Updated: Oct 4, 2020
Working from home has its ups and its downs. Finding our individual paths to personal productivity can be something we all face now more than ever as the workforce goes remote. Are there days where you stare at your screen? Or just can’t seem to get anything done?
This is completely normal! The good news is that there are a number of techniques you can try to boost your productivity and find the balance that works for you. In this post, we’ll be running you through 4 techniques you can try out!
1. Pomodoro Technique
Perhaps one of the most well known techniques, Pomodoro Technique was invented by productivity guru Francesco Cirillo. It’s built on the idea of getting things done in predetermined short blocks of time, which are tracked with a timer.
Implementing Pomodoro is very simple. You break a task up into 25-minute segments, called Pomodoros. In between each Pomodoro, you take a 5-minute break. After 4 Pomodoros, you take a longer break.
To get started with this technique you first need to scope out what your upcoming tasks require in terms of time and subtasks. From there you can build and map out your Pomodoros and ensure a healthy work-life balance with those breaks.
To read more about the Pomodoro Technique, check this out.
2. Getting Things Done
Made famous by David Allen’s book, Getting Things done starts with the therapeutic process of brain dumping to clear the mind of all the conceivable tasks in your life. Once the tasks are all put on paper, you can begin getting them done.
These tasks can generally fall into 6 categories
Areas of responsibility
1-2 year goals
3-5 year goals
Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to be productive. Allen says anything you can do in under 2 minutes, should be done immediately. For everything else, break them down into smaller, more quickly achievable tasks and prioritise.
3. Don’t Break The Chain
This system, inspired by Jerry Seinfeld, focuses on creative success. It has helped people in creative occupations become more systematic and disciplined in accomplishing their tasks.
So how does it work? Simply grab yourself a calendar, assign yourself To Dos for every day and then if you achieve them, mark that calendar day with a cross.
This might sound incredibly basic but it can help majorly with procrastination! Make sure you put the calendar somewhere prominent in your workspace and factor in days where you may not be able to work with crosses. This will ensure you keep the chain and keep up your motivation to be productive.
4. Zen To Do (ZTD)
This last technique is an addition to the Getting Things Done framework we mentioned earlier. Conceived by Leo Babauta, in his book, Zen to Done. The premise is this: “It’s about the habits and the doing, not the system or the tools.”
The diagram above summarises the differences with Getting Things Done well! To get started with Zen to Done, you can follow these steps:
Capture ideas, tasks, and notes in a notebook so you don’t forget them.
Make quick decisions on things in your inbox; do not put them off
Set MITs for each day.
Do one task at a time, without distractions.
Keep simple lists; check them daily.
Have a place for everything.
Review your system and goals weekly.
Reduce your goals and tasks to essentials.
Set and keep routines.
Seek work for which you’re passionate.
And there we have it! If you’re feeling unproductive sometimes, experiment with one of these techniques and see if it works for you. Even if you are mostly productive, perhaps one of these frameworks will help you find even more balance when working from home.