No one is fully productive all the time. It can be frustrating when you cannot seem to concentrate and focus on a single task. Perhaps you find yourself distracted while working from home. Maybe you feel overwhelmed by all you need to get done.
With so many distractions and concerns, it is easy to lose focus on your work. Fortunately, you can take a few small steps to reset your productivity and get back on track.
Focus on progress, not time
If you are primarily focused on the clock at work, you are just coasting. To reset your productivity, get into a proactive mode. Look at tasks instead of time and measure results instead of hours. If you are working from home, use this flexibility to focus on what is important. Do things that move the needle, instead of just knocking out the busy work.
Know your magic hours
Different people are more productive at different times of the day. Some people are most productive in the evening; others do their best work in the morning. Knowing yourself is critical to rediscovering your productivity. You should leverage what you know about yourself to implement a new strategy. For example, if you know you have the most energy and brain power after your morning coffee, block off time to accomplish the most critical tasks then.
Develop a system that fits you
Work systems beat goals. People who set a goal of losing 10 pounds will often regain weight while those who have a system of eating right and exercising every day will sustain weight loss. You can create your own system for productivity by scheduling everything according to when it makes the most sense for you personally.
Create a productivity zone
Whether you are working from home or the office, you should adjust your environment to bolster your productivity. Just as clubs are loud and energetic to let you know it is time to have fun, you need a space that triggers the mindset that it is time to get things done. Try closing an office door, putting on noise-canceling headphones, or simply going to a spot where you know you will not be distracted by the TV or other people.
Reach out to others
When you are working from home, you know it can be isolating. Instead of waiting for others to reach out to you, be proactive in your check-ins with your team members. Ask how they are doing and find out what they might need. And when you are checking in with your boss, come prepared with a list of what you have accomplished. Be conscious of your connections with others and be intentional about maintaining them.
Monitor your mood
A big part of motivation comes from your mood. When you are in a good mood, you are not only more productive but also more effective. There are several studies that show nothing is more motivating than making progress in meaningful work. To leverage this, try keeping an inventory of all the important things you have accomplished. Seeing what you have already done will lift your mood.
If your productivity has been lagging, give yourself some grace. Fortunately, you can regain your productivity with intention and focus. Put the six strategies above in play to reset your mindset and boost your output. And this will help you thrive.