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I’ve been working remotely since before it was popular to do. Here are the five tips I follow to keep myself productive.
Everyone seems to be working from home now. Well, okay, not everyone, but a lot more people are working from home than every before. The problem is a lot of people were thrown into this, and they haven’t figured out how to do it productively.
There are a lot of distractions at home. You may have a lot of housework that you think you can get done. Or maybe you have pets who want attention. The TV can also call out a lot, especially if you’re running low on energy.
Then you can end up going the other way, working more hours than you need to. It can be tempting to get a few things done in the evening, and you deserve a work-life balance.
I’ve been working remotely since 2010, and these are the five tips that I follow.
Have a workspace when you’re working remotely
The only thing that I found extremely beneficial for working from home was to have a workspace that was just for this. I used to work from the couch, but it wasn’t good for my posture or my productivity. As soon as I starting working at a desk, I was able to get more done in a day—and my wrists hurt a lot less!
You don’t need a room dedicated as an office. You could choose a specific part of a room that works. Just make sure you have a desk and a good chair to work from. I love a standing desk* because then I can move around a bit throughout the day. That helps my productivity levels.
Take breaks on a regular basis
My dogs definitely help me with this. On the days that I have them, I make sure I get them out for two good walks a day. This breaks up my work day and helps me be more productive.
You don’t need dogs to take breaks, though. Find other ways to take breaks. On the days that I don’t have my dogs, I’ll load the dishwasher, taking 10 minutes out of my work day. I’ll spend some time getting the laundry on, or I’ll prep dinner. I’ll even just get outside for some fresh air.
Taking breaks is essential for productively working remotely. You take your eyes off the computer, stretch your muscles, and give your mind a break.
Remain hydrated throughout the day
It’s very easy to fall behind on drinking water when you’re working from home. I’ve found it all the time. I’m good with the coffee on a morning, but then I forget to drink the rest of the day. You need to find a way to keep your water intake up.
I’ve found a water bottle with timings on it has helped me. You can get something affordable on Amazon to help with this. If I see that I’ve fallen behind on the timing, I’m encouraged to catch back up.
Remaining hydrated has helped me remain focused. It’s amazing how much your brain can start to get sleepy without the right amount of water.
Find the noise needed for working remotely
There are some days that I need complete silence when I’m working from home. Then there are days where I want some relaxing sounds of waves crashing in the ocean or the rain falling. There are also days where I need audiobooks playing or I’ll have podcasts running in the background. The noise levels depend on my mental state for the day.
Figure out what you need to help you work from home. A lot of people will tell you not to listen to audiobooks while you work, saying that you can’t work productively like that. Honestly, I’ve given up listening to what “experts” think is best for working. I know what works for my brain and my mood and run with it. You need to figure out what works for you.
Have a to-do list for the day
I will always plan out my diary for the week. If there’s a week where I’m working without a plan, I don’t know what I’m meant to be doing from one minute to the next. I’m not productive when working remotely.
Make a list of all the tasks you need to do. There are many ways to do this. I love the bullet journal* style with boxes for me to color, and I use a color code for the different websites I write at and the type of projects I have to do. You may find that one color works and you just want to cross items off the list. Do what’s best for you; just have that list
How do you remain productive when you’re working remotely? Share in the comments below.