10 Work at Home Productivity Boosters You May Never Have Thought Of

June 24th, 2008

productivity tips for work at home moms

Photo by Paul Keleher

How to Get More Work Done in Less Time

Work at home moms have limited time and energy in which to do our work. We often have to squeeze our work time during nap and bedtimes, or when all the children have gone to school. And even then we still have household chores and other family responsibilities to contend with. Therefore, we need to maximize our productivity. Not only do we need to get as much work done as we can. We also have to do as much HIGH-QUALITY work as we can during the limited time that we do work.

Try these 10 tips to rev up your productivity:

1. TV diet – Watching TV puts the brain in a passive mode and hampers creative thought. TV also tends to make women feel inadequate, probably as a result of seeing all those impossibly thin women. Watch TV in moderation for entertainment, but keep your brain in tip-top shape by limiting the amount of time you do it. One hour a day is more than enough. No, it doesn’t count as research!

2. Exercise – Getting your muscles moving and fresh oxygen circulating in your body will help keep your mind alert and active. Exercise is good for both your body and your brain. Adequate exercise also helps us sleep better at night. More on that later.

3. Sunshine – Scientists have made us afraid of sunshine but the truth is, we need a little of it every day. Lack of exposure to daylight is one of the causes of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a form of depression that commonly occurs in winter when people do not get any sunshine at all. Lack of sunshine depresses our emotions and zaps our energy, which in turn can limit our productivity. So as much as weather permits, get at least 10 minutes of sunshine a day — wear sunscreen of course.

4. Nature – Nature has a natural order and beauty that is beyond our human capacity to conceive of. If you need inspiration or a brilliant idea about anything, look to nature for answers. Contemplate a flower, the sky or even something you cannot see, such as the wind or the sound of birds.

5. Prayer – Prayer or, if you’re not a believer, meditation enables the brain to quiet down and focus. It helps improve our ability to concentrate, which is essential to our productivity. Prayer and/or meditation also calms our emotions, leaving our minds free to think and create.

6. Distraction – Sometimes the solution to our problem unfolds when we’re preoccupied with something totally unrelated. If you find yourself stuck or blocked, take a 15-minute break and do something else. Read a magazine, bake a cake, play tag with the kids — anything to get your mind off your work. When you get back to it, you’ll be surprised with the fresh insights you have.

7. Caffeine – Caffeine stimulates the brain and keeps us alert. If you’re feeling sluggish, a little caffeine may be all you need to jump-start your productivity. The important word here is “a little”. Getting addicted to caffeine will hamper your productivity in the long run. Why? Because it makes you dependent on an external thing to get any work done.

8. Sleep – Lack of sleep turns our brains into mush. The sleep-deprived brain requires much more time and energy to focus, concentrate and generate new ideas. In addition, lack of sleep makes us crabby — not the ideal state to be in when we want maximum productivity. So if you’ve been sleep deprived make time to sleep longer or take a power nap while your children nap. Staying up all night to work will back-fire on you eventually.

9. Free association – Sometimes our brain edits itself too rigorously, making it near impossible to think effectively and creatively. Quiet your inner editor by doing free association exercises. Begin by writing down a word and then the next word that pops into your brain, and then the next, and so on and so forth. Or go through the alphabet and list down the first word you think of when you get to each letter. Take note of the first words that come to you; don’t try to think only of words that relate to your current work or problem.

10. Routine – Work at home Moms usually squeeze work into those odd hours of the day when we have “free” time. However, try to have some set time periods — around the same time every day — when you do the same type of work. I’m talking about consistency rather than rigidity. Doing the same type of work at about the same time every day trains our brains to be warmed up and ready to go at predictable periods of the day.

The best way to keep our productivity up is to take care of our bodies and work with the natural rhythms of our minds. Forcing our bodies and brains to work to the point of or beyond exhaustion will harm the quantity and quality of our work rather than enhance it. Take good care of yourself and you’ll produce high-quality work in less time.

Related article:

20 Productivity Tips for Work at Home Moms with Young Children

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2 Responses to “10 Work at Home Productivity Boosters You May Never Have Thought Of”

  1. Tejvan Pettinger on June 27, 2008 7:09 am

    Since working from home I can attest to the power of tv to waste time. Good article

  2. Lexi on June 27, 2008 2:09 pm

    @tejvan: oh yes! but TV is so seductive it’s hard to keep away from it sometimes. how do you do it?

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