How to be productive and remain focused whilst working from home

Many people find that working from home can be a challenge to remain focused and productive.

As a Virtual Assistant, I have mastered some techniques and tools to remain on track with optimum productivity whilst working from home.

Forward Planning

Write a To-Do list the evening before, it helps you to hit the ground running as soon as your day starts, without aimlessly being led off on a tangent by your inbox.

Prioritise in order of importance and tackle the most challenging task (or the item that you procrastinate about most). It gives you a great sense of relief and accomplishment when completed.

This also has the benefit of enabling you to offload the thoughts on your mind that could keep you awake at night and gives you the power of feeling in control of the day ahead.

There is always something cathartic about ticking things off the list as you go along.

Start the day in a positive way

That sacred time in the very early morning is a wonderful time to mentally prepare for your day and get yourself in the right mindset before the day commences.

You can utilise this use this time to have a hot shower, clear your head, do some exercise or simply stretch. Create a morning ritual to get you in the right frame of mind to focus on the day ahead.

….and focus!

If you do not have an office or study in your home, find a quiet space in your home with natural light and a comfortable chair and table to work from and get the kettle on!

Do you find complete silence better for you? Or perhaps you would prefer some background music or an inspiring podcast to get you in the right space.

Manage your distractors – check emails or messages at certain intervals in the day and allow time to respond to people. If possible, switching off your notifications to social media apps that can interrupt your focus.

Try to keep household chores or distractions purely during your allocated lunch break, or for the beginning and end of your day. Otherwise, you can find yourself distracted and losing precious time of productivity during your working day.

Protect your time

Use your calendar either electronically or written, to block time to focus.

Keeping your diary updated and colour coded will mean that immediately you will be able to see what most of your day consists of, such as client or team meetings (video conferencing calls), work, personal commitments, etc and you can mentally prepare accordingly.

I also like to allocate time to each client or project that I am working on. This allows me to remain focused on one task at a time and increases productivity as opposed to flitting between 101 things to do.

For optimum productivity, I apply the Pomodoro technique of 90 minutes of focused work, building in a break time afterward to refresh before moving on to the next task.

If you want to be mindful of how much time you are spending on certain projects or tasks, I recommend you use a time tracking tool such as Toggl.

I find it beneficial to track time spent on client work and you can run weekly or monthly reports to see where your focus is and you can then on reflection consider the areas where you can make time-saving improvements.

Efficiency

If you are participating in numerous client or team meetings or calls, Doodle is a wonderful scheduling tool that allows you to put out your available meeting slots to the attendees and they can swiftly select their preferred options.

This helps you to avoid email tennis back and forth to get the most convenient time for all to attend.

Communication is key

Technology has improved exponentially, and it is something we are extremely grateful for in the current climate.

You can communicate with clients and colleagues with a myriad of technology tools. Holding virtual meetings via free video conferencing software such as ZoomSkype or Google Hangout.

This can help with keeping the connection with those you are working with and momentum on your projects, whilst maintaining those important relationships.

If you could use some administrative and organisational support to help your business to function effectively during these challenging times, please do not hesitate to get in touch for a no-obligation call or send an email and we will be only too happy to answer any questions.

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