Let’s face it – as entrepreneurs and self-employed people who work from home, we are always looking for strategies to be more productive.
I like to keep things really simple for myself so I don’t feel scatterbrained and disorganized. It’s not always easy to stay focused, but I have figured out a few simple hacks that keep me on track.
If you’re anything like me, you already know that you could improve your productivity. Keep reading if you’re searching for a few actionable tips that are easy to apply so you can get more things done in a day.
7 Things I Stopped Doing To Be More Productive
1. No phone before breakfast
For years, I’ve had a really bad habit of using my phone right when I wake up. Part of that is because I use my phone as an alarm clock, so it’s very easy to keep using it once I turn off the alarm in the morning.
The only problem is, I would spend 30-45 minutes a day checking email, surfing news apps or reading my social media feed.
Instead, I decided to get ready for my day without being tempted to look at my phone. The last step in my morning routine is eating breakfast. Once I’ve had breakfast, I sit down in my home office and get to work.
Once I started skipping the habit of using my phone in the morning, I was able to start my day earlier and do more household chores before it was time to go to work.
Overall, I’m a big fan of personalizing your morning routine so you can get your day started off right, and not looking at my phone is critical for me to be more productive.
2. No TV in the morning
It is super tempting to turn on the TV in the morning when you’re getting ready. It’s nice to watch the morning news while you’re drinking your coffee and eating breakfast.
Have you ever noticed how much longer it takes you to drink coffee and eat breakfast when you’re watching TV? Try it sometime. You’ll be amazed.
Not only will you save time by turning off the TV in the morning, you will also stay focused. Watching TV in the morning provides too many distractions, both for your eyes and your ears.
When the TV is not on in the morning, I get to enjoy the silence, which can feel like a form of meditation. If you’re the type of person who likes to keep yourself company by listening to people talk, try switching from television to podcasts.
Sometimes I’ll listen to business podcasts hosted by successful women that motivate me and give me strategies for online marketing, which I feel is a better use of my time.
3. Don’t skip protein for breakfast or lunch
It is so easy to roll out of bed and hit the laptop at full speed when you work from home, but trust me, you need to eat something first.
If you’re not eating protein for breakfast, you will get seriously low on energy really fast. And if you’re drinking lots of coffee to stay alert, you are already suppressing your appetite, which may make you think you can skip lunch, too.
Do yourself a favor and stay fueled so you don’t crash by midday. Create a lunch hour for yourself no matter what, and stick to it.
By adding protein to your breakfast and lunch, you’ll have enough fuel to keep it moving at work.
4. Turn of Social Media Push Notifications
If you must keep your smartphone handy throughout the day, turn off your social media push notifications.
You do not need to be distracted every time someone likes your post on Instagram or starts to follow you.
For me, this also related to my habit of checking my phone in the morning. I’d wake up and have to clear all of these push notifications, which made it very tempting for me to hop on social media and check out the activity.
Instead of checking your notifications in real time, try scheduling in some time on a daily or weekly basis that is just for managing your social media.
5. Don’t use your phone as a clock
It may seem totally harmless to look at your phone whenever you want to know what time it is, but this can also be a distraction.
When you check the time on your phone, you can easily get sucked into the internet, email and social media.
Instead, put your phone away and opt for a good old-fashioned watch. If you don’t have a watch, use the clock on your computer.
6. Don’t listen to podcasts or TV when you’re writing
There is a time and a place for listening to podcasts or keeping the TV on in the background to keep you company. That time and place is not when you’re writing.
Hearing other people talk while you’re trying to write makes it more difficult to stay focused and write faster. You’re neither paying attention to the words that you’re using nor actually retaining what you’re hearing fform your shows.
Basically, if you’re listening to other people while you’re trying to write, you’re wasting time on both.
7. Don’t multitask at the computer
There are plenty of ways to multitask, but not all of them are actually making you more productive. A big way to lose focus and decrease productivity is to try to multitask while you’re waiting for something.
For example, you may be waiting for something to load on your computer, or for someone to reply to your message. You may think that this is the perfect moment to scroll through your social media, or open up a new tab in your web browser and do a mini task on a different website.
Don’t do that!
If you mini multitask, you’ll get so distracted that you won’t know where you left off on that other thing you were doing, and everything will just take longer.
There are simple ways to stay focused that will allow you to get more things done in a day. Using your phone less often is a huge part of that. Another way to reduce your distractions is to turn off the tv.
This may seem like common sense, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded from time to time!