Time management and productivity expert, Steven Griffith, provides 10 helpful tips for staying motivated and productive while working from home.
Does this sound familiar?
You, like many others, are trying to work from home and perhaps for the first time. Your spouse is asking you questions, your kids are trying to play, the news and social media are trying to steal your attention, and everyone in the world seems like they are purposely distracting you from being productive.
How can you not only survive, but THRIVE in this environment?
The answer is more simple than you imagine…
I’ve run my corporate training business from home for the last 10 years, and here are 10 powerful steps to working and running your business from home and being extra productive:
1. Create a dedicated space to work: Just as you used to get up and go to work in the morning, you need to replicate that idea in your home. Make a dedicated space that is focused on your work only. Doing this creates an atmosphere that will keep you in a productive mindset in that area. Working on the couch or at the breakfast table may seem comfortable, but it will ultimately lead to a loss of productivity. Too many distractions in your home? Wear noise canceling headphones or even old fashion ear plugs when in your home workspace.
2. Get dressed for work: As funny as this might sound there is real value in getting out of your pajamas or workout clothes before you do any work. What you wear has an emotional effect on you. It anchors and connects us to our purpose, motivations, intentions and mindset. If you are regularly wearing business attire you are conditioned and connected to that to be productive in your business.
3. Schedule your entire day: While it can feel at times like you’re on an extended vacation now, it’s imperative to create new operating procedures. Our brains love routines and without one our minds are easily distracted and redirected into worry, doubt and fear. Schedule your whole day, every day. Here is an easy way to break it down:
- BEFORE (PREPARATION): This is how you start your day, preparing your mind and body in a positive way.
- DURING (PERFORMING): This is when you perform and keep your focus and energy at optimal levels.
- AFTER (RECOVERY): This is when you recover and recharge for the next task.
4. News diet: Now more than ever you need to go on a news diet. The media has one major goal: to keep you tuned in. They do that by activating the fear center in your brain. This is a terrible state to work and live in. Limit your news consumption to 10 minutes a day to keep you informed. Trust me, you won’t miss anything important.
5. Take breaks: We know from research that taking breaks during the day will help keep you motivated and energized. Every hour or two you can take a 10 min break. Walk, mediate, have coffee or tea, listen to music, or just relax. Remember it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Pace yourself and give yourself time to recover throughout each day.
6. Exercise: A healthy body feels better and thinks better, has reduced anxiety and increased motivation. If stuck indoors, use YouTube or live-streaming fitness classes. If you can get outside for a walk, bike ride etc., even better (but be sure to practice social distancing). A walk outside in nature, what the Japanese call “nature bathing”, or even just taking your shoes off and feeling the grass under your feet, will have a tremendous grounding effect on your mind body and spirit. Just 10 minutes a day of nature bathing can instantly shift and enhance your well-being.
7. Look forward to something: A great way to stay inspired and stay on track is to pick something to look forward to each day that you enjoy. It might be your favorite Netflix series, time with your family, connecting with friends on a phone or zoom call, or a favorite meal. Give yourself a reward each day for staying on task.
8. Meditation: Meditating gives us a moment to be with ourselves internally and disconnect from the noise of our lives. This helps us re-center and de-stress in between tasks. Just a few minutes a day can be a powerful reset and help us become more resilient and happy. Apps like “Calm” and “Head Space” are great apps to use for this . Here is a free 7 min guided mediation to help you get started https://challenge.timecleanse.com/meditation-1
9. Self-Compassion: This is what I call the secret weapon to a calm and consistent way of being. Self-compassion has been described as holding difficulty with love. In its simplest form it means being there for yourself in a supportive way and letting go of the harsh inner critic in your head. Worry, doubt and fear is what many of us are experiencing right now. Be kind to yourself and know we are all in this together.
10. Laughter and Gratitude: The key to productivity is putting yourself in a positive mental state. That means creating positive memories in the place that you are working. Be sure protect your home workspace by making it a place full of moments of laughter and gratitude. Let your family know that your productivity space is “positive vibes only!”