Whether you are looking to work from home at the moment, or you are already killing it in your own home business empire…you are always going to face one thing. That is your ability to get stuff done and work autonomously. The promises of having a great career working from home, as well as what you do, is your ability to successfully do it.
Moving from a corporate job to a home office does seem like a rosy proposition, but there are a couple of issues you will inevitably face. These basically revolve around yur personal management. That is, how do you manage your daily tasks, motivation and output. There are these days some great tools that I would recommend to anyone that is going it alone, as they will help you stay on track and keep a good momentum and pace to your work. Some of these had been covered in previous posts:
HOWEVER, some time has passed and this post is to be a more general overview of productivity, motivation, and some hacks for getting the most out of your days and weeks as you push forwards towards your ultimate goal.
I think the best way to do this is to basically get to the meat and potatoes and lay out the actual tools you can use that will both increase your motivation, as well as your output when working from home. Motivation in of itself is a illusive thing. Some days you will feel like you are bursting at the seams with it, and others you will feel like staying in bed and doing nothing. Itâ€™s unreliable. That fire to get up and smash through your day is a fleeting feeling when running a home business empire. One bump in the road can make your motivation disappear at the snap of a finger. Early on I learnt that you want to move your desires, and goals into workable habits. Your habits will trump your motivation every time.
If you donâ€™t develop the habits that work towards building your goals you will have motivation problems. If what you need to be doing on a daily basis to succeed has been crafted into habits, then you don;t have to think about it. It will just happen for you on autopilot. As quickly as possible you want to move things from your ‘to-dosâ€™ into daily habits that you can do with your eyes shut.
Liftâ€™s motto is ‘Unlock Your Potential. Change Your Lifeâ€™. Essentially how the app works is you input your daily habits that you want to develop. When running a home business, think of all the things you should be doing on a daily basis and put them into your profile. For me that list would read like the following:
- Read a business book 30-60minutes (the more you learn, the more you earn – Warren Buffet)
- Listen to an internet marketing podcast
- Write website content – content is king on line
- Write documentation for outsourcer – what can you systemise and get off your plate
- Work on an email newsletter – how can you give more value to your readers and/or customers
Doing activities like this on a daily basis builds momentum, momentum builds motivation, and the cycle continues. When logging your habits on lift, each day you complete a habit you get positive feedback, and you are looking to get that HABIT STREAK. Get a week or two of completing your habits each day and you can begin to feel the wind beneath your wings, as things start to take shape and it all becomes a little easier each day.
Lift is also great for non-work related habits that you might wish to build. Spanish lessons and yoga anyone?
Now that we have you thinking about what your daily actions are and how you could be building them into automatic actions via the power of habits, how do you plan your day and make the most out of it?
To-Do Lists – (protip: put ‘create todo listâ€™ in your Lift app for each day)
They arenâ€™t sexy, but they they are a great tool to: GET. THINGS. DONE. Just donâ€™t go too overboard for the day. My suggestion is you only keep 3 things active on your todo list. You can have as many ‘archivedâ€™ so to speak in the background, but only pull out 3 things for the day. Anymore than that and you are creating overwhelm and mental fatigue. No one wants to look a a list of 20 things to do for the day, itâ€™s a massive demotivator. Especially when you dont complete them for the day. Put 3 things that you can take a good chunk out of, and most likely get finished.
When it comes to-do lists, there are two tools I really love to use. One that is used personally, and another that can be used very well when working in teams.They are: Trello, and Kanbanflow. In this case I love to use Trello when managing projects with others, and Kanbanflow for managing personal to-d- lists, as it has a built in timer based off pomodoro, while restricting you to only 3 active tasks at any one time.
A fantastic online planning and collaboration tool, and FREE to boot. Trello is amazing for organizing projects into To-Do, Doing, Done columns. There is also a lot more flexibility to organize groups of tasks or content into any manner you wish. Trello has great integrations with other services like dropbox & Google Drive, allowing you to link in documents and easily invite others onto your boards and projects. Out of Trello and Lanbanflow the interface of Trello is nicer, but itâ€™s missing the time logging features and gamified leaderboard that I love so much about KanbanFlow.
KanbanFlow is very similar to Trello but has a couple of features that really make it more suitable to personal management. A built in timer and based around the pomodoro method in my opinion makes it easier to push through your tasks. Drag a task over to you ‘doingâ€™ list, and then log a pomodoro against it (a pomodoro is a focused 25min block of work, which is then followed by a 5 minute break). As you log your pomodoros each day, you can see where you land on an international leaderboard of the best time loggers on the platform. Give yourself a goal to be in the top 30, and you will be cranking out good output everyday and have a great sense of accomplishment.
So between building your daily habits with Lift, and then planning projects with ideas in trello, and smashing out your personal to-do list in KanbanFlow you will have a very nice workflow to get things done and planning out your days, weeks and months ahead. Along the way you will be building some solid work habits as well, making your future home business successes come even easier. There is just one key to the puzzle though, and one more hack that will give your even more personal accountability, and motivation to keep on track and get things done:
Rescuetime runs in the background of your computer, keeping an eye over what you are doing each day, logging your productivity and keeping you on track. Have you been productive when working from home, or have you been spending a little too much time on Facebook and Youtube? How many hours did you log this week on your computer, where did you spend the majority of your time?
Rescuetime will let you know these things, without requiring any input from you. Each week you will get a great report showing your total hours logged, and your productivity score. Website and apps you use are ranked from ‘very distractingâ€™ to ‘very productiveâ€™, to make sure you are keeping on track. Spend more than an hour a day on distractive tasks, and Rescuetime will let you know. Itâ€™s like your personal coach, keeping you accountable and sticking to the plan.
It may sound like a bit of overkill to have all of these things running, but the overhead is not much at all.
Each day use Lift to build your longterm habits for success. Plan your projects with Trello, and get your tasks done with kanbanflow, focusing on logging your time as you go. Have you been on track for the week, kanbanflow will let you know. Stringing together some great work days you will see your statistics lift, enforce positive habits, and feel a sense of motivation and accomplishment as you move towards your goal.
Do you have any other cool productivity hacks when working from home and/or working on your home business? Let us know below!