As someone who’s worked for myself and worked-from-home for the majority of my professional career, I’ll be the first to celebrate the benefits of remote work. . . and be transparent about the disadvantages, too. While working remotely does offer you the option to create a schedule that works for you/your family, be more present in the lives of your children, create balance, and be your own boss, it also can be challenging.
If you’re not self-motivated, if you have a lot of pressing distractions, or if your physical environment isn’t conducive to working remotely, you’re going to have trouble with productivity and task management.
But, it’s not impossible! Here are some no-brainer tips and tricks to make your remote life easier.
1. Eliminate Distractions
Being at home isn’t like being at the office for obvious reasons. You don’t have coworkers or your superiors around you. Instead, you have your kitchen, living room, bedroom, and every gadget and device that can lead to serious distractions.
Stay away from social media and cut the TV off as much as possible. You might try to convince yourself that having the TV on in the background helps you stay focused. But, if you find yourself looking up and watching more than working, you need to turn it off. Social media sucks in your attention and keeps it, too! Consider putting your phone in a separate room while you work and keep it there until the end of the day.
2. Move Your Body
Staying stationary is no way to work. When you’re in the office, you have usually get two 15-minute breaks and a lunch break. Stick with those same periods in your home, too. During those 15-minute breaks, you can get up and move around your house.
As you work, you can also practice some active seating to keep you alert and focused. This is when you move a bit while staying in front of your desk. You can get a standing desk or an ergonomic chair to switch up your seating position and physical activity level throughout the day. Active seating improves productivity because it awakens your body. You remove yourself from the position you held for hours and gain some newfound energy.
Changing up the scenery is also a good idea! Take a walk outside for a bit and get some fresh air. You’ll motivate yourself to finish your work faster so that you can enjoy the rest of the day.
3. Create a Schedule
When you start each day, pull up your calendar, task list, and other work-from-home tools. Creating a list and checking things off one by one is a great way to stay focused and motivated. This will help you feel as if you’re accomplishing a lot and keep your momentum going all day.
It’s a good practice to make a morning and afternoon routine, too. For example, you can start off with a note stating, “Respond to all morning emails,” and add more as you go along. If you really want to stay diligent, you can take it a step further and add a timer into the mix. Give yourself 30 minutes to an hour for each task you need to complete. Suddenly, you’ll find yourself racing against the clock which can gamify your work day.
4. Complete Your Routines
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can’t pretend you’re heading out! Do the same things in the morning that you would if you were headed to the office (hygiene, getting dressed, makeup routines. . . and even meal-prepping!)
This process will wake you up and put you in the mind frame of working for the day. Working from home doesn’t always feel like you’re at work, but if you put yourself in the right mindset, you’ll get a lot done and stay focused.