People who work from home amid the virus outbreak would admit to the major challenges involved in staying productive when they are not operating in a familiar setting. It’s a well-known fact that people, in general, find it awfully difficult to stay productive when they work remotely. Of course, there are people who find working from home more productive and they’ve got their own secrets to achieve such productivity. However, what works for some may not work for others. If you’ve tried to follow the productivity tips from celebrities, only to be disenchanted with them, maybe you need to start looking elsewhere. This is where science can come to the rescue of those suffering from a lack of productivity.
If you ever cared enough to look, science has been showing us ways to be productive for years. More importantly, it doesn’t require you to wake up early or pull an all-nighter.
We have compiled a number of scientifically proven methods people should adopt to improve their productivity. These are simple practices supported by studies to help you improve different aspects of your professional life that you can actually control. Whether you want to be productive for a single day or for the whole week, simply follow these tips to get the most out of your working hours.
Making sure you’re on the same page
Now, this is not just a wordplay aimed at stressing the importance of bringing about agreement within the team. CEO Jack Dorsey revealed how he managed most of his meetings. Much to the surprise of most of his followers, Jack Dorsey credited Google Docs with helping him conduct meetings. Of course, much of his meeting essentially involves him reading and commenting on the doc. He’s someone who gives great importance to connectivity and it’s evident in everything he does. What’s worth noting here is that working on Google doc allows everyone in the team to get on the same page and solve problems faster.
Well, the research data agree with the CEO of Twitter. Based on studies released lately, when everyone in the team works on the same page, it gives them a feeling of togetherness, which enables them to think faster and enhance productivity.
Learning to say no to things
So you have always been a ‘yes’ person in your life, so much so that you find it almost impossible to turn down offers. Now, there is nothing wrong with being a yes person, I mean more power to you. However, looking at things from the standpoint of your career, the benefits of being a “no person” will help you out in the long run. Not long ago, in a study published by UC Berkeley Professor Morten Hansen, we found out how learning to say no helps us to minimise our obligations and remain focused on the goals that matter. Likewise, people who have trouble saying no will have to eventually deal with overstress and burnout. Next time someone asks you to do something, remember, it’s not about saying yes to everything that gets thrown at you, rather it’s about being able to say no to hundreds of ideas and knowing which ones are worth investing your time in.
Finding time to recharge yourself
Productivity is a commonality found among all the successful professionals. Just like any other positive quality, productivity is often the result of some good habit. However, one must also make sure not to get hung up on it. The experts always talk about creating a good balance. But what does that mean? It means that sometimes you have to find a way to detach yourself from all the noise and recharge yourself. You must know when to disconnect and reconnect. Studies highlight the importance of getting good exercise, listening to your favourite music and reading books. There are effective ways to avoid burnout and revitalise your mind and body for improved productivity.
Working productively in time-based sprints
We are always guilty of running ourselves into the ground with overworking. In an attempt to appear productive you put your finger in every pie, only to come away feeling frustrated. It’s a productivity mistake everyone seems to make, whether it is skipping your lunch break to meet a deadline or working for many hours at a stretch. However, according to science, if you want to get productive, you need to work smarter, not harder. Conditions like fatigue, hunger and sluggishness are essentially your body’s way of telling you to stop. However, we ignore these signs and resort to rejuvenating yourself by artificial means.
So the next time you find it hard to focus, take the cue and look for different ways to channel your energy. For instance, working in 90 minutes sprints has been regarded as an effective way to stay productive without tiring yourself. Working in sprints allows you to focus on a task for a specific period of time and lets you take the much-needed rest in between. You’ll be surprised to know that you are stronger and more focused every time you return to work after a break.
Scheduling your to-do list
You probably have a system in place to track all the work you’ve been doing. However, have you ever scheduled a to-do list? As basic a process as it may be, it is something people don’t use effectively. Studies demonstrate how setting up a to-do list helps people to organise their tasks and life better. The age-old technique will help you approach tasks more realistically and stay prepared to tackle things in a more timely fashion. It allows you to visualise your tasks in order of their importance and make room for more work. To-do lists are prepared so that you can give equal importance to all your tasks and increase task completion rate.
Turning off all notifications
When was the last time you managed to focus on something without getting repeatedly distracted by a series of notifications on your phone? What’s the one quality that distinguishes successful entrepreneurs from others? It’s their ability to pick up a couple of things and focus on completing them without being distracted by anything else. It’s absolutely vital that you are able to give your undivided attention to what you are doing. The best way to achieve this is by turning off your access to social media notifications that can easily derail you from your goals. In a study published by Dscout, it was revealed that the average person touches their phone over 2500 times a day. So the next time you sit down to complete a time-bound project, make sure to turn off all the notifications.
While some things are out of our control when it comes to managing our day, there are things within our control that may just transform how we perform our work — while giving back our lives.
Yes, there’s no way of knowing what may happen to your day. You can nevertheless manage certain things within your control so that they don’t affect your everyday productivity. We hope reading this article has helped you understand the various science-based ways to enhance your productivity while working from home.
Learn how we debunked the common myths about working from home.