WORK, or as I call it, PRO-ACTIVITY, especially when working from home can be a blessing or a curse, especially if you’re prone to procrastination or are easily distracted. So I’ve created a cheat sheet with 20 strategies and tips to help you supercharge your productivity levels so you can achieve more in less time with less stress.
1. Build your Winning Morning Formula
This one is obvious to some, but like with many ‘simple’ strategies, most people overlook the power of routines. Because, well, they determine EVERYTHING! So Master them. The challenge when working from home is you’re not bound by regular office hours. Resist the urge to take that extra hour in bed, don’t snooze, and build a powerful routine that stacks and layers productivity, momentum, energy, focus, and achievement. Your morning rules your day, so make it effective.
2. Move More
I find if I work out in the morning, even if it’s a 5-minute mobility session, I work so much better during the day. Try it out for a week and see how you feel. I guarantee it will be a game-changer. It doesn’t have to be hard and don’t listen to those who say it has to be HIIT. Keep it simple, start easy and find what movement approach works for you.
3. Dress to Impress
Working in your PJs is novel, for about a week, but then it makes you feel average. Instead, get dressed to impress. Better still, dress for success. The power is that you adopt the ‘identity’. So if you want to be unproductive and act like a sloth, stay in your PJs. If you want to step up your game, lead with inner strength and confidence, and dress like you want to perform.
4. Be Passionate
If you don’t love what you do, you’ll never give it your 100%. So, check in with yourself… are you happy with your job? Do you get excited to do your work? Do you love Mondays? If not, what can you do to make it more enjoyable? What job WOULD excite you every day? Powerful question huh?
5. Create a Powerful Workspace
Your environment determines your behaviors and your outcomes. So plan for success and optimize your productivity. Create a vibrant desk area/workspace with lots of natural light and limited distractions. Stay organized, reduce clutter and add some ‘anchors and triggers’, like your affirmations or pictures of dream travel destinations, your dream Pool Villa to support your aspirations.
6. Separate Work and Life
Create Rules. Set your work hours and commit to them, whether that’s 9-5 Monday to Friday or every day from 7-12. Find what works for you and once you’re done for the day, build powerful ‘shut down’ routines, like a bullet journal to assess your day, identify what can be improved, and optimize what’s working well.
7. Use Do Not Disturb
Ditch your biggest distraction and turn on DND. Newer phones now have a ‘focus mode’ too, so you can only use apps related to your work – perfect if you need to take calls during your workday. Social Media is the killer of productivity. Yes, I know you know this, but you’re still addicted, right? Make the call and build your productive focus without social distraction.
8. Ditch the TV
Your TV, including Netflix, is far too big of a distraction, so turn it off. I’m sure we’d all love to get paid to binge-watch Suits, but for 99% of us, that’s not going to happen. Get real. Its not rocket science, and just plain common sense. Although not so common. So this is just a reminder to switch it off, and eliminate any other distractions.
9. Play Some Tunes
Music, on the other hand, is perfect for boosting productivity. I recommend looking into powerful Binaural Beats that enhance your neurotransmitters for focus and productivity. Equally powerful, use Binaural Beats for deep sleep, and recharge in between to really power up your mindset.
10. Set Specific Goals
Set yourself mini tasks, or what I like to call – Micro Goals for the day/week, and then bigger ones for the year. You’ll soon be all fired up once you start crossing them off your list. When you are clear on your outcomes, you get clear on your daily actions. No goals, no focus.
11. Use A “To-Do” App
Lists give you clarity, direction, and accountability. Use a to-do app to help you manage them. There are many out there, but I like Google Tasks as it syncs with all my other Google software. ClickUp is my personal favorite and what I use. also a great alternative.
12. Use the Pomodoro Technique
Do you lose focus fast? Then the Pomodoro Technique could be a great structure for you to implement. I love it. Do quick 20-minute bursts of work followed by a 5-minute rest and repeat 4 times. I use Tomato Timer to help me stay on track.
13. Remember the 80/20 Rule
You’ve probably heard of it in some context before. The one that says 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. Look at where you’re spending your time and see if you can rejig things to maximize productivity and results. For our coaching clients, we have actually refined it even further and worked on the 95/5. Focus on the 5% of tasks that give you 95% of the outcome. Now that’s powerful.
14. Embrace Parkinson’s Law
This law states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. So clearly, without deadlines or timelines, you will expand the time required or needed to complete a task. You will procrastinate and waste time increasing stress and rushing your job. Not so smart eh? Set a deadline and stick to it. If you have a task that should take an hour, complete it in an hour. The longer you give yourself to complete a simple task, the more unnecessarily complex it will get.
15. Use Project Management Tools
I recommend Trello. You can add your staff to cards, set deadlines that automatically sync with your current timezone and categorize jobs. They also have an app too. Super cool and simple tool to keep you focused and complete lists.
16. Communicate Well
Tools like Slack allow you to link up with co-workers and teams no matter where you are in the world and can get answers to your questions quickly. It’s for businesses. Zoom is also perfect for video calling. Or, keep it simple. Whatsapp, LINE, and FB Messenger are all fast and clear tools for better communication.
17. Take a Break
Move more. Remember, more time at a computer doesn’t make you more productive. Neither does it help you complete tasks faster. Get out of your chair, walk, mobilize, squat, and engage with others. Strategic breaks allow your brain to download, recharge and reset so you’ll be ready, focused, and productive when you get back to your desk.
18. Get a Mentor
Strategies for success, including productivity and time management, are many. Which can get confusing and lead you to feel overwhelmed and unproductive. So a mentor or coach who you are accountable to takes your productivity, energy, and results to a whole new level. It’s powerful. Usually, like our Masterminds, give you access to specific tools and groups of like-minded people that help you raise your game.
19. Listen to Podcasts to Help you Perform Better
Download a few podcasts in your free time and learn from experts in your field. Remember, success leaves clues. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, and the shortcut to success is to learn from others. Similar to Mentors but with accountability.
20. Read Strategically
Similarly, Read to expand your knowledge by reading in your spare time. More than just read, APPLY. It’s also a great time to read as part of your night rituals, weekends, or ‘down time’. Read with purpose, take notes, refine the key points and apply them to your performance.
Which Points resonate with you most? What is currently working for you and what could you add to your strategy? Have you tried any? What should we add to the list?