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5 Tips to Increase Productivity while Working Remotely
There are a number of tools, resources and technology that make working remotely simple.
1. Establish Goals
The first tip I recommend in helping you stay productive while working remotely is setting goals. Whether you set goals hourly, daily, or weekly, do what works best for you. Having goals written down and in front of you at the start of your day helps you stay focused and on task.
Below I compiled a list of resources to help you keep track of your goals:
Trello & Google Sheets
If you’re struggling to find out where to start with your goals, build a simple list. I think we can all agree there is nothing more satisfying than crossing off a task on your list of to-do’s! This will, at the very least, give you direction on where to start with your goals and whether you’re staying on task.
If you prefer something a little more digital when it comes to writing goals, try Google Sheets. I made a simple calendar on Google Sheets and tracked my daily tasks there. I’d highlight each task once completed and move on to the next.
If you want to take it one step further, I recommend checking out Trello. Trello is a great tool if your working with teams. The best part about each of these goal setting tools is that they’re completely free!
Having an accountability partner can make the world of a difference when it comes to goals. And guess what? They don’t have to be physically present! I know that we’re all self-isolating and you may not have your trusted co-worker nearby, but don’t worry.
Sri and I acted as accountability partners while I was away in Africa for almost three months. It was a great way to stay updated on our daily tasks and weekly goals.
Not only did we hold each other accountable, we spoke frequently about our progress. Even on days when we didn’t accomplish every goal, there was someone there to talk through roadblocks with you.
To keep each other accountable, we built a shared spreadsheet using Google Sheets. Here, we would track our goals and motivate each other with status updates and notes.
2. Stick to a Routine
Like each of the tips I’m going to share with you today, sticking to a routine works for some people and not for others. I am a serious routine person. It takes the average person about 21 days to form a habit, but only about three for me (ha!). I wasn’t kidding when I said I was a routine person.
However, it may take you a while to find a routine that works for you. Some individuals, such as myself, are most productive in the morning. Waking up early and getting a jump-start on my day is the best way to for me to be productive. However, you may not be a morning person and sleeping in to make sure you get enough sleep to be fully functional and productive is totally fine too!
Regardless of when or how you start your routine, sticking to some sort of schedule during the work week can help keep you productive.
As an example, I want to share my routine and week-day schedule with you:
- 8:00AM – wake up & exercise for at least 45 minutes
- 9:00AM – have breakfast & get ready for the day
- 9:30AM to 12:00PM -work, work, work. I like to save my hardest tasks for the morning, when I have the most energy and mental power.
- 12:00PM to 1:00PM -lunch break
- 1:00PM to 4:00PM – work, work, work. 4:00 pm is usually the latest I can work until. Afternoons are much harder for me to focus
If you’re keen, share your remote schedule with me in the comments below. I’d love to hear about it!
3. Dismiss Distractions
Again, this may not be possible for everyone given the work from home situation you may be in, but when I’m working, it helps to focus only on work. Now, you may be thinking this is obvious but what I’m referring to we’re all guilty of.
What I’m referring to is doing no laundry, no cleaning around the house, etc. Save these tasks for when you’re done with work, just as you would when you come home from the office on a normal work day.
To help dismiss distractions, I put on my headphones and this changes things drastically. Listening to music or white noise helps drown out background noise and helps me get “in the zone” and focused.
4. Create a Designated Work Space
I absolute need to have a designated space to work, and that is not lounging in bed or on the couch. I’m fortunate enough to have a desk in my bedroom, which acts as my temporary office when working from home. Sri moved his monitors to a make-shift desk in the living room, and our third roommate Christine, works on her desk in her room. We’re still three people quarantined in a two-bedroom apartment but this works for us. We each have our own work space to be creative and productive.
5. Do What Works for You
I keep reading articles that claim getting ready in the morning will guarantee to kick-start your day during this quarantine and new remote lifestyle. However, that may not work for everyone. I like to workout, eat breakfast and get dressed in something comfy to work. This is when I’m most creative and work at my best.
You may not be a morning person and instead a night owl, and there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you keep your work time dedicated to itself. It does help when you have a manager or set hours you have to work, but for those of us who freelance or work on our own businesses, it can be much harder to manage your time.
That said, if anyone decides they like remote work or is interested in chatting about my journey to a remote lifestyle, let me know. Starting a business online can be ridiculously scammy, with claims about making a six-figure business in one month with no effort, etc. I’m happy to clear a few things up and help you kick-start your remote business with some shared resources.
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