Here are 5 tips to be more productive when you’re working from home. Become more efficient in your online business while working from home!
GET ORGANIZED WITH A TASK MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Set up a task management program like Asana and be sure that you know what projects and tasks you are working on. Organize your boards into daily, weekly, monthly, and annual. Tag them with High, Medium, and Low priority. Put sub-tasks in so that you know what the steps are. Assign dates and times to each subtask.
BUILD A WEEKLY FOCUS WORKFLOW IN A PLANNER
In a paper or online calendar, figure out what amount of time you can work each day and then pull from your Asana workflow to know what you’re actually doing inside your ‘work-time’ each day!
SAY NO TO DISTRACTIONS
The biggest thief of productivity is a distraction. When you’re heading into a focus ‘work-time’, go on airplane mode. My favorite hack is to delete all the social media apps off my phone and force myself to log in from a desktop. Also, I take all notifications OFF my phone.
CREATE A PRODUCTIVE WORK FROM HOME ENVIRONMENT
I love to work in a clean space. I can’t function if my home (or office) is dirty, cluttered, or messy! Take 15 mins each evening and morning to reset your space. Diffuse some high-energy oils, and get lots of healthy drinks to help you stay on task. I also make sure I have everything I may need at the ready so I don’t have to break my focus: chapstick, chargers, planner, pens, ring-light, etc.
TAKE MINI-MENTAL MINDSET BREAKS
Every hour or so, get up and stretch. I like to go outside and do a quick lap around my patio. A few squats or jumps and just take some deep breaths. It’s easy to get stuck in the black hole and never emerge!
I hope these work-from-home tips are helpful! To find more solutions to building an online business from home check out the Stefanie Gass Show Podcast! Snag your free checklists, and downloads, and take my free workshops, here.
I pray this blesses you!
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION:
(00:00): Welcome to today’s show! On the podcast, we are gonna be talking about five tips to be more productive when you’re working from home.
These are simple, easy, very simple tactical stuff that you guys can plug into your work-from-home life tomorrow, I hope. And you can really start to gain some more traction and efficiency inside your business.
(00:22): I know for me, this business has exploded over the past couple of years, really, really exploded. In the last six months, we have a full team of people with lots of interns, lots of moving pieces, and three episodes a week that we publish.
I have two courses, a program, I’ve got an employee. I’ve got contractors, this business is super crazy, all the little moving pieces, and I’m also working full time from home. And I know how distracting and sometimes difficult that can be.
(00:53): Now, for me, it lights my little introverted heart on fire. The only struggle really that I have to be super intentional about is staying on task, being super-efficient and productive, and focused every single day, even though my business operates out of my home.
So I hope that these five tips bless you and help you to get more efficient and effective in your work from home biz.
(01:17): Friend, are you new around here? I would love to invite you over to my website, stefaniegass.com so that you can grab all your free gifts. We have lots of amazing stuff for you. Just go to the website and at the top, right? You’re gonna see a little button that says free.
Go ahead and click that free button and download all your goodies. I’ve got a free workshop for you. If you are trying to get clear on your calling so you can start an online business.
(03:07): I have a step-by-step business blueprint that’s gonna take you through 13 steps in order to actually start your business.
And of course, we have our free community for you, www.stefgasscommunity.com. So come on, come hang out, come grab your free stuff. Let’s get to know each other.
(03:39): Now, my friend, it’s time to get more productive as a work-from-home business owner.
(03:47): Tip number one is to get organized with a task management system. If you’re anything like me, you used to think having a massive to-do list was actually keeping you really focused.
But what I discovered is it’s actually distracting you from the most critical, important income-producing or audience growth-producing activities in your business, because a to-do list is full of random stuff.
(04:19): It’s full of, oh, forgot to check the mail, check my inbox, record a podcast episode. A to-do list is this big overarching thing that has to be organized so that it’s not overwhelming.
