For a long time, I’ve been trying to be more productive. For the most part, I work from home with school, business, and writing—not to mention my introversion and anxiety. The point is, I’m home a lot. And getting motivated to get up, start work, finish projects, be productive and not sit and watch three films in a day—um, me two days ago—is difficult.
I’ve tried a couple of things, some tricks, but mostly they’re not enough. I shower every morning and get dressed, a really important thing to do. First off, feeling fresh and awake and ready to go will give you a boost. Spending the day in pajamas, while nice and comfy, automatically leads me to spend most of the day on the couch watching YouTube videos and then later berating myself for wasting the afternoon.
I try to keep the TV off. In both of my work stations, there’s a TV in the room and it’s incredibly easy to get caught up with what’s on it. I like background noise and a visual to peek at once in a while, so I usually keep it on but I never turn it to something like a film or drama or anything that I would like to be watching. The Food Network or news is good for that, something mindless and easily avoidable.
I never work on the couch. Okay, that’s a lie. Sometimes I’m able to, but for the most part I feel comfortable and drift off and then whoops, there’s Tuesday over. But I try not to. I have one of those slide tables that you can sit with a laptop on, but I do that typically at the end of the day or when writing is my only goal for the day. On the couch, I’m much more likely to turn on a show or fall into the internet hole or even fall asleep—I’ve done it several times.
The one thing that I’ve found to be most helpful in being productive, believe it or not, is wearing shoes. Now I know I said that I get dressed every morning, but that’s without shoes, just socks. I mean, I’m home after all, sitting inside all day, why would I need shoes? I thought this for a long time until one day, I left my shoes on from going for a walk with my dog and found myself checking off a lot from my to do list. I thought I’d give it a try, and it turned out, wearing shoes every day made me feel like I was somewhere other than home. Sitting at my desk, fully dressed and wearing shoes, made me feel like I’d gone to work. There was a purpose, a goal to be achieved, and with shoes on, I did it.
Now of course, I still get distracted. They’re not some powerful, magical devices that make you into a super-computing robot that works works works works works, but it sets your mind into a work mode. Something in me switches when the shoes go on. I get twice as much done wearing shoes than I do when I don’t. I’m more focused, more motivated.
If you work from home and don’t already, try it. Wear your shoes and get. it. all. done.