Sometimes when people hear that you need to be more productive, it sounds like they are telling you that you need to work more. The reality is that it simply means that you can get more done in less time. Which means that you feel less stress about work not getting done in time.
Ever feel like you don’t have enough hours in the day? This means that you aren’t as productive as you could be.
When you work remotely, it becomes an ever greater challenge to get the work done since you are left on your own to do it most of the time. And with the many distractions that your home may have, it can be hard to focus.
In this article, I will go over several ways that you can be more productive and get the work done while doing it remotely.
1 – Have the right tools
There is so much that can be done with software these days due to AI and machine learning that it is almost like having an assistant for each employee. An assistant that will work for 24 hours a day without a break.
To actually be as productive as possible a remote worker has to lean on various programs to get the job done efficiently and effectively.
Something like Kanban Software that can help you manage the workflow across your entire workforce. The method has been around since the end of World War 2 but now it is in the form of a software program that can identify bottlenecks and prevent different departments doing the same tasks.
Whatever the preferred software is, it’s essential to use it to stay organized. Without the proper software helping you do things like reduce how many paper documents need to be signed, or even simply organizing your schedule then you can’t be productive.
2 – Stay engaged
Lots of people dream about working remotely so they can be comfortable at home or at least not have to sit in rush hour traffic for hours at a time. Though avoiding traffic is a huge boost to your mental health, the dark side of working remotely is how lonely and disengaged workers tend to feel.
This is the reason many remote workers end up quitting and looking for work in an office. That may not be an option with the current pandemic so what can remote workers do?
Facetime has to be scheduled on a regular basis to help stay engaged. If you are a team member then suggest some voice or video meetings to your team leader when you are starting to feel the loneliness creeping in. Once a worker starts to feel disengaged, then productivity drops dramatically.
For instance, once an email chain starts getting long, it is a sure sign that communication is starting to suffer and there needs to be a meeting scheduled. There should also be some social hours suggested for remote workers so they can chat without talking about work so much but things they would discuss at an after hours drinks session.
3 – Make well defined work boundaries
Many people were thrown into the remote working scenario and as a result were not exactly prepared for it. This can create some problems for those that are trying to work in a cramped corner of the garage or at the kitchen table.
Before you get too deep into working from home, try to set up a home office so you have a space where only work is being done. It will be to your advantage having everything at hand like printers or filing cabinets just in terms of comfort. But, there is also a psychological aspect to it as well.
When you have a defined space where you work, it actually makes it easier to tune out non work related distractions. Distractions which are plentiful when you are at home.
Have a comfortable desk and ergonomic office chair that is comfortable and helps you work for a while without getting aches and pains. Working with a laptop for a long time may cause pain in your wrist, consider investing in one of these vertical mouses to reduce further health risks.
Put up some plants to form a small barrier and also add some greenery to your space to make it feel more natural.
4 – Get stretched
Since you are not commuting, you have some time in the morning that would have been spent sitting in your car. Rather than get started working right away, take the time to go to the gym, go for a walk or do some yoga. This will give you the endorphins and energy to get through the workday.
Even during the day, take frequent breaks by doing some stretches and even taking a brisk walk around the block. Take advantage of not being in an office setting where it would seem strange for you to do that in the middle of the day.
You can use the pomodoro technique to help because most people just keep going when they are in the zone with work. You have to have a gentle reminder to get up and walk around.
When you are exercising it helps you to stay productive by maintaining your energy and focus throughout the day.
5 – Stick to a schedule
When working from home it is very easy to overwork yourself since there are no cues to when the work day is over. It is very tempting to keep going until progress is made. The reality is that there is always going to be work to do. Unless you are under a hard deadline then you can simply pick up tomorrow where you left off.
When you force yourself to keep working, you are bringing in diminishing returns. Your productivity drops considerably and production during this period of overworking is not worth it.
Set up a regular workday schedule that you stick to. Almost like when the horn sounds, you pack it up and go home. Even though you are already home. You’ll find that with the above tips you can get more done within your scheduled time and don’t need to overwork yourself anyway.