10 Ways To Improve Your Productivity While Working From Home
With so many states on lockdown due to COVID-19, companies big and small are having to find innovative ways to adapt and stay productive during the quarantine. For most businesses, the plan and the roadmap that you had for 2020 a month or two ago are entirely disrupted. It is only the most creative companies that can rapidly adapt that will survive and thrive in the new “work from home” economy.
We asked some of the most influential leaders in the Disrupt Nation to share how there are staying productive during this time in quarantine. While everyone is our community didn’t 100% agree, they all gave us some great insights and ideas about how we can maximize the opportunities created by this pandemic.
Wake Up Early
I found waking up early, and completing important tasks is helpful. I’m more productive this way, get a lot done before everyone wakes up. Also, have a daily task list and checking them off will keep you on your toes. – Shahid Durrani, CEO of Absolute Health ( @officialshahiddurrani )
Prioritize Your Goals
Understand that time is your most valuable asset. Prioritize all your tasks. I use a point system formula to grade my tasks from most to least critical then I rate each task by the level of importance and the rate of urgency. Don’t allow distractions from social media, entertainment, or people until all your top priorities are complete. Luckily, I’m a provider of home-based businesses, so this pandemic has been a blessing in disguise. I’ve been going nonstop, and business has never been better! – John Malott, Side Hustle Expert / Build Your Empire ( @john.malott )
Stay Organized & Motivated
As we all know, the whole world is being stuck at home right now due to COVID-19. In order to not decrease productivity during these hard times, we decided to plan our day ahead of time. Staying at home in a long period of time usually can decrease your work efficiency. That’s the reason why my team and I decided to divide each of our days into smaller parts. We divide it in that way so we can find time for either pleasure and also time to do our job. The next thing which might decrease your work efficiency is the lack of social contacts. By using various communication software, we managed to be connected to each other no matter where we are. This way, we feel more motivated to complete our tasks and projects. Staying at home also allows us to learn new things and increase our knowledge of our work-related subjects. We find it satisfying to spend 30 minutes of each day to research and be up to date with the latest news so we can imply in our business. – Artur Zheng, Managing Partner of Filter Cell ( @imarthur.z )
Keep a Strict Schedule
I think it is especially important to keep a structured schedule. The reason I don’t like to work from home is that there are too many distractions. I can go grab something to eat anytime I want, and I can watch the news on tv. I can let my dogs out, etc. It is so easy to get sidetracked and lose productivity. This is why it is especially important to have your day structured and mapped out before it even begins. Put things on your calendar that are non-negotiable. Create a to-do list for each day and make sure those tasks are completed. You must maintain your discipline and have structure when you are working from home. – Stephen Campolo, Founder of FLX BODY FITNESS ( @stephencampolo )
With the work-life balance lines being so blurred right now, we need to make sure we set boundaries so that we avoid burn out. Create both a work schedule and a personal schedule. For example, I do not take calls or check emails on Saturdays or Sundays. – Tetty Thomas, CEO of Streben Marketing ( @tettythomas )
The most important thing is discipline. You should have daily routines in order to maintain the goals that you have set for yourself. The biggest impact this will have on my business is that we can’t organize any events and meet people face to face. That is why we moved our business online, and Covid-19 pushed us to do it faster than we would have. The results were better than we expected. We will continue to use online strategy even after the special circumstances have ended. – Kustas Kirsipuu, CEO / Representative Marketer ( @kustaskirsipuu )
Write Down Your Goals
The best way to improve productivity is to make a list the night before of everything that needs to be completed the next day now sometimes there is a lot of things there need to be done and it’s best to not multi-task so the best thing to do is hire people to help you with the jobs/needs that need to be done so you don’t burn yourself out and you can do what it is that you do best. Everything I do was already internet based so since this coronavirus happened, it made me have to hire more people so we can help companies and bring them online. – Anthony Agyeman, CEO of Marketing Wizards ( @onlinemoney )
Leverage Digital Communication
One of the best ways to improve productivity while running your business from home is communication. Home is synonymous with comfort and rest, so it is easy to feel like not working. So what I found to be one of the best practices to stay productive is scheduling. Just as you would with a 9-5, you have time to wake up, eat breakfast, and get to work. You also have lunch scheduled and a time to clock out. I recommend setting a schedule that you can work with and keep it consistent that your way your body and brain already know what to do. If you feel like you can’t keep a schedule or have the liberty not to, then at least block out 4-8 hours a day to get things done. In this way you will continue to get work done even on your own schedule. The second thing I recommend is if you are working with a team to stay in daily communication. Granted not everything has to be a zoom call but keep in touch through text, Slack, WhatsApp, etc. I would say at least 2-3 times a day is sufficient. At the beginning of your workday to discuss the tasks that need to be done or anything that needs immediate attention. The second time would be midday to check progress, see if anyone needs help or if there are any barriers stopping the work from getting done. Lastly, it would be at the end of the workday. Check off tasks and prep for the next day. Keeping a team in communication is key for any business to grow, especially during these times. – Emmanuel Rodriguez, Creative Director at Disrupt Studio ( @supermanny )
Protect your Time
It has definitely been a challenge, but the biggest thing I needed to focus on was discipline and time blocking. Being at home, you have so many more distractions, so you have to be intentional about setting aside time to get your focused work done. I set aside time blocks of 30, 60, and 90 minutes to get work done during the day. In real estate sales, we are considered an essential business, but our clients’ safety is our primary concern. Therefore, we have started doing virtual walkthroughs with our clients through Zoom or Facetime. I walk through the home with a mask and gloves on and the clients can see the property from their home and ask me any questions about the house we are looking at together. – Young Lee, Team Leader for the Young Lee Group
Use Video Meeting & Maximize Profits
It is important to distinguish activity from productivity when you are building your business. Activity is planning which is good but sometimes people just plan their business goals, but they never do it. Productivity is acting on your plans as you have planned it which will get you to the next step that is profitability. Yet, during these times in a quarantine epidemic environment people think that productivity decreases as if they don’t have any other choice but to pump the brakes. I don’t agree with that mindset and I believe that now is the time to boost your productivity to the max. I have also seen people during their quarantine downtime do nothing but plan success, plan goals, plan ways to make money but they are not really taking advantage of all the time they have because, just planning isn’t going to make your business profitable. Nonetheless, activity should only be at a 25 percent level as a strong foundation for your business and 75 percent should be productivity which is the core of your success.
With all of this in mind, the whole point of being productive is to generate real business that will convert to income. So now is the time to improve productivity by following some key habits. Communication is key; Create a live video event with a group of clients that have something in common like language, zip code, etc. and have focus points that all of them would be eager to speak about. You know your client best so come up with 3 good focus points and at the end ask for referrals and tell them to invite someone for the next video meeting. This will help your business grow. Also, get in the habit of waking up early, don’t sleep in and work on building a list of business-like minded individuals that you think can be referral partners. Network: Remember all those business cards you have collected somewhere; it’s time to call and ask for real referrals. Talking to new clients makes for more accounts/business in your pipeline, which means more profits. Keep in mind that new business is not closed business, don’t get excited over a list of names; instead, get excited over a list of names that have an actual closing date and grow that list. – Glenn Parada, CEO / Parada Mortgage ( @glennparada )