Use these tips to get back to work and see your productivity soar.
- Plan ahead. You can’t always predict your moods, but you can plan ahead so you start out with the right state of mind. If you wake up without a concrete plan for your day you can easily waft into checking e-mail and social networking sites before doing any actual work.
- Wait until late morning or early afternoon to open your e-mail software or check any social networking sites. If you check your e-mail, there’s a strong chance that there will be something in your Inbox that will require action on your part, and you can bet you’ll feel compelled to deal with that e-mail before you get to work on the tasks you had planned for the day.
- Minimize distractions. Turn off the TV and the phone ringer, and disable any chat or instant messaging software. It’s especially important when you work from home to make sure your friends and family know when you are working, so you can maintain a consistent, productive environment.
- Take care of whatever is distracting you and then come back to work. If it’s “fun” that’s distracting you, take a half hour to go do something enjoyable.
- Build in a system of rewards and punishments. The reward and punishment can be two sides of the same coin: if you accomplish your task, you get to do a particular fun activity, and if you don’t accomplish your task, you don’t get to do that activity.
Finally, there’s the powerful “just do it” strategy. Once you start working and getting in the groove of productivity, you’ll find that it’s much easier to stay in that “productivity zone.” And once you’re in that zone, you may find that you can get more accomplished in an hour than you might normally get done in an entire day.