11 “Killer” Tips To Stay Focused And Motivated Working From Home



11 Killer Tips For Staying Focused And Motivated Working From Home

Thinking about making a shift and working from home? Have amazing dreams of how wonderful it will be to wear your pajamas on conference calls, laze in bed until 9am and slowly get into your day and be able to have coffee breaks whenever you want? Yeah okay, it sounds pretty cool. And it can be. But there are some things you need to know about working from home before you make the leap.

I don’t share this to scare you or to try and discourage you from working from home, I truly believe it is a wonderful thing to do. I love the flexibility, I love being autonomous and I love that I get to be my own boss. I derive particular enjoyment on those cold Monday mornings when it’s raining heavily and you just know the traffic tailbacks would be nothing short of atrocious, and that I don’t have to deal with it. I’ve already worked productive hours and many people are still waiting for the car in front to move forward.

Though it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Here are a few things you should consider…

Firstly, it can be quite solitary…

My friend Steve has kindly suggested I maybe do a day or two a week in his rather funky and plush offices here in Sydney, and we get on really well. I think he’s genuinely worried about me. I think he’s worried about my daily lack of human contact. Though, the thought of all that morning traffic… Losing that first hour being in the car, and then again on the way home is a major turn off for me at this stage in my life.

Sure, I love a bit of banter just like the rest of us, though I am also easily distracted by conversations within earshot when I’m working, and find it hard to concentrate generally with all the distractions you find within an office environment.

So, yes working from home can be a little solitary, though I think I manage that quite well. I’m a bit of an ambivert. Half introvert, half extrovert.

The most conversation I have in a day will probably take place either via email, Skype and it’s most likely about work. I really enjoy the luxury of being able to factor in an hour each day to exercise. It’s either the gym, a coastal walk or a surf, depending on how the waves are looking. So, solitary yes. Am I lonely? No, not at all.

It Can Be Difficult To ‘Switch Off’

Without the need to go into the office to work, and with the motivation of working for myself, I could easily ‘work’ from 5am when I get up through to 10pm at night when I finally turn my computer off.

Because you’re always ‘at work’ it can be tempting to work all the time and switching off can be difficult. It’s definitely not something I’ve mastered or will master anytime soon, but it’s certainly something I’m aware of. I have gotten a lot better at recognising when my productivity or concentration is on the slide, and calling it quits for the day.

Setting ‘work hours’ has helped a lot. Planning out when I will be working and when I will be taking down time stops the guilty feelings creeping in when I’m not working.

You Need Time Management And Discipline

When you do get more coffee date and lunch invitations (and you will) it can be difficult to stick to your work hours, regardless of how much of a workaholic you are. Because in your mind you can still do the work early in the morning and late at night, so why not go out and catch up.

This can also be the case when you’re at home and realise that the floors need vacuuming, or that the kitchen cupboards really do need rearranging, or that you could add an extra dish to dinner tonight.

Time management and discipline are essential when working from home and different styles work for different people. It may take you a little time to work out your groove and be sure to find what does work for you rather than doing what you think you should be doing. That’s why we work from home – so we can be flexible and work the way we want. Once you work out which are your most productive hours. For me personally, it’s 5am until 1pm, then, I definitely need a change of scenery. 

Routines Will Be Your Best Asset

Routine helps productivity so much, and it means that you don’t have to use valuable mental power thinking of what you need to do next because it’s all set for you.

Simple routine tasks can make such a difference. As I said, I get up at 5am every morning, make my coffee and sit down to work…the biggest plus for me has been spending just a couple of minutes the night before planning the next day’s efforts. That way, I’m not starting the day by procrastinating over what needs doing.

This allows me to start the day with a few ticks in boxes of what needs to be done. I don’t have a full day routine because so many things change throughout my day, but I do have little ‘mini’ routines that take around an hour or two that I can slot into any part of my day.

Again, it’s all about working out what works for you.

Get Out Of The House

You work there, you live there, you never leave there… well at least that’s how it feels some days. Don’t get too caught up in the whole ‘work from home’ title. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you actually have to do all of your work while you’re at home. Now I said I don’t want to commute to an office, though a favourite local cafe is very doable.

Get out of the house and go to your local cafe, use their free Wi-Fi, drink coffee and see your productivity go up! If cafes aren’t really your thing you might prefer to head down to the beach (if you’re lucky enough to live close by one) or even just to a nice big shady tree that you can sit under.