So what I actually do, and I hope that this can help some of you is I set up a task management system. Asana is my favorite. Asana.com. It’s totally free.
I still use the free version, which is absolutely unbelievable. The amount of cool stuff that they put into that system.
(04:51): And what I do is I take all of my projects, all of my to-do list items, and they’re completely organized inside of Asana.
In my tasks, I have set up boards and what I have are a Today board, what are the things I’m working on today based on the number of hours I have.
(05:10): I have an Urgent board. This is where you just brain-dump all the random to-do list items. I have a Project board, the projects that we have going on as a company.
Then I have weekly tasks that are recurring monthly recurring tasks, quarterly recurring tasks, annual recurring tasks.
(05:28): And then I have my projects broken down by quarter as well. So this is all in one beautiful view. One beautiful board called my tasks.
And the cool thing is that you can drag stuff. You can code it by urgency. You can order what you’re doing today.
(05:43): So for example, today, my board says I have 5.5 hours to work. And underneath that, I have all of the focus items that I’m doing today in that five and a half hours.
Each focus item has a time next to it so that I know how much time I have for each little project.
(06:00): Then something random pops in my mind, which it did, send out the boy’s soccer schedule to family. I popped it over into the urgent to-do column.
That is not something that goes inside of my work project time. It is something I’m going to deal with later, but it’s something I don’t want to forget.
(06:16): So that’s really cool. The other really neat thing about this is you can look at it in a calendar view. You can see all the stuff you have to do based on the day of the week.
(06:25): You can also assign things to people as your team grows. And the other really, the great thing is you can build this out into something that really becomes instead of a task management system, a team management system.
So my big secret hack here for you, guys, is to get organized before you have a huge team before you have a million-dollar business.
(06:48): Let’s get into the weeds of our business before it gets super complicated and get it organized. Now, final task here is within each of your projects or to-do list items.
You can pop in the subtasks. This is the actual step to making something happen. It just keeps you organized.
(07:06): And what’s really cool about it is for my weekly stuff it’s recurring. So you just can duplicate that task and assign a new date to it for next week and on.
Get organized with a task management system, and change your life.
(07:21): Tip number two is to build a weekly focus workflow in your planner. So from my task management system.
I then move all those projects and things I have to do into my paper planner, absolutely obsessed with Horacio products. And my code is STEF10 if you wanna save 10 bucks off of your order.
(07:43): But my planner has all my time scheduled events in it. And my work hours, I’m gonna call this just a work time, a work block, if you will.
And you come and you pull over the tasks that you have in your Asana board and pop ’em into your work blocks, that’s it?
That way, you know what you’re actually showing up to do every single week in your business. It doesn’t matter that you’re working from home.
(08:07): You’re showing up to work. You guys have to start to think about your business as if. When I have a half a million-dollar business or even a six-figure business or a million-dollar business what does my work time look like? It should look the same.
(08:23): Whether you’re sitting at home in your comfy, like me working with your child, literally standing right behind you, breathing really loudly.
Or if you are in a corporate high-rise building in New York Times Square overlooking the city, your efficiency and effectiveness should not change no matter where you are working.
(08:45): So that second tip as a final recap here is to build a weekly focus workflow in your planner. I don’t believe that you can live personally, that’s just my opinion, a hundred percent from a task management system.
I think that you still need to have some type of schedule.
(08:59): Yes, I do believe that, that you know what’s happening in your week because we are not just business owners working from home. We are also what? Maybe you’re a mom or a dad.
Maybe you have appointments, all these things going on. You need to show up at church. Maybe you have this thing.
(09:12): So I need to look at my life at a glance every single week, but then when I’m in my business, I’m operating from my Asana task management system.
Now, if you guys want more help on time and task management systems, I highly recommend one of my business besties, Chelsi Jo Moore.
(09:29): She has an awesome podcast, Systemize Your Life, and even better an Academy that can really help you kind of set up all the systems that I talked about today and really streamline.
