Top 10 Productivity Hacks

29th April 2020:

If you’re new to working from home, it can be hard to adapt. So here are a few productivity hacks to help you get the most out of your working day.


If you’re new to working from home, it can be hard to adapt. So here are a few productivity hacks to help you get the most out of your working day.


  • Make Minutes Matter: Make good use of the smallest chunks of time. Even 5, 10 or 15 minutes are invaluable for writing/drafting emails or updating spreadsheets.
  • Cut the Clutter:  Take a few minutes to tidy your desk. Clutter can easily distract the brain and drain your focus. A quick tidy up before you start on your next task can work wonders.
  • One Thing at a Time:  Focus on the task in hand. If you have a “work” interruption – a phone call or an email – write down what needs to be done and then return to the original task. Very few things are so urgent that they need to be done straight away. In the Shed blog writing 2
  • Location, Location, Location: Having trouble concentrating on a piece of work? Try (if possible) working in a different part of the house. If you work at a desk squeezed into your bedroom, move to the kitchen table or even sit on the sofa.
  • Take a (Short) Break: This might sound counter-productive but remember to take regular breaks throughout the day. Stop every 60 – 90 mins to make a cuppa, tidy your desk, do something different for 5 – 10 minutes before sitting back down. A short break is all you need to clear your mind and allow yourself to come back to your task, ready to start again.
  • Take a (Longer) Break: At some point in the day, make sure you take a longer break. Go for a walk, sit in the garden, read a book. Sitting at your desk for hours, staring at a computer screen can make you feel sluggish and cause headaches or dry, tired eyes.
  • Noises Off: If you find there’s a lot of background noise, just plug in your headphones and search out a noise-reduction website. One of the best is Choose from a range of natural sounds, tonal drones, relaxing voices (Gregorian chant, chapel voices), or soundscapes. Use the sliders and alter the frequency to block out the different types of noise around you.
  • Noises On: Working on your own can be a lonely business, and many of us like to have the radio on for at least part of the day. If you to listen to music or talk radio, try a classical or a jazz station instead. Listening to your favourite music while you work means that your brain needs to work harder to focus on the task in hand. It knows what’s coming next – and you want to sing along! Music without words (such as classical or jazz with its irregular tempos and rhythms) allows your brain to stop listening, relax, and focus on what you need to focus on.
  • Time Check: We all think that working from home means we’ll be super-productive but research tell us that we are incredibly bad at estimating how long it will take us to complete a task. On the other hand ... we are extremely good at predicting the time it will take someone else to do it. Whenever you’re asked for an estimated timescale, think twice before you answer.
  • Close to You: Try to have everything you need close at hand. In my case, that’s radio, mobile, notepad, an array of pens, snacks, and, of course, coffee!

Working from home can be a bit like Marmite – you’ll either love it or hate it. But in the current climate, it’s something we all need to embrace. Keep safe, keep smiling, and we’ll get there!

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