How to Be Productive When You’re Managing Your Own Time

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If you’re in a position where you can make your own schedule, whether you’re a freelancer, a remote worker, or have a position of leadership that allows you more flexibility, sometimes it can be challenging to manage your time. When it comes to self-management, there are some key pointers that have helped our team to optimize productivity, work/life integration, and more moments of ‘flow’. Here are our favorite pieces of advice:



Have a designated workspace

 

The flexibility to work from home or anywhere gives you a lot of permission to be creative about your workspace. One crucial thing that people overlook is how important a designated workspace still is even if you don’t need to go into your company’s office. This space can look like a spot at your favorite coffee shop, a co-working space like WeWork, or your home office.


Some recommendations to optimize your workspace:

  • Opt for natural sunlight - the human brain produces more serotonin on bright, sunny days than cloudy ones, so it’s no wonder people gravitate towards sunnier spaces.
  • Passive, not-too-distracting noise - for those who love coffee shops or coworking spaces, you might already know the importance of striking the right balance between too much noise and not enough. If you like to listen to music, we recommend lo-fi beats or some classical music!
  • Keep it clean and tidy up - if you’ve been catching up on Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, you probably already know how impactful a tidy space can be. A Princeton University study found that physical clutter in your surroundings competes for your attention, making it more difficult to focus.

Determine if you’re an early bird or midnight owl


The traditional 9-5 work schedule doesn’t work for everybody, especially if their natural rhythms lean towards waking up super early or staying up late. For those who are creative, their creativity might spike at less predictable times. To optimize your schedule around when you naturally perform best is vital to avoid burnout and increase innovation.

 

Here are some tips on how to narrow down your best time frame:

  • Make a note at what times of day you feel good and ready to take on new tasks

  • Determine when you naturally wake up in the morning

  • Be aware of when your brain seems to go ‘offline’ when you’ve hit a mental block


Choose a start/stop time


When you can work virtually any time, it’s easy to blur the boundaries between personal time and work time. Have you caught yourself checking your email during vacation or when you first wake up?


Though work is definitely a priority and holds a lot of space in your life - it’s not everything. Plus, a study mentioned by the WorkLife podcast showed that those who adhere to work-life boundaries report higher levels of well-being.


Not every day will follow a similar schedule and flow, but you can start taking better control of your schedule giving yourself a cut-off time where you can mentally check out of work mode.

 


How can you further boost  productivity for your self and your team?

Start with happiness:

Get started creating a happier team [download our ebook]

 

 

About the Author

Briana Nguyen

Bri is the Growth Content and Social Media Driver on the Delivering Happiness team. Working previously as a freelancer, her goal has always been to work with passionate people who are focused on helping individuals and businesses find their purpose. As part of DH, she now gets to accomplish that every day. Bri resides in Arizona and is lucky enough to enjoy the sun all year round.

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