Adjusting to remote working can be done more easily if you feel you are staying productive. It is easy to say you'll be productive when working at home, but distractions are everywhere. Staying connected to your colleagues and manager helps in staying productive. However, you'll likely need more support.
By defining boundaries and schedules you'll be closer to establishing a productive mindset for remote working. The following tips will help you outline a plan to be efficient and productive while working from home.
Set regular hours and establish a routine
It can be tempting to roll over in bed, grab your laptop, and start working. However, this is not the best way to start your day. Working remotely requires you to maintain an even stricter routine and schedule than when you go into the office. If you don't set regular working hours and follow your routine, you'll quickly feel as though you are stuck in a loop and won't feel your best.
When working from home, it's very important to maintain your normal morning routine. Get up, shower, eat breakfast, exercise, and do anything else you normally would when starting your day. This helps you mentally prepare to take on the day and accomplish all you need to do.
Have a dedicated workspace
When you are in the office you have a dedicated workspace. An office, a desk, or a cubicle is probably your home away from home. The same should be true when you are at home. Establish an area where you can work with limited distractions. If you have a home office, you're ready to go. If you don't, find a space in your home where you feel that you will get a lot done.
Ideally, you will not park yourself in front of the television, but rather find an area where you can get your tasks done. For some, a working space with lots of natural light and reduced noise levels does the trick. For others, a calming workspace with soft music or other background noise helps them find their productive sweet spot. Either way, find what works best for you and stick to it.
Keep your workspace organized
An organized and tidy work area helps you keep your projects and priorities in line. If your desk or workspace is cluttered, it can be harder to concentrate or accomplish important tasks. Keep files (both physical and electronic) filed appropriately so you can access the information you need when you need it. Organizing your work helps you organize your thoughts and leads to greater productivity.
Give yourself breaks
Keep tabs on how often you move and be sure you are getting enough breaks. Getting up to stretch and move around every so often is good for you and it's important. When working remotely, it's easy to lose track of how much time you've spent sitting in one position. Staying sedentary is bad for your health, so remember to keep moving and keep an active lifestyle.
It's also important to ensure you are getting enough water during the day. Staying hydrated helps contribute to a healthy lifestyle and keeps you practicing good habits.
Minimize distracting noises
In order to maximize your productivity, it's helpful to keep distractions and noises to a minimum. This helps improve your focus and allows you the time necessary to complete tasks. If possible, select an area in your home to work where you can close a door to keep distractions at bay. Some people like to play soft music in the background or have white noise. Others prefer complete silence to concentrate. Find the style that works for you and get to work.
Define work and non-work times
Whether working remotely or in the office, it's important to keep a healthy work-life balance. Each day, determine which hours you'll devote to work and which are dedicated to you and your family. Inevitably, there will betimes when work and personal time will overlap (e.g. a work emergency comes up after hours or a client issue needs to be addressed after you have logged off for the day) but for the most part try to be conscious of keeping a dedicated schedule. This helps you prioritize your time and goes a long way in helping you avoid burnout.
Productivity should not decrease when you're working remotely. In some cases, you'll find you are more productive when working from home because the distractions of the office are not constantly interrupting your workflow.
These tips will help ensure you stay on the path to productivity:
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