She’s been an integral piece of me creating this kind of hybrid system that works best for me.
(09:45): A lot of it is based on her incredible gift for helping you get organized and efficient. So you guys be sure to check her out.
And if you are interested in her program, I have a special coupon code for you, guys, over at stefaniegas.com/resources. You can save big.
(10:03): Tip number three, say no to distractions. The biggest thief of productivity is a distraction. When you’re heading into one of your focus work time blocks, you’re like I have two hours to work right now.
You’ve got to stop the distraction because everything is gonna come at you, to get you to stop focusing on what you actually need to be doing in your business.
(10:27): When God calls you to show up in your business to really make this impact in the world, to start the podcast, or to help the people through your coaching, your courses, every single opposition will come at you to keep you from fulfilling that purpose.
(10:41): It’s just humanity. Sometimes it’s spiritual warfare, but sometimes it’s literally just ourselves standing in the way of our own breakthrough.
So we have to say no to every single distraction, which is going to come and rob you of your productivity.
(10:57): The most common distractions that I see from my students and from my clients is their phone. And so what I do is I actually keep my phone on airplane mode when I’m in a work block, I just let my spouse and my mom know cuz they’re the ones that are gonna be blowing me up.
You’re not answering me, what’s wrong? I’m going into a work block, do not call me. Email me if it’s an emergency or whatever. So, no to your phone.
Here’s another super hack to keep you so productive when you’re working from home, is delete all the social media apps completely off your phone.
(11:36): I’m not joking. I know that this one may feel like such a stretch to you, especially if you’re new to me. And you’re like, what do you mean? I am a hundred percent, pretty much anti-social media, because all it does is it steals from your intentionality in choosing how you’re gonna show up in this online space.
And it distracts you. It’s a pay-to-play, it’s if you’re not showing up 24/7, you are not gaining any traction. And it’s also not a place to go for conversion. People are not on social media apps to buy things.
They’re not there to learn, they’re there to numb out. They are there for their own purposes. And so we really have to understand that if we’re gonna show up on social, it’s only to stay front of mind and push people to long-form content like what? Podcasting.
(12:22): But the point is, if you find yourself in those apps all the time from your phone, it’s truly just distracting you from actually making a difference in the visibility of your business, in the growth of your business, in the projects that you have set out for yourself that are going to get you where you need to go. So I delete them completely.
(12:41): And I only get on social when I need to with intention in certain time blocks from my desktop computer. Then later, what’s super great is as you grow, because you’ve stopped getting distracted in your business, you’ll be able to outsource, get help in your business, have a virtual assistant and maybe interns or whoever in the future, helping you.
That is when you’re going to be able to outsource stuff like social media, completely, what a blessing.
(13:10): And then the last thing here on distraction is to take all of the notifications and turn them off. Every notification is off. This includes on my phone. This includes on my desktop. I am not running a reactive business. You guys wanna get from 1K months to 10K months from 10K months to a 100K months.
I’m gonna tell you right now, you have gotta lean into your CEO mentality. You’re gonna be partner with God in a really big way, allowing Him to use you, allowing yourself to show up spirit forward.
And that means putting away all of our human tendencies of being weak. When it comes to distraction, we have to set this precedent of discipline and consistency in our lives.
When you look into the Bible and you look at people who really started to make a big impact and were really leaders and people that really paved the way for all of us as believers later, they did hard things.
(14:10): They were intentional, they did things they didn’t want to do. They did things in a way that was the opposite of what everyone else was doing. And that was for the betterment of the kingdom.
And so I know that when you say no to distractions, you are saying yes to kingdom work because now you have more capacity. Your mind is quiet. Your heart is quiet.
You can hear from God in a deeper way. And then you can actually show up and get more done.
(14:38): Tip number four is to create a productive environment. So we’re all working at home. And I don’t know about you, but I have two boys, eight and a half and five and a half.
