There are times when you know that you will have some crazy days ahead of you or you have a tight deadline that you want to keep, and you need all the energy to be able to succeed. Fear not, there are things you actually can do to boost your productivity levels without abusing substances or medication. Some might sound obvious or might seem like they will actually take away your time/energy, but when you try those you will find out that they are actually doing the opposite. Even if working from home can be sometimes harder because you can get easily distracted, there are ways of improving your habits.
1. Know your agenda one day ahead
Whenever I get a crazy week, I like to do my homework one day ahead, so I create a list of items that I need to accomplish the next day, the evening before that.
I start with the goals, what I definitely need to do, and then continue with the stretch goals. I will also prioritize those based on dependencies with other people or the complexity of the task. By the time I am done, I know beforehand what meetings I have the next day and what needs to be taken care of.
2. Setting the alarm 2 hours before starting work
If there is one thing that will eat your energy right from the beginning of your day, that is starting your day in a rush. So make sure you plan your day with at least 2 hours before having to clock in. If you don’t have a strict schedule, then make sure you wake up around 7 am to start your day properly, it is in the early morning hours that you will be the most productive, so take advantage of that.
3. Start your day without hitting the snooze button
Once the alarm goes off you need to get out of bed, no hitting the snooze button and no laying around the bed. Make your bed, wash your face, and put your workout clothes, you will need them for step 5.
4. One full glass of water
Once you are up, you need to hydrate your body. One full glass of plain water or lemon water will do wonders for your body, skin, and mood. Don’t rush to start your day with your coffee, wait at least 30 minutes before drinking it, since you need your body to wake up on its own. Also, it is known that coffee will dehydrate you, so make sure to start with water.
5. Do at least 30 minutes of exercises
Having a stressful day ahead can have a very bad impact on your body, so boost your mood with some endorphins from a morning workout. Yoga, cardio, HIT, running or any type of physical activity will create the best scene for your day.
6. One last step before starting work - shower
Before jumping into work, start with a shower, skincare routine, fresh clothes, basic makeup, and hair. You want your day to be as fresh as possible, so a bonus step is to use a shower gel with a fresh scent.
7. Stick to the list, but be agile about changing plans
Once you start with work, stick to the list you created one day in advance and go through the items. Yet learn to adapt if things don’t go as planned and you need to change plans as the day progresses. Don’t be strict when it comes to the unknown, it’s natural for items to pop or for other dependencies to get in your way, learn to embrace and find solutions on the fly.
8. Take a break for 10 mins every hour and walk away from your desk
You need brakes and in order to be productive, you need to put some distance between you and your work to get a new perspective. So every hour, set an alarm to inform you about the 10 minutes you need to step away.
Choose to drink a glass of water, do some stretching, walk around the room, play with your pets or just take your coffee outside and look far away. DO NOT GO ON SOCIAL MEDIA. Use this time to do anything but be online or in front of the laptop.
9. Stop drinking coffee after 2 pm
It’s important to leave your body to rest after lunch and continuing to drink coffee will only make you feel agitated and restless. So after 2 pm stop drinking coffee and switch to water or tea. It’s often that you confuse your body’s need for water for coffee.
10. Clock off when your shift is over or after max 9 hours
Once you reach the 9 hours of work, you will no longer be productive no matter what you do. So learn to put a stop and unless it’s a matter of life or death, create the list of items you need to follow-up with the next day.
Sometimes it might seem like a good idea to keep on going, but chances are you will not be at your finest and your work will be less than average.
Working from home is normality by now and many of us will have to embrace it as the new future. We will most likely work remotely for the full year and who knows what 2021 will bring us. Until then we need to make sure we boost our productivity without getting burned out and we keep our high standards even if we are not going to the office.
I am one in many people who were lucky enough to be able to perform just as good from home and to still have my job during these not so good days. Embracing a new habit might be hard at first but give it time and you will actually look forward to the next day of work.