A recent NYT article outlining David Pogue’s Productivity Secrets inspired me to think about my own approach to productivity.
Because I have a home-based business, people often ask me how I keep myself productive despite the lure of home-based distractions. Sometimes I’m asked if I’m tempted to do housework instead of working.
Say what now?
Falling off my fit-ball from laughter aside, I thought I’d share a few of the productivity strategies I find helpful.
7 Productivity Tips For Home-Based Business
1. Have a productivity ritual for getting down to ‘serious work’.
A productivity ritual is an excellent strategy for focusing your attention and energy when you need it most – without burning yourself out the rest of the time. By saving it for serious work time, you condition yourself to associate your ritual with focused effectiveness.
2. Use smart reminders
Use smart reminders – reminders placed where you’ll see them when you need to do the reminded action – to prompt yourself about things you don’t want to add to your to-do-list. It helps get stuff out of your head fast, without increasing your to-do pile.
3. Upgrade your phone and email effectiveness
Efficient communication in everyday phone and email interactions can save you a lot of time and energy. It’s worth the initial time investment to create smart outgoing messages.
4. Don’t let Jack/ie become a dull boy/girl
I’m pretty strict about having a little fun every day. It keeps me balanced and stops me from feeling deprived and finding sneaky ways to sabotage my work efforts.
5. Be sanguine about OPD (Other People’s Disorganization)
You can’t avoid it, so you may as well be proactive and self-responsible when it comes to dealing with disorganized people. Focus on asking for what you need, rather than on trying to change the other person.
6. Swap GTD for WSD
Detailed project management systems are great for some people, but most of us can improve our productivity quickly, easily and significantly – simply by writing stuff down. I’m a prodigious user of to-do lists, planners, organizers, mind-maps and such.
7. Keep papers off your desk
I can’t imagine feeling motivated and productive with a paper-strewn desk. Maintaining an easy-to-file, easy-to-find super-simple filing system helps you keep a sense of clarity – both on your desk and in your mind.
(Note: Creating an organized home office is the subject of an upcoming Organizing Mission).
So that’s what works for me. What are your best productivity tips? Please share them in the comments.
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Image by j3ro3n