Getting outdoors and into the fresh air can really help with your productivity and healthy mindset, as well as decreasing your stress levels and getting a good dose of Vitamin D while you’re at it. While it seems like there are a lot of hurdles with working from home, every place you work has hurdles and struggles, this just means you need to learn how to deal with a new set.

It feels like every few minutes something pops up to make us procrastinate, distract us, and totally suck out our motivation. Even when you love what you do, part of working from home is grappling with distractions and keeping yourself motivated throughout the day. It can be so hard to stay focused and productive!

 If you’re nodding along right now and thinking back to a particularly unproductive day you had in the last week working from home – I get you. Some days the struggle is so real. While I’m not perfect, I’ve created a few practices along the way that work well to help me get stuff done… without frantically trying to hit all my deadlines in 30 minutes late at night after procrastinating all day.

Tip 1: Keep A Super Short Daily “To Do” List

Now, let me be clear: I do have a rather large master to-do list that I’m constantly adding too. Though I’ve learnt that focusing on that huge to-do list day to day completely sucks my motivation and is immediately overwhelming. Trial and error has taught me that no matter how much I try to smash things out, or how many hours I work, or how much I prioritise work over everything else in my life, there’s still no way I’ll complete everything on my master list today/this week/or this month.

So, instead of focusing on my master to-do list day to day, I keep a super short daily to-do list, and it definitely helps keep my motivation levels high. If I know at the beginning of the day that I’ve only got two or three must do things that I really need to smash out, I am much more likely to get stuck straight in and get them done. A short to-do list, where I focus on my top priorities for the day, is much more motivating. I know I can tick both boxes, and move on.

Tip 2: Do Your Most Important Tasks First!

Tip 3: Remove Distractions

And by “remove distractions” I mean work offline as often as you can!

For me, this is super helpful if I’m coming up with blog post content, or working on or creating a sales page, I’m able to settle down to work, focus and, as a result, create faster and much more easily when I’m offline. This works especially well when there’s no option for me to be online.  

Tip 4: Focus On One Thing Only

I say this because on the days where I try to multi-task, I just end up stressed, overwhelmed, and get to the end of the day with nothing of much substance done. But if I try to focus on one task at a time… at the end of the day I can point to something and say, “Yes, I did that,” and feel as if I’ve really pushed the needle forward.

Tip 5. Noise Cancelling Headphones

If you can swing it, they truly make a world of difference. I’m very sensitive to noise and can become easily distracted by even a dog barking outside, particularly if I’m writing. Good headphones help me keep my sanity and stay on track. These Bose Quiet Comfort 35 wireless headphones were just a fantastic investment. I bought these headphones about a year and half ago and I use them almost daily because I just love the sound quality and the comfort.

Tip 6: Minimise Potential Distractions

  • Turn off all notifications.
  • Put your phone on silent and resist the urge to check texts or missed calls.
  • Don’t check any social media.
  • Close out your email window so new messages can distract you.

 Tip 7: Know When To Call It A Day

Don’t make it a habit of working until midnight every night. Unless you are truly on a roll and producing quality work deep into the night, call it quits and start again after you’ve had a chance to catch some shut-eye.

Keeping yourself motivated, productive and happy working from home can definitely take work. I hope my tips help you to achieve the success you deserve!

I really hope this helped. I’d love to know your favourite way to stay motivated working from home? Have I missed anything here though?

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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As always, thank you so much for tuning in. I really hope this helped. Hey, have I missed anything here though? 

 

p.s. If you enjoyed this, you might also like:

Best, Phil

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Drop me a note in the comments section over at hotclicks.com.au and let me know your thoughts.

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Phil Adair

Hot Clicks Pay-Per-Click Online Marketing

Suite 12, 5th Floor, Dymocks Building

428 George Street, Sydney 2000, NSW, Australia  

W: hotclicks.com.au

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7 Surprisingly Effective Strategies For Beating Procrastination



 

I procrastinated on doing this podcast. I know that it’s a topic that my listeners will love and that my ideas will be valuable to them. However, I couldn’t get started. In my head, it seemed so hard. It was easier to keep watching the Surfing contest from Bells Beach streaming on my laptop than do a podcast. The more I procrastinated the more anxiety I felt. I love doing my podcast, but I felt some psychological barrier preventing me from doing so today.

