19 Tips To Boost Productivity When Working Remotely

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Remote work is a dream for most people out there. We are talking about not having to commute to work anymore, creating your own schedule and even making more money. All this sounds perfect but the truth is that remote work is still work. This means that you will need to be serious and you will still need to work hard in order to be successful.

One of the big problems with working from a remote location is lower productivity. You do not go to an office so it is normal to be distracted. It is vital that you are as productive as possible so here are some tips to help you do exactly that.

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Check out these tips and test which ones work best for you and your working situation.

1. Be Careful When You Choose A Job

It is obviously important to pick a job you really like so you remain motivated. This is much more important with remote work. Because of the fact that you control your schedule and you can work from practically any location, extra motivation is needed.

If you are now starting your remote work journey, be sure to choose a good job right from the bat. Choose something you are really passionate about and that you love. This helps remain productive and motivated.

2. Build A Suitable Working Environment

Most people love working from a couch but if you start doing this every single day, it is a certainty you will not actually do as much as you could. It is important to create a working space at home. A kitchen table or “anywhere you seat” is not enough.

Make sure that you buy a really good chair and that you set up a desk in a bright area that has as much daylight as possible. If possible, get a big monitor instead of the laptop. Make sure that where you work you can actually focus and avoid distractions.

3. Get The Right Equipment

If your computer is slow, it is a certainty that you will lose money. The same goes if the smartphone keeps running out of battery and you actually need it. Be sure that you invest in really good equipment as you work from home. Consider devices like noise-canceling headphones, a good phone, a laptop, keyboard, mouse and external hard drive. When you have reliable equipment of a proper quality, your professional life will be much better.

4. Use Good Software And Apps

Just as you need really good equipment, you need to use specific software and apps that will help you get the job done faster and better. Some examples to consider include:

Besides these, you also have to use software that is specific to the job that you do, like grammar tools, graphic design programs or translation software.

5. Create A Schedule And Stick To It

Whenever you do remote work, you need a schedule and you need to respect it. The best thing you can do is to create a schedule for the following week. Think about when you will do specific tasks and create as many to-do lists as you need in order to plan everything. Remote work does not mean you do not do business.

Your schedules have to be realistic so that you can actually stick to them. If it is not possible to do all the daily tasks, you need to schedule them in the following available timeslot. Always prioritize tasks and plan deadlines. Proper organization is vital so you do not forget about anything you have to do.

6. What Are Your Working Hours?

This is a question you need to ask yourself since you need to find the working hours that work best for you. Different people work better at different times of the day. There are some that will be really effective during evenings while others will do so much better during mornings. Remote positions automatically mean that you can create working hours. Schedule work when you are highly productive for the best possible results.

Obviously, there will be moments when you will need to do work even outside the perfect working hours. If this is the case, be sure to prioritize the important work for the moments when you are most effective. Schedule other tasks for the hours when you know efficiency is lower.

7. Create Your Routines

Most people start working from home because they want to avoid routine but if you want to create a business, you simply cannot avoid it. Having routines is a really good thing for all working professionals. They can easily increase productivity. When you start your day, be sure you are energized. You can start with meditation or even workouts. Also, when the work day is over, do something to relax and get out of the working mindset. Think about what will help you to remain motivated and productive and create the routine you need to succeed.

8. Schedule Breaks

This is one thing that many struggle with, especially when they start doing remote work. It is normal to think that breaks are not needed. However, as time passes, you quickly figure out that you are overworked.

Every single person needs breaks. This enhances productivity. You need to take longer breaks for meals and schedule extra smaller breaks during working hours. If the brain has an opportunity to relax, it is easier to do better work as you get extra energy.

9. Use The Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is a really useful time management technique in which you use a timer in order to break down the working day. The goal is to schedule short intervals so you work in sprints, usually of 25 minutes. After the work interval is over, you take a break of around 5 minutes. After you do four sessions in a row, you schedule a longer break, one of around half an hour.

Using the Pomodoro Technique is effective because it increases the ability to focus and reduces interruptions. You will get more work done as time pressure is lowered and you have the breaks your brain needs.

In the event that you want to use this technique, 2 free apps that can help you are:

10. Avoid Distractions

It is so easy to be distracted when you do work from your home. For instance, many end up wasting a lot of time checking social media feeds. You may also have to think about the laundry and you may want to see the latest episode from the TV show you love.

