Crafting Success: Work From Home Productivity Hacks To Supercharge Your Craft Business

Welcome back, crafters! If you’ve been following our journey to supercharge your work from home productivity, you’ve navigated the pitfalls and seized the opportunity of crafting in the comfort of your own space. In case you missed our previous post on structuring your working day, catch up here: Now, let’s dive into Chapter 3, where we unravel powerful productivity hacks to keep you motivated and on track in your home workspace.

Chapter 3: Work From Home Productivity Hacks: How to Motivate Yourself to Work

Of course, sitting down and doing the hardest and biggest thing first, isn’t always easy. It’s one thing to set yourself rules for working, but it’s quite another to stick to them! With so much to do, how can you make sure that you stay on-course and actually do it? Especially when it would be so easy to grab a good book and a hot drink, and then relax into the armchair that’s right there in the corner of the room! This is where you need some work from home productivity hacks!

Setting Yourself Rewards

macaron, orange, sweetness rewards for work from home productivity

To the rescue comes a tip from Michael Heppell’s book, “How to Save an Hour A Day.” He says that you should set yourself smaller goals within a project, and then reward yourself for completing those.

Break down your project into smaller goals and reward yourself upon completion. Change your morning routine, tackle a “big frog” task, and reward yourself with that coffee after hitting your first goal. So if you normally start your day by going to make yourself a coffee, then browsing through emails, and having a look at Facebook… that needs to change.

So instead: sit down, eat the frog, and set out to prep that massive project, or to schedule your social media for a month… but then set yourself a target for the first chunk of work. At this point, you can go and have your coffee. And then when you complete another chunk of work that you set as a goal, you can go and answer those emails.
Now by 9.30, you have already completed a huge chunk of your work and you’ll feel far better about yourself as a result.

Leaving Work Unfinished

Encourage yourself to dive into the biggest task by leaving a project incomplete the day before. It may sound the opposite of what you should do, but it eliminates the jarring feeling of facing a blank screen in the morning. Unfinished tasks create an urge to complete them, driving your productivity.

person doing handcrafts

In fact, when you know that you’ve got ten orders to mail out tomorrow, you should try to prepare at least a quarter of them before you finish your day. So you’re not leaving work incomplete that you were meant to complete today – you’re not completing less work. All you’re doing, is making a start on tomorrow’s project.

Our brains hate leaving work unfinished – it makes us itchy! .

Overcoming Writers’ Block

But what if you don’t have this luxury? What if you didn’t get a chance to start the work the day before?
Staring at a blank screen is hard work for anyone. Writers’ block is NOT something that only affects writers!
So the other big piece of advice I can give you is this: just start packaging. Just start writing. Just start designing.

white paper on brown wooden table

Even if the quality of the work appears to be poor. Even if you are feeling slow and sluggish and you aren’t sure if what you are producing is high quality…
Just get working!

What this will do is to help you to get into the flow. Now you can always go back and check that what you wrote was okay. But in order to get into that “flow state.” In order to get productive, you just need to push past that initial resistance.
And again, this is good training. It forms good habits.

Prepping Your Work

Use idle moments to prep your work mentally. Whether you are making tea, stuck in traffic, or in line at the grocery store, you can still actually be “working” in your head.. Allow proper downtime, but if you have a lot to finish, thinking about the project during these moments can enhance your focus and productivity when you sit down to work.

You can plan that next project in your head. You can write your social posts in your head. And NOW when you sit down at the computer to do some work, you will find that it flows MUCH easier and you get much more work done.
Also, you can spend your time listening to videos or podcasts about things you need to know for your project.

This works really well if you happen to love what you do. If you enjoy the work you’re doing, then it really won’t feel all that much like work anyway!

This is also similar to another concept describes by Tim Ferriss: prep and pick up.

Prep and pick up describes how you can set the conditions for productivity prior to the point where you actually need to do the work, and then simply execute on your plan when the time comes.

The example that Ferriss gives on his blog, is when creating a Kickstarter campaign. Rather than launching your campaign and then spending the next several days writing emails, making calls, and chasing leads… instead you would write all the emails you need and all the marketing materials in the days leading up to the launch. Then you can put those emails and marketing messages on some kind of auto-scheduler, and then simply let the campaign market itself once it is live!

The reason this works so well, is it means that you can’t possibly fail to complete the work you need to finish. Nothing can “crop up” and get in the way, because all the leg work is already done. And any work you do need to do, is that much easier after all the research you put in.

This is what you are doing when you work from home: you’re going to spend the time between work and in the days leading up to big projects getting together all the resources you need and thinking about precisely
what you need to do. Then you can be optimally productive when the time comes.

Creating Accountability

Accountability is crucial for productivity. At home, without the watchful eyes of colleagues, you may find distractions tempting.

At home, you might find yourself browsing Facebook for too long, or wondering off to raid the fridge. Why does this happen at home and not in the office?

people doing office work

Simple: at the office, there are people watching you to make sure you don’t do those things! Likewise, your manager might swing by to see how much work you’ve done!

You’re accountable.

At home, you don’t need to show your work until it’s due. Therefore, you can easily put off doing it until right before you’re supposed to hand it in. Of course, that means a mad dash at the end of the day, which ultimately results in your work coming completely unraveled!

One way to reintroduce that accountability, is to use time-tracking apps, websites, or even pacts with your friends and loved ones. Many people will ask their partners to check in on how much work they’ve done, and to then “punish” them in some way if they fail to complete the work! I personally don’t believe this is particularly feasible in the long term, nor particularly healthy!

So instead, why not create natural incentives and accountability by setting stricter deadlines. Regularly sharing incomplete work with your team or client keeps you on track, structures your day, and rewards you with actual free time when you finish early.

Speak with your boss/client and tell them that you will update them on your work every day. If you have a 10-day project, that means you’ll provide them with an incomplete version of the work, so they can see how it is coming along.
This might seem like digging your own grave, or making your own life miserable. But at the end of the day, it will force you to stay on track, and it will structure your day.

This means that if you complete your work early – by putting in more time to work more quickly – then you will find yourself with free time! This is now actual free time, because you don’t have an abstract goal
looming at the end of the week.

Now you have options: do more work and get more money, do more work today and take tomorrow off, or just clock off early and relax!

As we wrap up this chapter on work from home productivity hacks, remember that crafting success from home is a journey. Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below, For a recap of our previous posts or to join the conversation, visit [Link to Previous Post]. Stay tuned for more chapters filled with tips to elevate your work-from-home experience. Rock on crafters!

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