You might be new to working from home, or this might be something that you’ve done for a long time. Maybe you’re someone whose day just naturally runs like clockwork and you automatically get everything done on schedule, just like you thought you would.
Well, that person is not me! I need structure. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an over-achieving perfectionist most of the time, but I need help to specifically channel my work energy into a more focused, productive success. So, whether you’re a go-getter or maybe you need a little prod now and then, here are a few simple principles to being more productive.
1. Be organized. This applies to your daily routine, as well as your workspace.
So, let’s start with your daily routine. You don’t need to be a “morning person”, but having a consistent schedule is very helpful.
This helps keep you on track, especially if you have a lot on your plate. I always do this if I have multiple recordings to get done, or different deadlines to make. Oh, and don’t forget to schedule in your breaks, because no matter how busy you are, breaks are important. We’ll get into that in a minute.
Back to being organized, your workspace is important – try to avoid clutter – I know you can get busy at times, but try not to let your studio space look like a Category 4 hurricane passed through.
2. Now, let’s talk about work attire.
I’m always telling everyone that VO is great because you can wear whatever you want. But we all function differently. Some of us feel we accomplish more if we are “going” to work, even if we work from home. All I would say here is, know yourself and what works best for you. Jeans, shorts, stretch pants…dress however you feel helps you get the job done.
3. Next, try to avoid distraction.
Even more so than when you’re at an office or workplace, distraction is really hard to avoid at home. I always make sure that doing my laundry or any household chores falls outside of studio time. And be wary of social media – one quick check of messages can lead to thirty minutes of surfing.
4. Take breaks.
Taking breaks is proven to increase productivity. It helps you focus, clears your brain, and enables you to relax and be more productive. You can stretch, walk the dog, take a 20-minute power nap, get something to eat or drink, meditate, do that laundry we talked about earlier, or sit in the sun. Whatever works best to give your voice a break if you’re recording, or your eyes a break from the screen if you’re editing.
5. And finally, at the end of a productive day, make sure you reward yourself.
No, I’m not talking about Netflix until 3am whether it’s time with those you love, a glass of wine (ok, maybe a few glasses), a favorite show, or some good old pet snuggles, make sure to pat yourself on the back for what you’ve accomplished. Sometimes your reward is just the knowledge that you cranked out some amazing voice-over work today.