Be your best self.

9 Slightly Weird Productivity Tips

As a business owner and freelancer, I can’t afford to waste my time. I have always been a hard worker but now that I work for myself, I’ve become fanatical about productivity. I’m constantly reading books about increasing productivity and coming up with new ways to make sure I get the most out of every day. Here are a few weird productivity tips that I’ve tried recently with great success… I haven’t tried the naked one yet but I will as soon as we get our blinds fixed… we have an inward-facing balcony and my neighbours don’t really need to be feasting on my tatas as they leave for work in the morning.

1. Give Up 

It seems really counterproductive to stop doing the thing that you’re supposed to be doing but if you walk away and give your brain some space, it can turn an 8-hour task into a 15-minute task. It doesn’t matter how urgently you have to get the task done: if you’re sitting at your computer, stressed up to your eyeballs to the point of not getting any work done, you need to give up. For now at least.

2. Get naked

Rumour has it Victor Hugo would write naked. He would arrange for his valet to take his clothes and Hugo would be forced to stay in his office until the valet returned with his clothes. Why not give it a try? I can’t think of anything that would make me finish an article quicker than someone confiscating my clothes. Note: This one is probably best for people who work from home or have a private office with a lock and very reliable blinds. 

3. Ditch your desk

Apparently Agatha Christie never owned a desk and would just write wherever she happened to be. If you work in an office, try using an empty room down the hall or spending the day working in another department. Mix it up. It can be really uninspiring working at the same desk all the time.

4. Police yourself 

If bingeing on social media is your default procrastination behavior you need to get serious about policing yourself. Get a blocking program like Self Control. Programs like this will block your access to Facebook, Twitter, Google, and selected sites so you can get some work done without being tempted to distract yourself with blogs or your favourite Facebook pages.

The contents of a business workspace organized and composed.


5. Ditch your chair 

Earnest Hemingway reportedly wrote standing up, as he said that it made him think more clearly. If you can, ditch your chair and work standing up, or try sitting on a fitness ball instead of a chair. Just get moving and mix it up a little.

6. Have a shower 

Woody Allen swears that he gets the best ideas in the shower and will periodically have several showers in one day. If you’re feeling stumped, jump in the shower. I’ve tried this and it’s actually brilliant. Make sure you have a waterproof notepad and pen in there too.

7. Be extremely disciplined 

Steven King writes 2000 words every single day of the year no matter what. This takes about 5 hours. Try setting yourself a very rigid daily challenge and stick to it for a week. King has written 55 novels so he might just be on the right track with this one.

8. Embrace the cone of silence

Create a visual cue for your co-workers so they know not to disturb you. It might be wearing headphones, hanging a sign on your office door, or literally wearing a conical hat on your head that says ‘Cone of Silence‘. So much of our productivity is lost to co-workers so be strong and be that weirdo who wears a stupid hat and gets twice as much work done as everyone else. Nobody will be laughing at you when you get promoted or finish your novel months before it’s due.

9. Don’t ever answer your phone

How many times have you gratefully lunged for your ringing phone when you’re halfway through a grueling task, welcoming the distraction? Stop doing this immediately. If you’re too reachable, you will rarely make it for an hour at a time without being disturbed. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb for most of the day. It will stop you from picking up your phone every time it flashes when someone has liked your latest Instagram post.

What’s your favourite tip for productivity? And would you ever try working in the nude?


  1. mogantosh 10 years ago

    Great list. I like Freedom for switching off the Internet for twenty minutes at a time – I read somewhere that focusing your brain in 20 mins bursts is optimal. So nude, on a fitball, in the shower, wearing the cone of silence. Got it!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 10 years ago

      Oh that’s a great idea! I’ll totally look into Freedom, I find it best if I’m cut off at the source! 🙂 I do love the idea of layering these tips. Fitball in the shower sounds super fun.

  2. Vanessa 10 years ago

    I rarely answer my phone at the best of times! Living in QLD, I often lie under the fan on my bed after a shower and before getting dressed. Sometimes I read, other times I write. It is a bit of a time luxury thing though!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 10 years ago

      I do that too but more because I hate drying myself. I just wrap a towel around myself and wait to dry. Mr Smaggle thinks its gross but I think it’s a major time saver.

      • T 10 years ago

        Oh I do that too Smaggle! It’s the best!

  3. I work in an office and have been known to lock myself in a meeting room to get a task done without interruption or distraction – it works a treat. I also agree that if a task is huge and you’re tired/not feeling well/not focused, you’re better off leaving it until first thing the next day when you can smash it out in half the time.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 10 years ago

      I had to drag Mr Smaggle away from a giant task today. He was being very naughty but I insisted that he go for a run instead. Worked a treat!

  4. reclaimingyourfuture 10 years ago

    Ummmm so yep I suck at all of these except the being able to get naked bit but I think, as I’m currently living with other people whilst I set my Sydney life up, I’ll probably get arrested instead of celebrated lol

  5. Sublime Finds 10 years ago

    These are excellent tips! I am definitely going to try working chair less! I suspect I need the Self Control thingy, but don’t think I could do it to myself just yet! I’ve found with tasks that feel difficult to push through, it helps to break them down into teeny tiny actions and tick each one of as you get through. As someone who gets a buzz from a tick in the box, this is my winning strategy!


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