Habits influence a lot in our daily lives. Think about your schedule and how much of it is routine. Think about how many activities you can do on autopilot.
Some habits may be small like grabbing a snack every day at 3 pm. Some may be good and some may be bad. The bad habits may not be vices but they can be obstacles to your goals.
No matter what kind of habits they are, they influence how productive we are and how much we accomplish.
If you want to accomplish more, then you’re looking to build more good habits and break the bad ones. Many of us would probably like more good habits than bad.
Here are some homely habits that one can accommodate into their working hours that will keep you productive at the same time:
- STAY HYDRATED
We all hear this all the time: Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
If you drink more like eight cups of coffee, it’s time to fix that. Why is water so important for the body? It helps deliver oxygen, regulates body temperature, flushes body waste, and so much more. While some veggies and fruits (like watermelon) do contain quite a bit of water as well, doctors recommend drinking as much good old H2O as you can. Plus, you’ll feel more energized when your body is properly hydrated.
Healthy tip: Need some flavor? Add fresh fruit to give your water a refreshing twist. Diced strawberries with fresh mint and lime make for delicious, flavored water.
Stay accountable, maintain a routine, and track your time
If your work hours are at your discretion, create weekly or daily schedules, and embrace routines to stay organized and on task.
Even if time tracking is not required by your employer, tracking your time can facilitate proactive reporting and allow you to examine your time allocation. Toggle and other desktop and mobile time trackers are helpful project management tools.
Another way to stay accountable is to communicate an agreed-upon level of transparency with your boss and co-workers.
Create a shareable calendar and to-do list, and submit regular project updates.
For micro-time management, digital reminders, and timers work great.
Suggesting monthly phone calls or Skype can help maintain an up-to-date feel for office culture and expectations.
- CREATE A MORNING ROUTINE:
Deciding you’ll sit down at your desk and start work at a certain time is one thing. Creating a routine that guides you into the chair is another. What is your morning routine delineates the start of work? It might be making a cup of coffee. It might be returning home after a jog. It might be getting dressed (wearing pajama pants to work is a perk for some, but a bad strategy for others). Create a morning routine that ends with you starting work.
- SCHEDULE BREAKS:
Know your company’s policy on break times and take them. If you’re self-employed, give yourself adequate time during the day to walk away from the computer screen and phone. A lunch hour and two 15-minute breaks seem to be the standard for employees.
- SET REAL WORK HOURS
Now that you have your office or work area set up, it’s time to get down to business — literally. If you are going to make working from home an everyday commitment, then set specific business or work hours.
The beauty of working from home is that you can be flexible in setting your working hours. For example, if you are most productive in the morning, or if you need to get the kids to school, then you may want to set your work hours from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Use your deep focus to zoom through your tasks. Keep reading to see how to manage your time effectively.
Enforce a hard limit at the end of the day. Distance yourself from work, so you don’t work nonstop.
Regardless of your schedule, be sure to establish set work hours to follow each day. Communicate your work schedule to co-workers, teams, and your boss.
- HAVE A PRODUCTIVITY PLAYLIST
Did you know that listening to music increases your dopamine and serotonin levels, which in turn makes us happier, more motivated, and less anxious? Now, the next question is, what type of music should you listen to?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this. It depends on both your individual preference and the task you are working on. For example, when working on language-focused tasks like writing and reading, you should avoid music with lyrics as it tends to be distracting. If you need to get your creative juices flowing, plug into more upbeat songs at 50–80 beats per minute.