I've been always pretty piqued about being a freelancer (not there yet!). A big part of that was because I imagined the Work-From-Home (WFH) life to be super cool and fun and all that. I took these times as trying out the beta version before I took the full plunge and I've found one caveat: being consistently productive can be a little difficult. One day I'm on a charged up A-mode and the next, I find myself lounging all day in my blanket. If you can relate, then we can both admit that we need a little help! I went digging and came out with these five tips that could help boost our productivity and glean from that WFH life in its entirety.
1. Do the hardest thing first.
Our peak energy levels are usually in the mornings – after a good night’s sleep, and an equally good breakfast. Even as a certified night owl, I find this to be true (this might not be so for everyone though). Point is, it’s a great idea to do your least enjoyable task when you can give it max focus. The feel-good sense of accomplishment you'll get from completing it will keep you hyped up to finish the rest.
“Kaban” is a word from Japanese which means “placard” or “sign”. Creating your own kaban is especially good if you’re a more visually-motivated person. Divide your tasks into 'To Do', 'Doing' and 'Done'. Write them on cards or sticky notes and glue them to a board – or you could just use the sticky notes app on your laptop. As and when you complete tasks, you re-check your board and move things around. Be sure to reward yourself with a cup of hot chocolate (or mint tea!) when you get all your tasks into the 'Done' section.
3. Rubber Duck Debugging
“Rubber duck debugging” comes from a story in the book The Pragmatic Programmer. The original idea is to debug your code (all the programmers say “Yay!”) with the help of a rubber duck. You talk to the duck as you go through the lines of your code. This helps to spot and resolve the problem, or even give clarity as to what exactly the problem is. You can adopt this method to other areas in life. More often than not, verbalising your issues helps you figure out how to deal with them. Hey, you might not even need an actual rubber duck!
I find this incredibly helpful. Basically, you split up your day into blocks of time – and schedule different tasks to them. So say, for my first two hours today, I’m focusing solely on writing all my articles. For the last hour, I'll be checking all the dog videos sent to me on Instagram.
5. “No Zero Days”.
This might be the simplest method – and one I really love. It’s telling yourself “ I’m going to finish one task today, by hook or crook!” and following through. So go ahead and complete that section of your thesis and pat yourself on the back for being such a badass. Repeat tomorrow.
Let me know which of these tips are your favourite, and which ones do not work well for you at firstname.lastname@example.org or on IG: @pa.bby . Enjoy that WFH life!