What is productivity?’

Before you embark on any productivity journey, you need to understand what we mean by productivity:

Were under the misguided presumption that more work leads to more productivity when the opposite is actually true — chronic stress eats away at any chance for a productive workplace, or high employee engagement. Chronic stress undermines the culture and leads to fatigue, anxiety, and confusion about priorities. Dr. Leah Weiss [1]

Working longer doesn’t mean you’re doing more. That’s the biggest misconception about productivity.

Productivity is about achieving more, yes, but productive people don't focus on how many tasks they do, they take the time to do tasks fully, and people benefit from a job well done.

How you work.

After covering ‘Where You Work’ in part 1, we’re looking at how you work when working from home. Here’s some simple tips to help you work smarter and achieve more without burning out.

  • Plan your day: Don’t simply log on first thing and do ‘stuff,’ just to stack up ‘hours’. Productivity, especially at home, isn’t about the amount of time you work, but how effectively you use the time you have. Instead, stop, get dressed, and then assess what you have on your plate for the day and make a plan. Include meals, breaks, and even exercise and social activities - all are vital to making you more productive overall.
  • Dont put it off: It might seem obvious, but tackling your big challenges first is key to productivity. Don’t get other stuff out of the way first. Go for the big tasks when you’re at your freshest and most focused. You’ve then got the rest of the day to tackle the smaller stuff without the stress of a big challenge hanging over you.
  • To-do less, to do more: Productive people have shorter ‘to-do’ lists,’not because they do less, but so they can achieve more. They plan their work in manageable amounts and realize they can’t do everything. Then focus on what matters and plan the rest for another time.
  • Time for a break: Counter to what you might think, regular breaks actually makes you more productive. Make time for a snack or a stroll, or even a quick meditation.
  • Are you really working? Many people have made the mistake of confusing emails and meetings with work. Often, they’re not the same, so don’t waste your focus and energy on them. Learn to identify and prioritize what really needs your time and attention.
  • Multitasking kills productivity: The key to productivity is focus and time. Concentrating on individual tasks and giving them the time they need. Doing too many things at once lowers productivity and effectiveness.
  • Manage distractions: Possibly the easiest productivity obstacle to fix, but also the one we usually fix last. And at home, it’s even easier to get distracted. The key is to manage these distractions, not remove them. Plan everything into your day (see plan your day), yep, even housework, or social media time with friends. It’s not about not doing things - productive people do more things better, that’s the whole point. But don't let them distract you from the task in hand. If you're working, don't be tempted to read your friends’ WhatsApp messages, and if you're doing housework, don't be checking your email.

[1] Dr. Leah Weiss, Stanford University, Vackay the Wrike Way Article, by Laura Quiambo, July 15, 2019.