If you search Google for how to improve your workplace productivity, you’ll find a huge amount of tried-and-tested tactics for ensuring you get to the bottom of your to-do list each day. Unfortunately, they often miss one important trick: what you do outside of work. You could invest your time in learning the best productivity tips for work, but if you’re less than productive at home, those bad habits will slowly creep into the office. With that in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to list fifteen of our favourite productivity hacks for home life that will make you a ‘get it done’ ninja at work!
Try these out for size next weekend:
1. Sleep well
A bad night’s sleep will not make for a productive mindset the following day.
Sure, it’s the weekend, which means you might want to stay up a little longer and have a bit of a lie-in, but whatever you do, make sure you get at least 6-8 hours, if you can.
Routine at the weekend when it comes to sleep is just as important, even if the hours shift a little.
2. Switch off gadgets and email for one day
Go on – try it!
If the thought of being without email for a day sickens you, or the idea of not being able to pick up your smartphone when you’re bored fills you with dread, you need to work on it.
On either Saturday or Sunday, try going without your phone, tablet, laptop and email for the entire day. You’ll find relatively quickly that you don’t miss them quite as much as you thought you might.
3. Stop checking your smartphone at night
If you’ve ever found yourself tossing and turning each night, it might be down to your little touchscreen friend.
Checking your smartphone last thing at night is a pretty terrible way to prepare for sleep. It’ll leave your mind racing and eyes wide open thanks to the screen glare.
Read a book, chat to your partner – do anything but look at that screen!
4. Set yourself a small personal goal
This one is easy.
Think of a small goal you want to achieve this weekend and achieve it. Even if it’s simply ‘finally clean out the shed’.
5. Start creating lists
Shopping lists are a great start, but if you can get into the habit of creating lists for other areas of your personal life, you’ll get into a great habit that will serve you well at work.
Think of all the things you need to do to the house, or the people with whom you need to arrange get togethers. Basically, anything that can be formed into a list counts, so go and grab that pen and paper!
6. Get some exercise each day
If you’re more inclined to spend the entire weekend sat in front of the TV than doing something active, you won’t exactly be setting up your mind and body for a productive week at work.
The brain doesn’t need much exercise to stay healthy, so rather than committing to running a half marathon every Saturday, promise yourself you’ll fit in a brisk walk, short run or spot of cycling each day – and stick to it.
7. Delegate a household chore to someone else
Delegation is hard at work, but it’s even harder at home.
Just like you’ll be unwilling to relinquish control of certain tasks in the office, the same usually goes for particular chores at home.
However, if you can get into the habit of delegating household work to other people in the family, you’ll realise the value of letting go lies in the time you get back.
8. Turn off all but the most important smartphone notifications
Clearly, tip 2 isn’t going to be something you do regularly, therefore if your smartphone must be by your side at all times, there’s one important adjustment you should make.
If your phone is constantly binging and bonging with notifications, turn off all but the most important. Odds are, you’ll soon realise the only important type of notification is the sound of the phone ringing, and if that’s the case, so be it!
9. Complete that big thing you’ve been putting off
You know it’s there. You know you promised yourself it would be done months ago.
But it hasn’t, has it? That big task at home remains completely un-started. This weekend – get cracking with it and promise yourself there’ll be no more excuses as to why you can’t do it.
10. Talk to a friend about work
The weekend is a time for non work-related pleasure, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take time occasionally to talk to a friend or family member about work.
If there’s a particular issue you’re having or a success you’d like to celebrate – talk it through with someone for half an hour or so. An outside perspective will do you the world of good.
11. Automate something
Automation is changing the way we all work, and when harnessed correctly, can make you a whole lot more productive.
You can do this at home, too. Even if it’s just a case of automating your home lighting to come on at a certain time, or buying a kitchen gadget that removes a laborious preparation process from your hands, it’ll be worth it.
12. Schedule time for yourself and no one else
You’ll doubtless want to spend plenty of time with friends and loved ones at the weekend, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect a bit of ‘me time’.
Always take time out for yourself where you can be alone and invest your time in a hobby, interest, sport or TV program that relaxes and satisfies you. Be kind to yourself.
13. Say “no” to something you’d normally agree to
This isn’t easy – in fact, in might be one of the hardest things to do on this list, but learning to say “no” occasionally is an important productivity trait.
There’s no need to be mean to someone or let a friend down, but if you’re asked to do something and you know, deep down, it’s not ideal – just say “no” (politely, of course!).
14. Ring someone when you feel like texting
As fantastic as modern communication is, it can be a little too addictive.
Often, we’ll text, email or instant message someone when it would be far better and more personable to pick up the phone. So, the next time you need to deliver some important news or simply check in with an old friend, use the phone rather than text.
15. Start journaling
You don’t have to be a literary genius to write a journal – you just need the desire to jot down a few thoughts about your day. This weekend, take out ten or fifteen minutes each evening to write down your thoughts, feelings and what you plan to do tomorrow.
We’re under no illusion – it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to do all of the above next weekend. This stuff takes time and, regardless, a healthy approach to productivity is one that views it as an on-going strategy. Take your time with the tips above and introduce them gradually. After a little while and plenty of practice, you’ll soon find they become second nature.