Spring has officially sprung, and if you find that all your good New Year’s intentions have disappeared, you’re not alone. Staying productive is the eternal challenge for some of us, especially when you work for yourself and don’t have anyone to stop you from taking a mid-afternoon dance break (or nap). There are a few simple ways to kick your own butt and get your productivity mojo back.
1) Get Out of the House
We get it – you wanted to work for yourself partly so you could stay in your sweats all day, free of judgement. Unfortunately, your home isn’t the most distraction-free zone when it comes to business. With the TV an arm’s reach away, cabinets to re-organize, and a dog that could stand a run in the park, you might find that working from home does you more harm than good when it comes to actually working. Coworking spaces (like HeadSpace!) are a great option for freelancers and entrepreneurs who want a place that’s really for work without a hefty price tag. The best part? You can come and go as you please, so if you really want to do that dog walk, you’re totally free.
2) Try an App
Yes, there’s an app for that (many, in fact). Some of our favorites include Evernote, the perennial power player in the note taking and file saving arena, and IFTTT, which lets you automate actions across a variety of other apps and platforms. Applications like Slack and Basecamp allow for easy communication and project management between you and any other team members, saving you some email time. Whatever your need, there is probably an app to help you do it more efficiently.
3) Email O’Clock
Speaking of emails - one of the biggest distractions to any working adult? The constant “ping” of email notifications. If you answer (or at least read) every email as soon as you receive it, don’t. There’s no bigger time suck, and once you’re distracted by a task that is unrelated to the one at hand, it takes about 23 minutes to get back on track. To avoid this, designate a specific time or times of your day when you’ll check and respond to emails. It’ll help keep you more focused and increase the quality of your email responses too.
Do you have any good ways that you stay on-task? Let us know in the comments!