I started making excuses to myself:

I was afraid that it wouldn’t be a good episode. That recording it would be a waste of time or that my ideas would sound stupid or wouldn’t be useful to my listening. Then, I started feeling guilt and shame about procrastinating. That made me even less motivated to start. You probably have those days too where you don’t feel like it. It’s okay because none of us are machines and there will be times when we just want to chill out and relax.

There’ll be times where you think “What’s the point?” What’s it all mean?

That’s that negative self-talk you have play in your mind when you sit down to work on your passion. Your brain tells you “Who’s listening anyway? What’s the point?”

That doesn’t mean you give up:

Today I didn’t want to do it and I did it anyway. And if I feel like this again tomorrow with all my other tasks and my to do list, I’m going to do exactly the same.

Everyone has good days and bad days. As human beings, there are things about our nature that cannot be controlled, like our genetic composition, chemical balance, and hormone production.

What that means is that one day you may wake up feeling amazing, and the next your feelings will be different and it will have nothing to with you. Some days you just wake up feeling better than others. On those days when sometimes the urge to go out there and get stuff done just doesn’t feel as strikingly necessary as yesterday.

 

Procrastination and self-doubt are two of the biggest killers of dreams and goals. Have you ever been there? If left unchecked and unresolved in your life, this cycle of procrastination and self-doubt will soon become a habitual downward spiral where you can go for months without having produced any substantial results towards the goals. Eventually you’ll just give up on the entire goal altogether, leaving the hopes and dreams you had associated with that goal to be delayed even longer.Procrastination can be overcome. We can short-circuit our natural impulses to delay tasks, and direct our minds towards being productive and proactive.

Here are my 7 best tips for overcoming this goal-killing self-perpetuating cycle of self-doubt and procrastination:

Implement a few of the strategies below and I assure you that you will find yourself living a life of success and prosperity:

 

1. Confront self-limiting beliefs and perceptions

Discover Why You Are Procrastinating. Find the root of what is making you procrastinate in the first place. Is it self-sabotage? Is it fear? Once you create an awareness around why you are procrastinating in the first place, that knowledge makes it easier to make changes, and recognise when you’re doing it in the future and bring yourself back into focus. Without this level of self-awareness, you’ll be almost totally powerless to overcome the negative forces of self-doubt and procrastination once they start gaining momentum in your life. Know that you have the awesome creative ability to observe, evaluate, and correct your own thinking patterns and personal habits from this higher perspective.

 

2. Create a To-Do List with Specific Deadlines

Making a to-do list is simple. You organize everything you need to do in the immediate future in an order that makes sense to you. This will make your workload seem much more manageable. INow, you’ve now have a guide to help you get through the work, pointing toward the light at the end of the tunnel.

But a to-do list filled with tasks is not enough. It’s important to add specific deadlines to your tasks. This will help you build a sense of momentum. When you know that step one needs to be finished by noon, this sense of urgency will help propel you forward. You’ll finish one task after another and learn how you work best.

Identify the first step. Sometimes we’re just daunted by the task we’re avoiding. We might have “Write a Book” on our to-do list, but who can slot that into the average afternoon? The trick here is to break down big, tasks into baby steps that don’t feel as effortful. Even better: identify the very smallest first step, something that’s so easy that even your present-biased brain can see that the benefits outweigh the costs of effort. So instead of “Write Book” you might decide to “Write Chapter headings.” Achieve that small goal, and you’ll feel more motivated to take the next small step than if you’d continued to beat yourself up.

 

3.Your Best Time Of Day

The deadline is looming. You know that you have a list of things you need to tackle, but you can’t seem to find the mental energy. Or, perhaps you settle in to work on a project, only to find a myriad of distractions keeping you from getting anywhere.
Knowing how and when you work best can eliminate the problem of procrastination and lack of focus. Determine what time of day you do your best thinking or are most creative. Avoid booking meetings during those hours if possible, so that you can maximise your productivity and focus. Staying in your flow will increase performance and productivity.
There really is such a thing as being either a morning, afternoon, or evening person. Find the hour that makes you feel at your very best, at your most optimal mode of functioning, and set aside the time to do your most urgent and demanding tasks then.