And my husband who qualifies as another child. Oh, and a puppy, fourth child, and an old man dog, fifth child.
(14:58): I’m the only girl over here, send help. But my house gets not dirty, but messy, we’ve got some dishes from dinner, we’ve got the soccer ball from soccer practice and the dirty socks are over here.
And I’m training everyone in the way they should go. But it’s a long process here to get everybody to really be… and they’ll never be perfect, but to really be in charge of their own stuff.
(15:30): But for me, I work from here. And so when I walk out into the kitchen and it’s a hot mess express, I can’t function. Somebody once told me this state of your home is the state of your mind.
I, 100%, believe that. I walk past the laundry room and I have three loads of laundry to put away. It’s annoying. It tugs at me.
(15:50): And so I believe that to be very efficient and effective and productive when you’re working from home, you need to have a clean space that your home needs to be tidy.
It needs to be decluttered, not perfect, not minimal, but just organized, just tidy.
(16:08): And so here are some of the tips I have here to create a productive work environment is I take 15 minutes each evening. It’s 15 to 30 minutes, realistically, where I reset my space. So I put all the dishes away.
Everyone works together. We work together to put the dishes away, clean up the kitchen, quickly put whatever load of laundry is finished, clean my office, throw away the cups, and the empty bubbly LA Croix cans, kind of organize all the pieces, and have the boys put their toys away.
And then in the morning after I get everyone off to school, same thing, quick, 15-minute reset in the morning.
(16:45): Dishes are back put away, making all the lunches, and all those little ingredients are put away. I’m ready for the day. So it’s that 15-minute morning reset. And that 15 to 30-minute evening reset. And then the other tip here is my children do have chores and you can pray over this and see how God leads you.
But having my children have chores, my kids do get paid for their chores. You don’t have to pay your kids for chores. I don’t believe that you should have to pay your kids for chores.
It’s just something that we’ve discussed as a family and we feel good about cause then they get to use that money for something. And we get to teach them more lessons about how to use money and financial smarts from a young age.
(17:24): So they are focused every day on just a handful of things they can help out mom and dad with. And so my little guy does simple things like feed and water the dogs, make his bed, tidy the living room, and help mama with dishes.
My older son takes out the trash cans, pulls them up and down from the street, and takes the trash out. He does the dishwasher, loading, and unloading. He cleans his room, makes his bed, just things like that, that I don’t believe I should be doing.
And I believe that they can be helping me and learning some responsibility. That helps me to have a super clean home, which is where I work from.
(18:03): Here’s some other tips. I defuse high-energy oils and I get lots of healthy drinks to help me not leave the room, not leave the space. So whether you’re working from your office, sometimes I work from my patio outside.
(18:16): Sometimes I work, I have a little Jesus corner where I love to sit and it’s got a great view of the front yard and the mountains. And it just depends on my mood. And so you’ve gotta set the mood, but you also have to set up your needs for success.
Because if you have to keep getting up 24 times, you are not going to be productive. And there’s something about working from home that consistently forces me to get up. You’re like, oh, I think I heard the ring doorbell go off.
My coffee’s lukewarm, let me go heat that up. How do you mitigate getting up? How do you mitigate being interrupted? So for me, I make sure I have everything I need at the ready. I take five extra minutes and I make sure the coffee is hot.
(19:02): And it’s in a like a Contigo, a hot mug because otherwise, I am up and down 24/7, I cannot stand lukewarm coffee. Just not gonna work for me. I have all the chargers in the room that I’m in, all the pieces that I need, my planner, and my pens, my chapstick, my oils, and my diffuse.
What do you need so that you can be the best version of yourself so that you can be the CEO of this business right now, get your things together, and then show up to work?
(19:32): We don’t show up to work, hot mess express, Willie-nilly, and then leave the room every five seconds because you’re just not going to be productive and efficient.
(19:42): The final tip, tip number five is to take many mindset breaks. So what does this mean?
