I can’t speak for other online marketers, but I have a pretty horrible work ethic myself. This can be a problem when my income is based solely on my ability to motivate myself to get things done. I don’t have anyone giving me assignments or deadlines which, while it’s liberating, can be a dangerous thing, as well. Therefore I’ve put together this list of tips for how to increase productivity for myself but for all of you, as well.
How to Increase Productivity
Find Your Work Area – For me, some environments aren’t conducive for getting work done. Your work space is as important as any for ways of how to increase productivity. Years ago I was living in a tiny stuffy apartment on the upper east side of New York City for a year or so and found it difficult to concentrate in such a small and oftentimes depressing space. Still at the time it was all I could afford, so I started going out to get my work done (laptop required), trying different locations around the city. NYC offers the luxury of free wifi virtually anywhere you go as you’ll find someone’s network to jump on. Some of my favorite places were Central Park and the lobby/lounge of the NYC branch of a certain international hotel chain which I won’t mention. Obviously everyone doesn’t have access to Central Park, so just be creative if you’re looking for a place and your home or apartment isn’t cutting it and try experimenting.
Clean Your Work Area – If you are working at home, think about cleaning your work space as much as possible. I don’t just mean clearing off your desk or around your computer area but the whole room and apartment perhaps. I find that I’m much more productive when the garbage is emptied and the floor picked up. Something about knowing that all of that is taken care of helps me to concentrate on work entirely.
Clean Your Computer – Obviously as an online marketer my computer is the most important tool which I have. I probably rely way too much on my laptop as I take it practically everywhere I go, so I try to take care of it whenever possible, keeping it running as smoothly as possible. I recommend that you get an external hard drive of some kind. I have a near terabyte external hard drive which I got as a gift and in addition to backing up documents I also keep all non essential files on there so that my laptop’s hard drives are mostly clear and I find it runs much better as a result. Also important is having good virus protection, spyware, adware, etc. You might try an ALL in One!
Eliminate the Distractions – It can be impossible to focus and concentrate with distractions around you, the key is identifying them and removing them. When I was in that small apartment my roommate who worked during the day had just gotten a kitten, so every day I found my options as being I could either write these articles on who knows what… OR I could play with this ADORABLE kitten. No I didn’t eliminate the kitten, but I would keep him in my roommate’s room for part of the day or I’d just go out as I mentioned.
Avoid the Things Which Generate Laziness – We all have somethings which just sabotage our work ethics. One of these things for me I’ve found comes from over eating and I don’t mean in terms of snacks but more during regular meals. Whenever I do this I get lackadaisical and the last thing I want to do is work and instead turn to napping, video games, tv, etc.
Use Breaks Wisely – Taking regular breaks is very important so you don’t get burnt out, but you’ve got to break in moderation and break wisely. I like to hit the gym for an hour midway through my day as this gets my mind off of things and gives me extra energy overall. Just as importantly you’ve got to make sure not to over reward yourself so that you rationalize taking the rest of the day off after getting a solid hour of work done. Rationalizing can be a dangerous thing.
Work Out a Schedule – Working out a schedule or rather sticking to a schedule is EXTREMELY difficult for me despite seeing the merit in it and hearing time and time again from people how important it is. I have even gone so far as to purchase schedule planning software which didn’t work for me, but if you’re a person who likes a static routine you can try this.
I think a good way of summing up this post is to say that discipline is the most important aspect in how to increase productivity. You have to identify the things which “derail” you and work to avoid them in the future as difficult as it may be. Find your motivation and run with it whatever its source may be.