 

4.Disconnect

I think I’ll just check the news, or my Instagram feed for a bit. That brief lapse and redirection of your attention could very well stretch out into another full hour of non-productivity. Our devices offer a myriad of distractions, whether it’s email, social media, or texting with friends and family. This is especially difficult as our work becomes more ambiguous and unstructured (two triggers of procrastination).
When you notice yourself using your device to procrastinate, disconnect. Sometimes when I’m writing, I go as far as to put my phone in another room, and shut off the WiFi on my computer.
This may sound drastic, and it is. Disabling digital distractions ahead of time gives you no choice but to work on what’s really important.
Your brain will look for reasons to pull away from that important and demanding task; don’t give it an opportunity to do so.

 

5. Reward yourself

Celebrate small victories for having completed your tasks. The reward may be a short conversation with a colleague, a stroll to a nearby café for a coffee pick-me-up, or maybe a larger reward such as treating yourself to a movie after work. Let your brain know that you will reward it for focusing and being attentive.

 

6. Don’t punish yourself

We will still end up procrastinating on occasion. It happens to the best of us. Don’t punish yourself when you do. Re-evaluate your goals, do a bit of self-reflection on the times in which you work your best, and try again. Cut yourself a little slack.

 

7. Don’t try to be perfect

Perfectionism is the partner-in-crime to procrastination. “I won’t start because it won’t be perfect.” Wanting to do a good job is great, but striving for perfection rarely helps.
Paralysis by analysis occurs when we absolutely must have every single instance of information before making decisions.

How much has procrastination and self-doubt affected you?  Leave a comment and let me know!

There’ll be times where you think “What’s the point?” What’s it all mean?

That’s that negative self-talk you have play in your mind when you sit down to work on your passion. Your brain tells you “Who’s listening anyway? What’s the point?”

That doesn’t mean you give up…

 

Listen to the full episode now >>

⠀⠀

 

How To Create Irresistible Headlines (People Can’t Help But Click)

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Remember to subscribe to this podcast and check out my [FREE] AdWords Video Training Series.

Get Instant Access Here >>

7 Absolutely Killer Tips For Google AdWords & Why They Crush The Competition

 

 

How to Build an Email List FAST – 7 Simple Methods You Can Use for FREE

Download The eBook Now:

 

Download here >>

Phil Adair

Hot Clicks Pay-Per-Click Online Marketing

Suite 12, 5th Floor, Dymocks Building

428 George Street, Sydney 2000, NSW, Australia  

W: hotclicks.com.au

I’m a huge fan of connecting on social media. If you’re on these social networks, then let’s follow each other: 

Twitter 

Google+ 

Facebook

YouTube

Pinterest

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p.s. If you enjoyed this, you might also like:

Best, Phil

 

How To Get Stuff Done – Even When You’re Completely Overwhelmed…

How To Get Sh*t Done

Hot Productivity Tips & Trips To Get You Back On Track

 

Google AdWords with HotClicks Pay Per Click Online Marketing Sydney Web Psychology

Today’s post is all about the struggles of an internet marketer. Why we do what we do…. And how to maintain those productivity levels. When we become dissatisfied change has to happen.

 

Listen to my Podcast Episode #20 on how to improve your productivity: How To Get Sh*t Done

 

Luckily, I never miss the days I used to work in the office. I had great times with my colleagues, but those days feel well behind me, and I feel perfectly comfortable working alone now. There are a few things I’m glad I no longer have to be part of. As a full-time online marketer, I spend most of the day communicating with others by email or on online chat. I barely speak to anyone on the phone or face to face that I might forget my own voice one of these days…

 

But not everyone is like me. Those who are extroverts often crave for hangouts, and a lot of my fellow online entrepreneurs deliberately make time to meet up with friends for lunch to keep their sanity. And I do agree. You need to have real conversations daily (not necessarily verbally), to ensure you’re not turning into a weirdo. 

 

 

I love working out – without my beach running surfing and gym exercise, I would definitely go crazy. If you don’t normally move around much, just getting out of the house to walk for 15 minutes should help circulate more oxygen in your blood stream, and release serotonin to motivate yourself. Serotonin is something that your body naturally produces. They help you motivate big time, too.

Working from home means you can work whatever way you want. You can work in pyjamas, or on your bed with your laptop without creating a work environment. Sounds good, right? But there’s no motivation factor in that kind of “no boundary” working lifestyle.

 

Patience is the key to success particularly in online business. Being patient does not mean you have to be agitated or frustrated. Everyone has to fail at some point to be successful, and has to learn from mistakes.

 

Be patient and stay focused on your goals – that’s the way to motivate yourself for business.

 

How to avoid becoming paralyzed by too many ideas

 

If you are a creative, you most likely the type that has so many ideas.

