Does this sound familiar: it’s almost noon, you’ve been sitting at your desk in your pajamas, workout clothes, or your birthday suit all morning and you still haven’t taken a shower?
This happened to me a few days ago. I started to leave my house early in the morning to go for a run (in workout clothes, not my birthday suit), when one of my clients called. I finished the call and because I was in my home office anyway, I checked my e-mail accounts, tweeted, and then updated my Facebook page.
I got sidetracked.
If you look at your to-do list and see more tasks to do than time to do them, it’s time to get on track, stay focused, and possibly start showering earlier in the day.
1. Start each morning 30 minutes earlier.
I love sleeping and if I could be paid a ridiculous amount of money to do it, I’d quit my business and sleep for a living. Some people believe the early bird catches the worm, while others who start the day too early know that by the end of the day they’re one tired, cranky bird. As much as I enjoy sleeping, I also like feeling that I’ve accomplished at least a few things every day.
2. Make your to-do list shorter.
There are only so many hours in the day when you can only do so much. A list longer than the average receipt at Target can be overwhelming and anything other than motivating. While it’s admirable, it’s unrealistic to think you can plow through your list and tackle everything by the end of the day. There’s nothing wrong with finishing something and if it’s not on your list, adding it and then crossing it off. Do whatever it takes to motivate you.
3. Take more breaks throughout the day.
Whether you set a timer on your phone or use a simple kitchen timer, take a short break each hour and move away from your desk. Stopping in the middle of a project or not trying to push through a project that isn’t going as planned, doesn’t always make sense, but even a few minutes away from your desk can give you a new perspective on your project. Trust me, it works.
4. Set deadlines for finishing projects.
The more time you have to work on something, the more time you have to procrastinate. Set a time limit to work on different tasks. When my sons were younger and were napping, at school, or watching a video, I was as efficient as a pit crew at a Nascar race. I’d run into my home office, work for a limited time, and take care of the top tasks on my list. I had to be productive because of the small window of time I had to work.
5. Cut yourself some slack.
When you work from home, every day will be different. Some days you’ll be less productive than others, and that’s okay. That’s how it works when you’re working from home. And if you get a great idea as you’re heading into the shower but go to your home office instead, that’s how it works when you’re Working Naked.