For the past 5 years, I’ve been working from home six days a week lots of hours a day. It’s not always rainbows and unicorns, but it’s not nearly as hard as you might think. I don’t have to force myself to sit behind my desk, because it has become part of my daily routine. But working from home has its downside, so close to your bed and tv time can slip away from you.
Here are a few tricks I use to make sure I’m as productive as I possibly can be. Not just for artists!
1. Make a to-do list
Physical or digital it can give you a lot of satisfaction to check off a task. I usually write everything I need to do that day, from captioning an Instagram post to going grocery shopping.
2. Have a morning routine
It’s really tempting to sleep in until the very last minute before you have to go to work. But having an actual morning routine can change the first few, arguably most productive hours of your workday.
A morning routine can be anything that makes you happy. Get up an hour before you usually do, make yourself a cup of coffee or tea and sit down for a bit of personal time. I usually cuddle my cats and read while drinking coffee. It’s literally the best part of my day.
3. Break down your tasks
I mentioned this in my favorite Tutorials post before, but breaking down your tasks is the best thing that you can do when starting a project. It’s essentially a plan of what needs to be done.
You can break them up as much or as little as you need, depending on the size of the project and your level of panic. But If you do a detailed breakdown this can be your project’s checklist too.
Here’s an example of how you can do it.
4. Don't eat big meals during the day
In my experience, if I eat a heavy breakfast or lunch my brain starts to slow down, and focuses on digestion rather than work. This is when the hour-long mindless browsing on Youtube or Facebook happens. So I keep my meals light, and opt for eggs or sandwiches, instead of a full lunch.
Speaking of Facebook…
5. Avoid 'time waster' websites
From time to time I catch myself scrolling down on Facebook for no reason at all. Or instead of standing up to take a break I often just go on Youtube and watch a video or two (or five). It’s like muscle memory at this point.
In the past weeks, I developed a technique. As soon as I realize I’m on these sites, I close the window. Even if I’m in the middle of the video. Yeah, sometimes it takes me a good few minutes to realize that I’m not working anymore.
If you make an effort to minimize the time you’re on these websites you will be able to spend your breaks more efficiently. Which brings me to…
6. Take breaks away from your computer
Smart people say that you should take a 10-minute break every hour or so but let’s be real, that’s never going to happen if you’re on a roll. Instead, try to take a break every time you’re stuck on a problem. The key is to not be in front of your computer. Go stretch your legs, make a cup of coffee, let air into the office or cuddle your pets. Then when the time’s up, go back to your desk refreshed and ready to kick ass.
Try some of these next week and let me know how it went.