 

While it may seem like a blessing, it often feels like a curse and that you aren’t actually moving or taking action. You feel scattered, confused and overwhelmed.

 

I am no stranger to the overwhelming sensation that too many ideas can bring.

 

I have loved this journey of starting my business so far, however sometimes I feel paralyzed and pulled too many directions. While it is an exciting place to be, it is best to develop a process to help tame those ideas, and avoid becoming paralyzed.

Keep a running list. Your notes are just for you, so don’t allow negativity to creep in! Be bold in your future goals. If I get really invested in an idea up front, I like to get as specific as I can in the brainstorming phase. You can also reference these notes anytime you have a sudden hit of inspiration.

 

Don’t act too fast!

 

Though your new idea to open up a shop, start an e-course, or offer a new service seems great up front, I encourage you to take a bit of time to meditate on your new idea.

 

You want to give yourself enough time to do the research and develop a strategy to implement your new idea.

 

During this time, you can really hone in on the details of this project, as well as develop a marketing plan for it. This doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it helps to be strategic in building excitement over your new product/service/idea!

 

If you run your own business, chances are, you’re completely overwhelmed pretty much all the time. I know I am. 

 

 

Because no matter much you get done, it seems like your to-do list just grows longer and longer. There are blog posts to write, emails to respond to, social media posts to schedule, products to create. You need to be organized, not overwhelmed.

 

Most overwhelm comes from feeling like you have so much to do that you can’t do it all. When your to-do list is swirling around in your head, it can feel like everything you need to get done gets bigger and more urgent by the minute.

 

The solution? Get your to-do list out of your head and onto paper.

 

Action, not anxiety!

 

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel super busy and stressed, but when you look back over your day, you don’t even know what you got done? I get so caught up in feeling stressed about everything I have to do that I don’t actually do any of it. I’ll have a project to start that feels so big and overwhelming that I never start it. And then, like something out of a horror movie, the more I put off the project, the bigger and more overwhelming it becomes.

 

It’s a vicious cycle that only has one solution: action. Just the simple act of starting- something, anything- helps you build the inertia you need to keep going. So when you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, look at the list you made and just start. Progress, not perfection.

 

I struggle with this one every damn day and I know I’m not alone here. As creative entrepreneurs, we put our souls into our work, so of course everything we do should be perfect, right? Wrong. Sometimes (ok, most of the time) perfection isn’t about quality work, it’s about ego. At least it is for me. I want my work to be perfect because I want to be perfect. Which is obviously impossible (not to mention insane.)

 

And when we get like that, when we obsess over formatting, or reread the same email seven times, or strain our eyes making sure our blog graphic is centered – it keeps us from doing the real, important work that we’re meant to do.

 

Choose progress, not perfection.

 

The next time you’re stuck in that obsessive cycle of making sure it’s absolutely perfect, ask yourself: Does this actually need to be perfect? Or does it just need to be done?

 

Some things do need to be perfect. When I’m proofreading a document before it goes to print for a client, then yes, it needs to be perfect. But if I’m honest with myself, the majority of my work doesn’t require that level of flawlessness, and I doubt much of yours does either.

 

So yes, it’s important that we care, deeply, about putting out quality work. But it’s worth the reminder: just because it’s not perfect, doesn’t mean it’s not good enough. 

 

And as I said last week: Progress = Happiness

 

What are your best productivity Tips and Tricks? What works for you? 

I really hope this helped. Hey, have I missed anything here though? Drop me a note in the comments section below and let me know your thoughts.

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Remember to subscribe to my podcast and check out the [FREE] AdWords Video Training Series.

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7 Absolutely Killer Tips For Google AdWords & Why They Crush The Competition

 

 

How to Build an Email List FAST – 7 Simple Methods You Can Use for FREE

Download The eBook Now:

 

Download here >>

 

 

Phil Adair

Hot Clicks Pay-Per-Click Online Marketing

Suite 12, 5th Floor, Dymocks Building

428 George Street, Sydney 2000, NSW, Australia  

W: hotclicks.com.au

I’m a huge fan of connecting on social media. If you’re on these social networks, then let’s follow each other: 

Twitter 

Google+ 

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About Phil Adair

Phil Adair is the host of one of the most downloaded online marketing podcasts on the internet (go here to subscribe and listen to The Online Marketing Strategies Show.)

Read his inspiring bio now.  Feel free to send Phil a message here.