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3 Productivity Hacks So Simple That Even a Brain Dead Mom Can Do Them

productivity-hacks-for-freelancers
Whenever I read tips on boosting productivity, I almost always find myself scoffing.
It’s not to say that what I read is bad advice, but for a WAHM, very few tips really help.
But these…
These tips take the cake.

If you’ve been following the blog for a little bit, then the chances are that you know a bit about me already. If you haven’t, let me just break down the deets that are my life:

  1. I work at home
  2. I have two kids to take care of
  3. One kid is going through his terrible 3’s and the other is working on his first tooth

Needless to say, I haven’t slept in years, coffee is my best friends (besides my husband — he’s number one on that list), and it’s pretty dang hard to be productive on days where I’ve got a baby crying in the background and another boy tugging on my shirt asking me a billion questions.

Just to be clear:

I’m not complaining. I love my family and my life!

But the reality is that kicking my butt into a productive engine isn’t always easy.

With that being said:

It’s not impossible.

In fact, I’ve found ways that make it really easy to slip into work mode and get chiz done.

I have 3 really easy productivity hacks that I use to help me work faster and better in a shorter amount of time.

Oh, and you’ll want to stick around for number 3 — it’s the best.

Kick Your Productivity Up a Notch with These Simple Hacks

#1 — Don’t Work in Your PJs

productivity hack 1: get dresses

Trust me. I know how tempting this is.

After a long night of hassling with kids to get them to sleep and then being up every couple of hours to feed a hungry little guy, the last thing I feel like doing in the morning is dressing in business slacks and a nice shirt that is bound to get dirty from being the human baby napkin I’ve turned into.

However, it hardly has to go that far.

Switching from pajamas to clothes I’d wear out and about help my brain change gears for the day. Changing my clothes and downing my first cup of coffee help clear the fog and get my day going.

#2 — Put On Shoes While You Work

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Something as simple as putting on shoes seems like nonsense, but it works surprisingly well.

Most of you probably don’t know this about me, but I’m actually Filipino. If you are too, or if you have friends who are, then you probably know one thing:

We love walking around barefoot. (Also, socks and sandals are cool. Don’t judge.) I hate being in shoes longer than I need to so you’ll never find me in my house with shoes on — ever.

But slipping into a pair of TOMs while I’m working at home has helped and it’s one productivity hack I turn to when I really need to focus and crank out some work.

Both this tip and the one above are things we’ve been doing since pre-school. From the time we were kids, we’d wake up, brush our teeth, get dressed, slip on shoes and head out the door for a day of learning and working.

Therefore, our brains are almost programmed to switch on work-mode when we do this.

If you work from home too, then give this a try and see what it does for you. I’d love to hear if this is something that others find success with.

#3 — Use Coffitivity (Free)

Boost productivity with Coffitivity

This is my go-to productivity booster.

Coffitivity is a web app that plays the sounds like you would find in various places you may find yourself working or studying away from home — like a college library or morning cafe.

The sounds played act as background noise that have been proven to help boost your productivity. As I write this, I am listening to it and it helped my crank out 700 words in about 15 minutes. Not bad, right?

This app is free and there’s also a free mobile app you can download so that you can take it without wherever you go. It’s seriously awesome and something I will recommend to anyone.

When it comes to productivity, what have you found that works for you? 

P.S. I have a giveaway coming up in the next few weeks. If you don’t want to miss out, be sure to sign up to the newsletter for the announcement.

