Appetite for Production

by Michael Zabel

Working from home everyday can be arduous at times, however the privilege of being your own boss and the reward of controlling your own destiny is well worth the exhausting work, day-in and day-out.  One of the most difficult aspects to overcome at the home office is finding ways to stay focused amidst the many distractions that will entice you all day.  From time-warping internet sites to derailing emails, your office can easily become haven for unfavorable habits and inconvenient pitfalls that will only result in failure. 

I recently received a Red Lemon Club newsletter from Alex Mathers regarding his personal tip for increasing productivity:  Creating lists of tasks both big and small and prioritizing said lists to get important things done first.  I was delighted in the fact that I have been doing this (making lists) for years – it is also exciting to know other professionals share in my fervor for prioritizing!  Aside from this, I got to thinking about the other little things I do to produce more efficient results and success in my own home studio.  So here’s a list…why not?

1.  Make a list of things you want to complete the previous night: 

  • Prepping for the next day will eliminate mundane or unnecessary tasks from your list.  Also, don’t waste precious time from your morning routine figuring out what you should be doing all day!

2.  Get in a morning routine that preps your for work:

  • Get up early, eat a good breakfast, get out of those sweat pants, take a shower, brush your teeth and get that coffee ready.  You have a busy day ahead of you…this will get you mentally prepared for it.

3.  Set up office hours and stick to them:

  • 7:00am-3:00pm, 8:00am-4:00pm, 9:00am-5:00pm, etc.  Figure out a schedule that suits your particular needs, and don’t be afraid of “overtime” because it’s inevitable.

4.  Take a lunch break:

  • Take 45 minutes to an hour every day to eat something healthy and recharge for the second half of your day.  Also, be sure to eat somewhere outside of the studio…it will help to get a change of atmosphere for a bit.

5.  Get some fresh air, take a walk:

  • Coupled with the previous tip, this brief interlude can become just the thing you need to reset and be more productive throughout the remainder of your day.

6.  Set aside specific times to check and follow-up on emails:

  • Believe it or not, inbox notifications can be one of the most distracting events on your desktop.  When they do happen, take a quick peek at the notification pop-up to decide if it is urgent.  If not, disregard it until “email time.”   

7.  Accomplish at least one thing everyday:

  • Nothing is more rewarding than the feeling you get from getting things done.  Getting at least one important task completed a day will keep you motivated to continue pushing through the tough times when all else feels hopeless.       

8.  Spend time with your loved ones every day:

  • Things can get hectic at times and projects can easily take control over your free time when you work for yourself.  Always remember what is truly most important and keep that separate from the trivial.

Make sure to check out Red Lemon Club for tips, e-books, and other valuable resources for creative professionals.

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