(19:49): Every hour or so, you’re here and you’re working and you’re listening to all my tips. So you’re super into your work. You don’t have distractions on your phone. You’ve got the great diffuser smells going, oh, you’re feeling so great. You’re in your comfies, cuz hello?
Why do we work from home if we can’t wear comfies? Let’s just call it what it is. You have all your beverages. Life is good and you’re in it. Well, sometimes we can get two in it. We can go deep into the work from home black hole and then everything kind of starts to blur together.
Have you ever noticed that you start something you’re working from your workflow, but then you get distracted and then you go over here to this other tab.
And then you’re like, what was I doing? Does anybody remember what I was doing? And you go to your workflow and you don’t remember. That just means that you need to have a mental minute.
(20:36): And so take a mental minute. I’m gonna rename that. Take a mental minute every hour or so. I want you to get up and stretch. Go outside if you can, if you have access to a patio, if the weather’s at least decent, just go outside.
I even do a quick lap around my backyard or around my patio. You could do a few squats or jumps and take some deep breaths. We’ve gotta have a pattern interrupt so that our brain can refocus. It’s super easy to get stuck in that black hole and never emerge but we don’t wanna do that.
We wanna make sure that our brain is fresh. So roughly every hour or two, I get up, I take a minute. Going outside for me is the best refueling.
Even if it’s windy, even if it’s cold, just get some fresh air in your lungs, do some jumps, do a couple of jumping jacks, and then you’re gonna be ready to hit it one last time.
(21:29): And I have a bonus tip for you, guys. I didn’t write this down, but I do wanna share it. I think one of the biggest steelers of your productivity, this is not necessarily just those of you that work from home. This is everybody who’s an online entrepreneur, is having too many things going on at once.
Literally on your computer screens. I know our brain has a lot going on, but that’s why we are using a task management system so that we can organize our brain. We can put things in order. When am I doing this? Where does this go? Is this today? Is this tomorrow?
How much time is this gonna take? You really have to be intentional about organizing the thoughts in your brain, into your Asana board. But the other thing for me that I find very distracting is that I have too many tabs open.
(22:14): You’ve got Asana and then you’ve got Outlook. And then your email marketing open and then you have your podcasting open and then you have all your Google Excel sheets, it’s a lot.
So something that I’ve intentionally been working on is only having open the one project I am working on that day or the tabs I need to complete the workflow I’ve set out for myself today.
Cuz I have the today card in my Asana that really helps me to not get distracted and forget what I was doing.
(22:46): So that’s it for you, guys. Quick recap. Five tips to be more productive when you’re working from home. #1, get organized with a task management system. #2, build a weekly focus workflow in your planner.
#3, say no to distractions. #4, create a productive work from home environment and number five, take mini mindset breaks, take mini mental breaks.
(23:15): I hope that these work from home tips are helpful for you to find out more awesome solutions to building an online business from home. Be sure you come to stefaniegass.com, and grab all your free gifts. Of course, we have lots and lots and lots of episodes for you on the podcast.
And if you want access to our podcast catalog so that you can search for the topics that you’re looking for, go to www.stefgasscommunity.com and go to the guides.
We have a complete podcast catalog there for you that you have access to when you join our community. God bless you, friend. I will see you back real soon. Bye.
The more I get to know my students and the more I participate in masterminds with my peers the more I’m starting to comprehend the overarching problem and prevalence of one, perfectionism, and two, overthinking.
Perfectionism keeps us in a place of constant consumption and learning. Redoing things over and over and thinking that we can’t move forward until they measure up to some elusive standard.
Why do I believe we need a morning routine? I believe you must have a morning routine because it helps you get into the mindset of productivity and purpose.
When we get right with God we: Renew Our Minds
Get Into the Word
Are Able to Live Our Life Guided by the Holy Spirit
The difference in how my day goes when I do my morning routine and when I don’t is night and day.