How to Be Productive When You Work from Home

Leaving the 9 to 5 to pursue your side hustle full time is a rewarding, yet frightening, experience. Everything is riding on you making your hustle successful. If you don’t, you won’t be able to put food on the table, pay your bills, invest or make your dreams real. You know this but you’re still wasting too much time daily.

You thought that working from home would be a breeze. Freedom is bliss! Well, it may just be a bit too blissful. Trust me, I know. I was doing great during my first week of working from home full time. I got up at roughly the same time each day, went over to my home office and got a lot of work done. Then I started to get a bit too relaxed. I started to get up later, move my work station to my bed (bad idea) and get less accomplished in a day.

I had to get my shit together! After all, I hadn’t decided to pursue my passions just to fall short of achieving my goals. I also hadn’t created this leaving the 9 to 5 series for nothing. Here are the links to the other articles if you haven’t gotten a chance to read them.

Financial Stability Beyond the 9 to 5: How to Leave Your Job Smartly

So…What Next? Answering the Tough Question About Life After the 9 to 5

How to Create a Home Office in Limited Space: Setting Up the Perfect Productivity Zone

I made some changes that have helped me be more productive while working from home. Hopefully they can help you too.

Use a Productivity App

Any article that you read about this topic will list a productivity app as one of the best ways to improve how you work at home. I tried it and it really does work. One of the drawbacks though is that I have a 6 year old iPhone; some of the apps that I wanted to try wouldn’t work on my phone because the operating system is outdated. Sigh. The life of a person who can’t afford squat!

Anyhoo…I wanted an app that would let me set a goal for each task, track my progress and time me while I worked. I couldn’t find an app that would do all 3 on my phone. However, I found an app that presented a happy medium. It’s called Pawductivity. Yah, paw like a dog’s paw and -ductivity from productivity. Corny but cute.

The app legit has a dog that motivates you to get things done. It is a very basic app; all it has is a picture of a dog saying different things depending on what you’re doing, a space for you to write your goal and a timer that doesn’t go beyond 90 minutes. Here’s why I love it:

  • It doesn’t go beyond 90 minutes. So, I can be realistic about the time I take to complete a task. If a task takes longer than 90 minutes, I take a break and then reset the timer.
  • The app monitors my phone usage. It will stop timing, and the dog will tell me that I’ve lost focus, if I open another app. I am a phone addict (do they have phone addict meetings similar to AA meetings? I probably should go to one of those) so having an app that keeps my phone usage in check while I’m working is a blessing.

It’s a very simple app but it will do for now. It actually has helped me stay focused and get more things done.

Create a Daily To-Do List

Duh Christine! This is so obvious. Listen, I would have an idea of everything that needed to be done in my head. Each day I would tick off my mental checklist. However, I found that I would often be so overwhelmed because I always have too much to do and don’t know where to begin.

The “Do” app came to my rescue. I had used Wunderlist in the past but they have made some changes to the app that I don’t like. Do is very simple and helps me better organize my day. Here’s how:

  • I create my daily to-do list at the beginning of the day. All I do is add a new task and it pops up in the list for that day.
  • Tasks that I repeat daily are put on repeat, just like when you put your favourite song on your playlist on repeat.
  • I get a feeling of pure satisfaction when I can double tap a task and see that line cross through it telling me that it has been completed. Such joy!
  • Tasks that aren’t completed are rolled over into the next day automatically.

Follow the Basic Principles from Atomic Habits

I keep telling people that this book has changed my perspective on life. I don’t think they believe me but it truly has. Atomic Habits discusses habit formation from the most granular, atomic level. Tiny habits are what matter the most! Seems obvious but you’ll realise that it isn’t when you read the book. ( I still haven’t finished it yet but I will post a book review on this website when I have.)

One of the small habits that I am trying to form is always doing work at my home office instead of on my bed. Breaking myself into the habit will ultimately help me get more done during my most productive hours. I do it 90% of the time but need to get to that 100% level.

The small habits that you need to form to improve productivity may be different. I encourage you to read the book so that you can understand how changing your atomic habits can change your life.

Putting it All Together

The distractions of home can make productivity difficult. It’s much easier to do everything else except work. I’ve found 3 ways to improve my productivity and inch me closer to towards the success horizon:

  • The Pawductivity App
  • The Do App
  • The book Atomic Habits

Try using these 3 simple things and you’ll be amazed by how much your productivity improves! Let me know how it goes by leaving a comment below or sending me a message using the Contact page. Also, don’t forget to read the latest issue of our magazine!

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