Avoiding distractions is all about being aware of what they are. Create a list with what often distracts you. Then, schedule these distractions so you do them outside of working hours. Doing laundry is necessary, as an example, but you should do it after your work is done.

If you think distractions do not affect your productivity, simply track them. There are countless free apps you can use to see how much time you spend on distractions like Instagram, Facebook or reading your emails.

11. Remove Bad Habits

Just like with distractions, bad habits have to be eliminated so you can reach the top performance levels you could have. For instance, do you often find yourself checking out the fridge for a snack? Maybe you smoke a lot and much time is spent outside instead of working. No matter what reduces productivity, make a conscious effort to work on those bad habits and, in best case, replace them with good habits that help you get more successful. 

12. Create Office-Only Time

When you work from home, the job has to be treated with the exact same importance as an office job. This means you have to set office hours, which will be when nobody will be allowed to disturb you. Whenever the family is at home, use a “Do Not Disturb” sign and hang it on the door. When using online communication apps like WhatsApp or Skype, make sure to set the status to busy. Office-only time should never include personal work and distractions.

13. Plan Your Private Interactions

After eliminating distractions, more planning is needed. This means you have to be sure that you plan private interactions. The truth is that you do need them but you cannot just have them whenever they appear.

For instance, you can check social media accounts just during the long breaks you have, usually for lunch or breakfast. Best friends can be contacted after working hours. Messages on social media can be sent during lunch.

Obviously, there are situations when emergencies appear and you need to take care of them. Besides these, most private interactions should be planned.

14. Stay Visible

If you work from home, remember that you need to stay visible in front of clients and employers. Even if you do not need indications and you do know what has to be done, being in contact with clients is a necessity.

When clients just hear from you around 2 times per month, they end up with the impression that work is not really done. This is true even if results are seen. The best thing that you can do is send status updates. Do this weekly, look for feedback and basically interact. The goal is to let clients know that you still work.

15. Schedule Regular Meetings

A wonderful way to remain visible is to schedule as many regular meetings as needed with coworkers and clients. This is also an option that you can use to offer updates about the work done and discuss upcoming issues. Also, there are situations in which some tasks are not clear. You can always solve such problems during meetings but they have to be scheduled.

Remote work means you cannot just contact your client whenever a small problem appears. This can easily lead to problems and even more misunderstandings. The best thing you can do is schedule video calls. They enhance connections between employees and employers and can help discuss topics related to the work done.

16. Make Communication As Professional As Possible

Communication has to be on point when you work with someone in a remote setting. You have to write down all issues that have to be discussed during calls and meetings. Your agenda should be created and you need to send it before meetings start. Everyone that attend needs to be ready to come up with thoughts about discussed subjects.

It has to be added that you have to document meeting results. This can be done by taking minutes. Write down all deadlines and action items discussed. When necessary, be sure that they are distributed to colleagues. If communications are professional, performance is increased.

17. Connect With Remote Workers

You have friends, family and coworkers you interact with when you do remote work but this does not mean everyone will understand you. It is always important to connect with people that do the same things you do. This allows you to see how work is done. You learn about struggles and how they were overcome. Basically, you get a lot of information that will help you to be more successful in the future.

18. Change The Scenery From Time To Time

If you find yourself bored and this will eventually happen, it is a great idea to change the scenery. This is effective as you get brand new energy and your creativity is boosted. Changing the scenery can be as simple as working offline, from a park, or as complex as buying a new desk. You can always work from a local café or even test some coworking spaces close to where you live. Productivity will be increased when the scenery is changed from time to time.

19. Keep Your Eyes On The Prize

In remote work it is very important that you take some time from time to time and you look at the big picture. You want to analyze your performance every couple of months or weeks. Think about whether or not what you do right now is helping you. Are you getting closer to the goals you have? Is there a method of work that was better for you? Did you learn some lessons that can be used in the future? Ask yourself such questions to keep adapting.

Every single person has different preferences. They perform differently in specific situations. You want to find out exactly what works best in your case and then improve strategies used in the future.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to remote work, there are many tips that can be offered, with those above definitely being among the best. Productivity can be increased in various ways. However, at the end of the day, the most important thing is to find exactly what works in your case. Remote jobs can be really intimidating. When you are scared, it is hard to do anything. However, as time passes, things do get easier. Success comes to those that do not give up and keep improving.

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