We’re all feeling the lockdown blues right about now, and for many of us who aren’t on the frontlines, we’re now working from home for longer periods than ever before. And while working from home may seem amazing at first – leisure-wear all day and no office chit chat – the lines between work and home can quickly blur, and you’ll soon find yourself struggling with your daily output.
So how exactly do you stay productive while using remote access from home? Working remotely comes with its own challenges, and learning how to overcome those challenges is the best way to ensure that you can stay as productive out of the office as you are in the office.
Here are a few key tips to keep yourself productive while working remotely:
1) Designate a Committed Work Space
The Problem: Your house is your rest space, and you find it difficult to really get into the work zone when you’re in your home.
The Solution: Create a work space within your home, and stick to it. Find a table or a corner of a room and designate it as your official committed work space. Never do anything else in this space, so that your brain can remember – whenever you’re here, you’re here for work and work alone.
2) Stay Connected with Your Team
The Problem: Not being in the office and working from home means you might slowly lose touch with your team. The work culture starts to disappear, and you might lose track of the team goals.
The Solution: Stay connected. Even when you’re not expected for a virtual meeting or any other online gathering, make sure that you’re online on whatever platforms you use with your team. Whether it’s Slack, Skype, Discord, or any other messaging app, make sure you’re always available and that you reach out whenever necessary.
3) Schedule Your Breaks and Stick to Them
The Problem: You feel the need to get work done as fast as possible so that you can enjoy the rest of your day at home. You end up trying to plow through the entire workday, but you run out of fuel before everything is done.
The Solution: You’re not a computer, and you need breaks whether you’re in the office or you’re at home. Make sure to give your brain the breather it needs every now and then to keep it going at optimal capacity. A 5-10-minute break every hour should be enough to keep your day spaced out and enjoyable no matter how heavy your workload may be.
4) Minimize Distractions as Much as Possible
The Problem: Social media notifications and everyday distractions can keep you from working and making the most out of your time. Without a boss and an official professional setting, it’s difficult to stick to your working hours and stay productive at home.
The Solution: Minimize distractions by installing web apps like StayFocusd, Cold Turkey, or Self Control. These apps block or limit your access according to your settings so you avoid checking Facebook, Reddit, or any other non-work website during your working hours.
5) Utilize the Flexibility of Your Environment
The Problem: You can get bored or tired working in your designated workspace the entire day, but you don’t have anywhere else to go since you’re just at home.
The Solution: Be creative with how you distribute your work throughout the day. You can work in public spaces if necessary, like park benches or coffee shops, using noise-cancelling headphones to keep yourself focused. Remember: working from home doesn’t necessarily mean working from home if you have the right equipment and other places to explore.
6) Master Time Management
The Problem: With no manager looking over your shoulder, it can be tempting to just wait until you “feel like it” before you start doing work. But this means your brain is always half-focused on work throughout the day, meaning the lines between work and life become washed away completely.
The Solution: Make time management the next skill you master. Learn the importance of dividing your tasks into their appropriate blocks of time, and sticking to those blocks of time throughout the day. Before you know it, all your tasks will be done and you’ll still have half a day to yourself.
7) Fuel Yourself Properly
The Problem: Feeding yourself junk food and snacks from the kitchen can be tempting, because you don’t really want to take time away from work to prepare a healthy meal. But this kind of eating will leave you low on energy long before the day is done.
The Solution: Fuel yourself properly – eat healthy. If you don’t want to interrupt your work day with half an hour in the kitchen, then consider cooking your food in bulk at the start of the week and just reheating meals throughout the week.
8) Set Routines and Priorities Everyday
The Problem: When working from home, it can be easy to stop thinking about time and schedules, and just try to get things done whenever you feel like it. But before you know it, the entire day has passed and you’ve only done a fraction of what you needed to do.
The Solution: Remember the importance of having routines and priorities. Your days should feel like they have a rhythm – a beginning, a middle, and an end. And if you have high-priority tasks, don’t underestimate how long they might take; handle them first.
9) Stay Comfortable
The Problem: It’s inevitable that you’ll eventually get tired of working in the same space, the same position. After a few hours you’ll find yourself getting antsy, and forcing yourself to continue in that same uncomfortable environment can really hold back your productivity.
The Solution: Listen to your body. When you start feeling like you can’t work in your work space anymore, then give yourself the freedom to try something else out. Maybe have a second space designated for work, or get yourself a drink or a change of clothes to keep things light and easy. Working from home is all about being flexible.
10) Care for Yourself
The Problem: You stress out because you don’t feel like you’re getting enough done at home, so you end up neglecting your basic needs trying to force yourself to work even when you don’t feel like it. The lines between work and normal life become invisible, and you lose yourself in the constant work.
The Solution: Always make sure to have some self-care activities planned into your day. Physical activity – whether a home gym, half an hour of yoga, or a jog outside – some meditation, and an afternoon nap never hurt anyone. It’s not about using all the minutes in your day to get your work done; it’s about getting the most out of the minutes you use.
Go Remote with Abacus
Our IT expert team at Abacus can help your business transition successfully to remote access, as well as assist you with all other network and IT needs. Contact us today at 856-505-6860 or explore our website to learn more.