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How To Be More Productive Working Online

Updated on November 23, 2009

Increase your productivity

How to be More Productive Working Online

How to be more productive working online

This hub is a summary a bunch of reading I have done over the last couple years trying to increase my daily producitity working for myself online. It is very hard at time to stay motivated and work harder when all the burden is on yourself. So this hub will teach or remind you of a few easy practices that help keep you on track to working during work and getting things done.

1. Goals - now everyone says goals but it is important to understand that goals can come in all shapes and sizes and most importantly different lengths. When I speak of goals I am talking about the small successes that lead to larger success. These are daily goals or weekly goals that keep your mind on track for what needs to be done right now, today, or this week. Setting short term goals is an excellent way to model the next step in increasing your productivity, lists (to-do).

2. Lists (To-Do) - Lists are very important to increasing how much a person can get done in a day. Making a list at the beginning of the day aligned with what you know needs to be done in order to reach your goals stated above, is the best way to ensure that you will in fact get everything done. A trick for lists is to break down each job into the smallest form possible. For example if one of your jobs for the day is to design a Wordpress theme, then your list should include the steps you will take to get that job done, and not simply "Design Wordpress Theme". By breaking it into steps (research free themes, pick a good color combination, build custom logos, optimize the CSS) you will give yourself check-points throughout the job and also will give yourself more feeling of accomplishment as you complete each smaller step. Creating a list like these is a practice that I do everyday before I start working and has been the biggest productivity boost for me thus far.

3. Order of tasks - This is a new step that I implemented into my daily work routine a couple months ago and so far it is working as another way to boost my daily productivity. Ordering your tasks you created on your list from above from most mind-intensive to least mind-intensive (brain power versus raw work) will give you the flexibility to better attack your list of tasks. In numerous studies that I have read they say that a person is most focused and most productive in the morning which makes sense because that is when we are rested and the freshest. Therefore trying to complete the tasks that make you think early is a good way to get a head start on your lists, and set the pace of the day. Before reading this tip I was always set to complete the easiest tasks first (routine) that way I could tell myself I was done a majority of my work for the day earlier. Getting things done is the goal right!? Well what happened was when I did get to the harder tasks that required thinking I was already tired and getting these things done was becoming a task that was only being completed every other day, or was getting done half-hearted. This was because my order of tasks was incorrect, and changing it made the beginning of the day more difficult, but allows me to get everything done now by matching my strengths against the difficult work.

4.  Focus - This step is just a reminder but I figured it would be good to include it anyway. The internet is full of distractions, we all deal with these everyday. Email, Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Youtube, ect... These things can help pass the time if you are done working or if you are taking a break. But in order to be productive you must put these aside for the length of a task. This also goes back to step 2 and breaking tasks down, because it allows you to fully focus on a small part of a larger goal and then you can take a break to check your email for the 100th time. One small trick I use is, if the work can be done offline (articles, emails, excel spreadsheets etc) then I draft them in Word or word pad instead of online forms. This allows not only for less crashes from internet going out or websites refreshing, but also keeps you off the Internets distractions.

5. Breaks - No one is a machine. Plan for breaks! What I do is plan my breaks around meals and snacks, once every 3 hours or so. This give you time to rest your eyes, mind, and stretch your legs. Breaks are essential!

If anyone has any productivity tricks they use to help them get work done please share them in the comments!

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    • shanestyle profile image

      shanestyle 8 years ago

      Hey outdoorguy,

      Yeah I'm glad it was a good read for you. What I have found is that after I take a long break later in the day I can usually find some time to knock out the mind numbing tasks (not by preference of course). As I said this may be a half-hearted effort at times, but for tasks like link building I can afford not to be perfect 100% of the time.

    • outdoorguy38 profile image

      outdoorguy38 8 years ago from Brookings,Oregon

      Great hub on increasing productivity. I like the idea of getting the harder tasks out of the way first, that is a method I have used much of my life. I do wonder where you fit in the mind numbing tasks, such as creating back links, where there is so much monotony involved?