4 Tips to Increase Productivity in Your Home Office

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4 Tips to Increase Productivity in Your Home Office

Staff Writer · Mar 1, 2010

Taking the right steps to increase productivity is one way to achieve the goals you set for school, work or your business. When you’re not productive, you’ll waste time and energy which you can’t get back. You’ll miss opportunities to spend more time with family and friends, trying to play catchup. You won’t make the money you should to meet your living expenses, or complete school assignments on time, which can cause stress and illness. To avoid this, use the following 4 tips to increase productivity in your home office.

1. When You Have Children

Trying to increase productivity in your home office when you have children is a challenging task, but workers and entrepreneurs do it effectively all the time. One thing to try is waking up early or staying up late to get work done. Organize much of the time you spend in your home office around the kids’ sleeping schedule. For example, plan to work from 3 A.M. to 7 A.M. or from 9 P.M. to 2 A.M., depending on whether you’re an early riser or a night owl. Do work that requires a lot of concentration while your children are sleeping, and leave other work that you can do in sprints with many interruptions for their waking hours.

2. Choose Effective Background Noise

Some people can thrive when they work in silence and any noise would not increase productivity, but decrease it. Many cannot, and need some kind of background noise to keep them working efficiently at a steady pace. It’s fine if you need some background noise to get work done, but you have to choose the right type. For example, don’t listen to radio shows or watch television programs that will draw your attention away from work. The best background noise is one that you can tune out for most of the time, only catching snippets here and there. The minutes you spend listening to or watching programs that distract will add up and can cost you time and money that you could be billing clients or landing new business.

3. Limit Email Checking

Do you check your email account five, seven, ten times or more while you’re working in your home office? This is a complete waste of time, and an unnecessary distraction. When you start your work session, check your email and respond to messages. Do the same when you end your work session. If the type of job or business you have requires you to receive and respond more often to emails, then set times to do that, or use sound to signify when you actually receive emails. Otherwise, reading spam, newsletters, chain letters, sale offers and emails from friends while you’re working will destroy your goals to increase productivity.

4. Make a List of Lists

Perhaps you have a to-do list written down or in your head for tasks to complete on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Is it just a running list on several pieces of paper or in a software program? When your list is not organized, it leads to decreased productivity. Change that by making a list of lists, and organize your to-dos under it. For example, one list could be “Phone Calls” and another could be “Projects.” Write down these categories on paper or using your favorite software. When you make your to-do list, categorize it under one of those headings.

These tips will help you increase productivity if you’re consistent in implementing them. Put this list on your wall as a reminder.

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