Ari Rule

I'm Ari — a freelance writer, digital marketer, and side-hustle guinea pig. HustlePineapple is where you'll find my best tactics for freelance success, blogging and social media tips, and ideas for profitable side-hustles. Connect with me on Twitter or Instagram @HustlePineapple

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12 Comments

  1. This is a great post Ariel! And one I think a lot of people have problems with. I also work from home and I have to get my coffee and shower and wear clothes I would wear out as well. The idea of rolling out of bed and sitting at your computer is a fairy tale I think people have in their heads of people that work at home. I usually make a habit to go to Starbucks before I sit down at my keyboard at 8am. Just by driving to Starbucks and back, really puts me in a working mode… Probably because I used to do this same thing when I used to work in corporate environment. Lol, your comment about shoes is hilarious. I live in AZ and never wear shoes either. It’s flip flops and shorts year around. I’m going to try wearing my flip flops at my desk and see what happens 🙂

    1. Thanks, Brian :). I, too, need my morning Starbucks run to really get in the groove. Seriously, how did people function before SB?! Let me know how the flip flops pan out 🙂

  2. AnthonyDejolde

    Hi Ariel! Love this piece. Writing with a casual and friendly conversational tone is definitely working for you.

    I’ll try tip #2 and will inform you how it goes. 🙂

    Hey, when I first saw your photos online, I had a feeling you’re not Caucasian but I was not able to pin down the fact that you’re Pinay! That’s nice to know — I’m a Filipino and a freelance writer too. 🙂 (If it’s ok to ask) where are you based?

    Regarding tip #3, I use coffitivity too, and I suggest you try focus@will sometime. I use it every day and it’s helping me block distractions while writing. Some days I combine the two Apps; they work together well. 🙂

    Keep it up! I’m happy that a fellow Filipino is doing great in the blogosphere!

    1. That’s too funny! I’m based out in Oregon, but my Grandma is from Manila and I still have A LOT of family there and throughout Luzon. Where are you located?

      I tried focus@will a long time ago, but I’ll have to give it another try. Working from home has a ton of distractions so being able to block them when it don’t need to have my eyes and ears on the kiddos is a must for mama. HA!

      Always nice to connect with another Filipino who also blogs (there’s more of us than people think LOL). Keep at it!

      1. AnthonyDejolde

        Glad to know you still have lots of relatives in Manila and Luzon!

        I live in Laoag City; it’s in the most northern tip of Luzon. There’s a popular joke here: in the mornings when roosters crow in Taiwan, you can hear them if you live in this area! 🙂

        Regarding blocking noises, I highly recommend using noise-cancelling headphones. My neighbor (the one right in front of my house) has a karaoke machine rental. His technicians always tinker with the machines so they make irritating loud noises all day every day! It got to a point where I couldn’t do my work anymore. To address the problem, I thought of renovating my home office to finally ward off their noises. Problem is renovations will cause me a lot. The next best thing to do is to buy noise-cancelling headphones. I wanted to cut cost so I went for the noise-cancelling gadget. Fortunately, they work! Now, I can write without distractions (even from noisy karaoke machines!). 🙂

        Really happy I chanced upon your blog! You’ve got to continue writing!

        1. I love my Bose Noise-Cancelling headphones. I don’t get to wear them very often during the day since I have to keep and eye and ear out for little ones, but they are one of my must-haves for writing.

          1. AnthonyDejolde

            Same here, it’s not as awesome to write anymore without my Philips Noise-Cancelling headset. I was a DJ/Newscaster/TV Reporter in my former life before picking up a pen and had fun with it! 🙂 May I know your background?

  3. Lisa Davis Vincent

    I’ve just found your blog and love this post. I would have never considered shoes being a mode to increase your productivity! Thanks for the tips!

  4. Jorden Roper

    Love these tips, Ariel! Especially the Coffitivity app – this is the first time I’ve heard of it, and I’m going to give it a try tomorrow!

    1. It’s a great app. Even though my house is noisy with kids, just running it in the background helps me do other random stuff. There is another tool called Brain.fm that I just started using too. It’s insane how well it works.

  5. I find the brain.fm works wonders for me…Also getting dressed. I used to be like I am just going to stay in my Pajamas but ever since I started getting dressed I have been cranking out more work than ever before. I also have a systeam where I go to the gym and work out come home shower and get dressed like I have a traditional job. It really helps me switch gears.

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