There’s no shortage of articles out there that promise “productivity hacks”—practical ways to get more done, to stay oriented toward your goals and committed to your deadline. I’ve noticed something worrisome about these articles, though, which is that most of them tend to assume a traditional office environment.
What happens, though, when you work by yourself? How do you stay focused when you’re a freelancer or a solopreneur, working from your own home and responsible for arranging your whole day?
This is a common question, and I’ve got a few points to make by way of an answer. Here are some of the steps you can take to stay on point, even when you’re working all by your lonesome.
Staying Productive—Even While Working From Home
Devote different days to different types of work. It can be overwhelming just trying to wrap your head around all the different responsibilities you have—so one thing you might try is setting aside certain days for certain projects. Make Friday an administrative day. Make Tuesdays and Thursdays the days where you try to make headway on big client projects. Try to set all your meetings and conference calls for Monday. You get the idea! This way, you can maintain a very particular focus and a certain kind of productive energy from start to finish each day, without feeling like you’re bouncing back and forth between different projects.
Do your work in blocks. If you’re not able to pull off the different-work-on-different-days approach, try dividing your work day into blocks. Block off two hours in the morning to write. Block off an hour after that to answer emails. While you’re writing, turn your email notifications off. And while you’re responding to emails, make that your only activity.
Get tools that help you eliminate distractions. While you’re working on a big project, it can be important to not check social media or email—but if you find it difficult to stay focused, you may want to get browser extensions that block certain sites or provide you with reminders to stay productive. Momentum is just one browser plugin that I’ve found to be useful.
Note that by following these basic steps—and working in divided days or blocks—you can keep an eye on your own schedule and prevent it from becoming too full or too bloated… thus allowing you to truly focus on doing good work without biting off more than you can chew!
Dr. Rick Goodman CSP is a thought leader in the world of leadership and one of the most sought after conference keynote speakers on leadership, engagement, and business growth in the United States and internationally.
He is the author of the books Living A Championship Life “A Game Plan for Success” and My Team Sucked “10 Rules That Turned Them Into Rock Stars.” He is also the co-author of the book Jamie’s Journey: Travels with My Dad, written with his sixteen-year-old daughter Jamie.
Dr. Rick is famous for helping organizations, corporations, and individuals with systems, strategies, and solutions that encourage engagement, resulting in increased profits and productivity without having the challenges of micromanaging the process. Some of Dr. Rick’s clients include Heineken, AT&T, Boeing, Cavium Networks, IBM, Hewlett Packard, and Franklin Templeton Investments.
You can contact Dr. Rick at www.rickgoodman.com or call 888-267-6098.