Remote work is becoming more common. Many employees need their freedom and employers have started to understand that there are many pros also for them. Remote work might sometimes be difficult so we decided to list some effective ways to stay productive while working remotely.
1. Think about your workspace
Working from your home couch sounds like a dream until you actually need to do it from month to month. It’s important to think about your workspace so that you could be as productive as possible – Where it’s at? What’s there? Who’s there? What makes or breaks your work flow?
For some people it’s enough to have just a pair of headphones, a laptop and comfortable chair in order to be productive at their workspace but some of us need total quietness, great view, proper desk, coffee machine or chair with unicorn pillows.
People are different so it’s crucial to think of what makes your workspace perfect. It’s not only about the things that are there but also where it’s at – do you want your workspace to be part of your home or maybe even part of your bedroom? Or maybe that’s exactly what gets you distracted (kitchen is close by, laundry needs to be done or something else) and your workspace should be at least 10 minute walk from your home?
It’s also possible that the location doesn’t matter but you care about the facilities. Before deciding to actually work remotely it’s a good idea to think about your workspace, test out different options and and decide what works the best for you.
2. Test out your ideal work times to maximise productivity
Do you know when are you the most productive? Some of us are productive in the mornings and some of us in the afternoons or evenings. It’s important to test when exactly are the times that you’re the most productive at. For example if you’re productive in the mornings and feel that afternoons are not the best time for working then you should wake up early, get as much done as possible and maybe have your training in the afternoon when you know that work-wise it wouldn’t be productive time.
It’s important to understand what’s the best schedule for you so that you wouldn’t suffer at your workspace when you feel like your head is empty and mind is tired. Always listen to your mind and body.
3. Make a schedule
When you work remotely it’s pretty common to just go with the flow but that’s what kills your time and productivity. If you don’t have your task list and schedule for the day then it’s very easy to get stuck in unnecessary tasks. Or just ignore some tasks and doing only the ones you like.
In order to structure your work a bit more it’s a good idea to always make a task list for the next day and add the exact times when would you deal with different tasks.
If daily and hourly calendar sounds a bit like an overkill then you can start by having a monthly calendar where every day has some topics or focus areas. E.g. first Monday of the month is for stats, Tuesdays are for client meetings. Schedule is also important so that you would leave some time for the rest of your life and wouldn’t overwork.
4. Invest in reliable tech and remote work tools to boost your productivity
You have a great workspace, you’ve find perfect times when you’re the most productive and have also made a schedule for yourself. So now it’s time to think about the tools that would help you with productivity. Before getting more into the tools it’s probably important to mention WiFi. For most of us it’s important to have reliable and fast WiFi in order to get work done.
When you’ve already taken care of that then it’s time to consider tools that would help you with scheduling, task list, time management, productivity and communication with your team mates. Here’re some of the tools that you might wanna consider:
- Toggle for time tracking
- Slack for communication
- Asana, Weekdone, Scoro, Jira, Trello or Monday for tasks, planning and project management
- iDoneThis, ToDoist or Productive for productivity and building habits
- Hootsuite, CoSchedule, Social Bakers or Facelift Cloud for social media scheduling
- Skype, Join.me or Zoom for calls and video conferences
- Figma, Sketch or InVision for design, prototyping and sketching
- Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive or Box for cloud storage and collaboration
Honestly the list of remote work tools is endless and pretty often the free versions are enough but sometimes it makes sense to invest into those tools.
5. Reduce distractions
Hopefully you already got rid of the distractions in the first point (1. think about your workspace) but if you didn’t then now it’s the time. For each of us distractions could be different. When working from home a distraction could easily be Netflix, refrigerator or maybe just a cat. You shouldn’t throw all those things out of your house but you should make some rules on when to watch Netflix, when is the time for food and whether your cat should hang out in the same room as you or not.
For some of us distractions could also be social media, music or maybe just some noise from the street. In that case it’s also important to find ways for reducing those distractions. Think through what exactly are your distractions and try to get rid of those before starting to work.
6. Drink water and take regular breaks
It’s needless to say that it’s important to drink water and stay hydrated. But sometimes we have such a great workflow that we work many hours in a row without noticing that we haven’t had any breaks nor have we been drinking water.
It’s the best to have your water bottle or just a glass of water right next to you at all times. Besides hydrating it’s also important to have regular breaks e.g. stand up, stretch and walk around regularly. It’s important for your mind and body to give some breaks in order to perform at it’s best.
7. Meet and communicate with people
Working remotely doesn’t mean that you should do it alone. If you have team members then have regular meetings e.g. through Skype with them or if possible then meet up with them once in a while to see each other from face to face.
If you don’t have team members then it’s worth thinking about going to different networking events, working from a co-working space where you could meet other remote workers or maybe join some co-working retreat. In that case we of course suggest Extreme Tribe where you can meet awesome community and do extreme sports like surfing while also staying productive with your work.
8. Move yourself & do sports
Whether you go for a short walk during your lunch break, to the gym or surfing after work it does make you feel happier, healthier and also makes your energy levels go up. It’s important to move regularly in order to have a good feeling.
Sometimes you don’t even need go outside to be active, there are tons of exercises that don’t need much space but are very effective. Our favourite is of course doing extreme sports in the morning or evening, it just gives that little extra kick of adrenaline and fills you with dopamine that truly helps to stay positive.
9. Don’t overwork and enjoy your life!
Don’t forget that you are a super lucky human being if you can work remotely. It’s something that many of us dream about but only some can actually do. So don’t take it for granted but do make the most out of it.
Give yourself 100% to stay productive and give the best at your work but also please do enjoy the freedom that you have. Go outside for a walk if you feel like that and if your schedule allows or make some breaks for surfing, skateboarding, eating ice-cream, walking your dog or whatever other hobbies you might have. Working remotely is fun!
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P.S! If you feel like joining a remote work & surf community in Bali in February 2020, then write to us email@example.com