Whether its study or work, being productive for long periods at home requires discipline – having some resources to hand can ease the process of maintaining focus for a length of time. Here are some of my absolute essentials to help stay concentrated.
Music is a part of everything I do. Yet when it comes to focusing, certain genres/artists are off limits, to prevent studying sessions becoming singalongs.
Find some artists or instrumentals that suit you, everybody’s preference is different. For me, I like artists such as The Outlaws, The White Buffalo, or for very mellow background music, Francis Dale.
Having a few different playlists or artists is preferable for longer sessions to give some variety and frankly, sometimes you’re just not in the mood for particular music.
Before starting any project at my desk, the first check is ensuring the space is clear and distraction free. When it comes to working, the smallest thing will divert my attention and disrupt my flow, consequently losing momentum. This is the worst as it feels almost impossible to gain back and resume work.
As always, this is individual for everyone, but I’ll always recommend a clear workspace, so you have plenty of space for everything you need laid out – especially for creative projects.
TO DO LIST
While trying to be more productive at home, having a to do list keeps you on track to your goal, no matter how big or small. It also allows you to quickly go from one finished task to starting the following without debating or even forgetting what to tackle next.
At the moment I have a physical to do list – the only non-essential paper I own. While I enjoy this, I plan on switching to an online alternative when the pad is finished. Mainly to reduce the number of items on the desk, but also to prevent overspending on to-do-lists with snazzy designs.
This seems like a no-brainer, but if forgotten, you’ll either go thirsty or again disrupt the current flow of work to grab your drink of choice, meaning you’re losing the momentum you need for proper productivity. To avoid this, I always have a coffee and my 2l water bottle before starting.
As mentioned above, I don’t have any physical notebooks, since I like having notes organised into their respective categories. Because of this, I find my iPad the best tool for notetaking, since there is no physical clutter and writing is easy to add to or edit.
I use GoodNotes, the app seen in the examples below. This app was a saviour during my time at university and gave me the freedom to make notes any way I like, without leaving scribble marks from spelling errors or mistakes.
Writing this has taught me that the biggest essential for my productivity is lowering distractions and enabling a continuous flow of work as without this, my focus disappears. All of these listed are fundamental in keeping my momentum and making progress through the days tasks – and they could help you too.
Are any of these part of your vital items for working or studying? Are there any others you recommend to be more productive at home?