7 Online Tools To Help You Be More Productive When You Work From Home
This article was brought to you by Sophie McAulay of And.co from Fiverr.
Being productive at home can be tough.
Without anyone looking over your shoulder, it’s up to you to ensure you stay on task. And there are plenty of distractions available (ever been tempted by a bed, whipping up an elaborate lunch, or even last night’s sink full of dishes?).
Luckily there are plenty of tools available to help you stay focused and ensure your time spent working is focused on the most productive tasks.
Here’s a list of online tools we think you’ll love.
Let’s dive right in.
If you’re used to working from a bustling office or even a cafe, the house can feel awfully quiet in comparison.
With Noisli, you can select different “white” noises that will help you focus on what’s important. If you love to work with background noise, Noisli allows you to select tracks like trains, fan noise, and even café sounds.
If you prefer something a little more peaceful (perhaps the noise of the neighbors or the street are making it hard to focus), soundtracks like rain, water, wind, and more can help you build exactly the background noise you’re looking for.
For some, music can be distracting, but so can silence. If that sounds like you, you could choose to immerse yourself in a forest or enjoy a stormy night. Noisli allows you to combine sounds together and create a unique soundtrack to help you do better work.
Using a time tracker is a great way to identify tasks that eat up a bunch of your time, so you can focus on optimizing or eliminating those.
With AND CO’s time tracker you can set up your various projects and simply hit play when you start working on them to track your time.
Time tracking forces you to reflect on your day’s work and look at what you have achieved. Constantly tracking your progress and celebrating your small wins is key to staying self-motivated.
Tracking your time can also be a great way to monitor your performance. Think a certain task is super quick and easy to do? Now you’ll know for sure how long it takes. Did a task take you 2 hours last week but 5 this week? You can begin to analyze why and make plans to increase your efficiency.
If you invoice clients based on your time, you can also save time by using AND CO’s time tracker in conjunction with their automated time-based invoicing system.
Knowing where your time went is one thing, but as they say, prevention is better than a cure. If you know that you regularly get distracted by certain productivity-killing websites, you can use the Freedom app to block these interruptions during work time.
Whether your digital vice is Instagram, Youtube, or your favourite blog, just tell the app you shouldn’t be looking at these and it’ll make it impossible to do so.
And for those who are in danger of circumventing your self-imposed restriction by picking up your phone, the good news is that Freedom can sync blocks across all devices.
If you have the freedom to work from home, it may mean that you choose to work from locations all around the world—or at least a location that’s different to where your colleagues or clients are.
That’s when things start getting confusing. If you live in the US and your client is in the UAE, you might find it hard to agree on appointments and scheduling. Even more so when there is a third person and time zone to consider.
A time zone converter like World Time Buddy can make it easy for you to determine which hours of the day you all crossover.
Calendly is an automated scheduling software that will improve your productivity overnight. If you have a lot of meetings that you have to attend either online or offline, Calendly can help you schedule them automatically.
Calendly syncs with your calendar to help you schedule meetings without having to send multiple emails back and forth suggesting your availability. You simply set your work hours through the app, send a link to your clients or colleagues, and they choose a time that’s available in your calendar. Easy!
By automating this time-sucking task, you’ll give yourself more time to work on the more productive parts of your job.
Time trackers are great, but they rely on your own honesty to demonstrate where you spent your time. RescueTime, on the other hand, assesses what you were actually doing on your computer throughout the day.
The internet is full of possible distractions, so it’s scarily easy to get find yourself going down a path that’s less than productive. RescueTime watches which sites you end up on and sends you your results to help you to understand your daily habits.
For me, the simple fact that I’m tracking my tasks helps keep me focused – I don’t want to be kicking myself when my results tell me I wasted hours on social media or online shopping sites.
Working from home shouldn’t mean you miss out on face-time with your colleagues or clients. 89% of remote workers say video conferencing reduces their time to complete tasks, and 90% say video makes it easier to get your point across.
Even though it means you have to get dressed, sometimes jumping on a 15-minute call will make the remainder of your day much more productive.
Google Hangouts is super easy to use, and it integrates with both Calendly and Google Calendar. Simply send an invite and your unique Hangout URL will be included, meaning there’s no extra emails to be sent.
The ultimate tool: a little self-discipline
These 7 online tools can help supercharge your productivity when you’re working from home, but the most important tool you can have in your arsenal is a little self-discipline.
Setting a regular schedule on your work from home days can help you feel just as motivated as you would if you were in the office with your boss working behind you.
Once you get into a comfortable routine, you’ll find there’s actually less distractions at home than there would be if you were in an office full of people.
Get as far away as possible from your bed, stay focused throughout the day, and make it a habit to improve your efficiency.
Your best work might just be around the corner.
Interested in trying out working from home?
This 10th of April we have the first Global Work From Home Day for employers and employees. You’ll be able to learn more about flexibility in your job and remote work in general. Sign up for the event and receive tips, tricks, help and curated playlists from the Remote-how team: >www.workfromhomeday.org<. Share a picture with #WorkFromHomeDay for the chance to also win a pair of Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones or a Rain Design mStand360 Laptop Stand!