Working remotely is certainly not a new concept. But with the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s more widespread now. Many people have embraced this concept as a newly found luxury. To several others, however, it’s more of a missed opportunity.
The reason for this is quite simple. Most of us aren’t used to working remotely from the comforts of our homes. So you don’t really know how to work productively when you’re not working from your office.
Working remotely can appear all rainbows and unicorns, but the truth is that it comes with its challenges. You spend most of the time battling with the distractions around you. And then there’s the slope of procrastination to go down to, low energy level, and poor productivity to struggle with.
But if planned well, you can easily overcome all these problems and have a super productive day even when you’re working from home. Here are a few ways to try out to start your day right and get more work done while working remotely.
1. Make Your Bed and Get Ready for Work
This might sound unrelated but how productive you are throughout the day depends a lot on how you start your day. Making your bed in the morning and getting ready for work is a great way, to begin with.
It helps set the right tone by preparing you for the day.
When your bed isn’t made, it’s easier to fall into the trap of slipping back into your covers and scrolling through your phone or fall back asleep again.
When that happens, you automatically start your day by procrastinating the task of getting out of bed on time. And just like that, all other tasks for the day get delayed too.
Although it seems like an insignificant task, making the bed and getting ready for work gives you the signal to wake up and start your day. Our brain is conditioned to take cues from our social and personal outlook when making decisions.
So when you make your bed, take a shower, have your breakfast, and get dressed for work, it gets the signal that your day has already started. It’s like an alarm clock that’ll keep your alert for the rest of the day while keeping you all active and productive.
2. Prioritize Your Tasks
If you really want to be productive, it’s important for you to prioritize your work. Starting your day without a plan is bad, but not prioritizing your goals and tasks for the day can be worse.
Knowing the critical tasks for the day lets you block your timing specifically for the most important work on your calendar.
That way, it’s easier to make progress on your important projects, sketch out a prototype for your new product, or make all the scheduled calls without any delay. It also becomes easier to know when exactly a task is to be done and the amount of time it needs to be accomplished.
Besides, when you prioritize your work, you force yourself to complete those tasks within a fixed time-frame, which in turn ensures you are super focused while working on it.
3. Use Productivity Methods
Productivity methods are super helpful in boosting your efficiency and focus. There are various productivity methods that you can try out like the Pomodoro technique, Time blocking, Eat the frog, Rule of three, etc. Each of these techniques can help you achieve different goals.
Some can be helpful in resisting procrastination, while others can help increase your focus or be more productive. So first, you need to figure out which method you want to use. For example, if you’re someone who likes working in short-focused sprints, you can use the Pomodoro technique.
In this technique, you focus on a specific task for a short period of time and then take a quick break. Say, for example, you can’t focus beyond 25 minutes. So you take a break after every 25 minutes.
To keep track of the time you get a timer and set it at 25 minutes. Now focus on a single task until the timer rings. After every 25 minutes, you mark off your Pomodoro and list down what you’ve completed. Now go ahead and take a break of 5-10 minutes.
When you complete 4 rounds of Pomodoro sessions (each of 25 minutes), you can take a longer break of 15-20 minutes.
This is a great way of boosting efficiency and productivity for people who struggle to remain focused continuously for a longer period.
4. Separate Your Personal and Work Space
The next big thing that can help you stay productive while working remotely is to separate your personal space from your workspace. Working from home can be distracting, especially if you’re sharing your house with others like your parents, roommates, siblings, or friends.
That’s why it’s important that you separate your personal space from your workspace. That way, it’s easier to limit the distractions and focus on your work during your working hours. Try to find a secluded spot where you can have your own space without being interfered with by the others in the house.
Set up a desk and arrange all the essential items like staplers, paper clips, notepads, printer, etc., that you might need for work. Keeping them handy makes it easier for you to access them the moment you need them without having to waste your time in finding them.
You can also put up a whiteboard in front of your desk where you can write down your to-do list or all the important work-related information. This will remind you of all the tasks you need to accomplish before you wrap up for the day.
5. Know Your Peak Productive Hours
The best thing about working remotely is the flexibility of your work schedule. Although some offices have fixed working hours, many are allowing their employees to select their working hours based on their convenience.
If you, too, are allowed to do that, you need to find out what your best productive hours are. Many people love working early in the morning before everyone else is awake. At the same time, there are others who like to work with people around them. For example, if you’re a morning person, there’s no point struggling to be productive in the afternoon.
Knowing your productive hours can be a game-changer when you’re working remotely because you don’t have to struggle to be productive, and you can be more efficient even without putting any extra effort.
Working from home can be fun. But working efficiently from home and being productive every day can be really hard. However, the way companies and enterprises are embracing the new work culture of working from home; it’s high time for every one of us to learn and adapt to this new norm. So try out the above steps and get ready for this new work culture that’s here to stay.