If you're reading this from your couch, I can probably assume you need a little help keeping your eyes on the ball during the day. And hey, it's a common problem. Especially if you're not used to working remotely.
Distractions abound at home. Whether it's the new Netflix series, washing dishes or a happy, (adorable!) puppy that just wants to lay over on you, we want to help you minimize the distractions and make every work day a productive work day.
Let's dive in.
Create a Work Space💻
This should be a room or a specific space away from the noise and preferably out of sight of all that needs doing around your home. Believe me, it's going to be difficult to get work done and stay focused if you're staring at a basket of unfolded laundry.
Get Dressed and Get Coffee😴
No, we're serious. Make your work space a pajama free zone. Why? Because if you're in pajamas, you're going to get sleepy and take naps, or give your body those weekend vibes. Y'all. It's not the weekend. Get up, get dressed, get some coffee and start your day off on the right sock.
Stay Out of the ProcrastiNation✈
If you feel like packing your bags and taking a trip, this is not the time and most definitely NOT the place. The only thing that makes for a less productive day is a house full of cute puppies.
No, we're kidding. Even cute puppies don't do the damage to your work ethic that this little trip can, so stay focused and if you feel like putting things off, step away and take a walk, or meditate for five minutes before coming back to the task. You'll be surprised at how effective this can be when utilized properly.
Debunking Misconceptions: Working Remote Means Not Doing As Much Work⚒
One of the absolutely biggest misconceptions out there is that if you're working remote, it automatically means you're not working as much or as hard.
This is the furthest thing from the truth. In fact, working from home, though it presents its own difficulties, can actually mean a MORE productive work day. Just think about it: there's no commute, your desk is a few steps away, you can better control your time, (though you should be vigilant to set boundaries) and you're often more comfortable with your surroundings, which gives you a bigger opportunity to unleash creativity and inspiration.
Schedule Your Time⏲⏳
If you don't, people are going to think it's okay to call you whenever, and believe me. That's not going to work.
This falls in line with "setting boundaries" which is HUGELY important in the grand scheme of things. If you can't get back to someone right away, let them know you're in the middle of something and you'll reach out when you're finished. Or, better yet, ask them to send you calendar invites. This will help you better organize your time and help them realize that you also have a full plate and need to be able to work through things one at a time.
Forget the Chores🧹
You gave a commitment, whether to your own business or to your boss, and you need to keep it. No matter what that means. If you've pledged eight hours of your time during the day, you need to make sure you're sitting down and making those hours count. Remember, your integrity and your investment is worth so much more than a sink load of dishes that are going to have to be washed again anyway. Put if off until after hours. You'll thank me later.
Work Smart, Not Hard🤓
Whenever possible, automate and/or streamline the process. This will save you time, save your coworkers time, and overall save your company money. Also, it'll save your sanity. And that's worth a lot, wouldn't you say?
Make it a point at the end of every task to stand and stretch your muscles. Maybe do some jumping jacks, or throw a window open and wave to your neighbors, (okay, maybe not this. They might never speak to you again. 😉😏) and drink a huge glass of water. This is helpful for your mental and physical health, and will keep you on the ball and on target.
Find Your Focus Hot Spot. 🔥
This can be a state of mind just as much as a short list of things you do to "get in the mood" before your work day begins. Maybe it's a favorite song, or a jog around the block. Perhaps it's some relaxing but also stimulating yoga, or a hot cup of cocoa. Maybe it's jumping into a cold shower and eating eggs and bacon before booting your computer when you start the day. Whatever it is that puts you in focus, do it. Every day. The results are both encouraging and invigorating.
Repeat After Me: You're Not Always on the Clock⌚
Just because you're working from home does NOT mean you are available 24/7. Setting boundaries and keeping with your usual clock in/clock out times are vitally important to keep frustration at bay and productivity at it's peak. If you're worried about work during your free time, you'll be worried about your free time during your work time. And this won't fly.
Keep The Communication Ball Rolling ⚽
Human interaction is extremely important. Of course, this is difficult to do right now with certain guidelines, but tools like Zoom, Slack and even Apple's Facetime feature are excellent tools that you can utilize to stay in touch, on top and on fire.
Don't Forget to Take a Break!🌴
If you want to stay productive, breaks are a vital part of your day. Short meditating sessions between tasks, stretching like we mentioned before and even snacking a little in between meetings can actually be extremely beneficial for your mental health and overall productivity. It may seem like working from home presents the possibility that you won't have a chance to take a break, but as long as you are diligent to carve some time out, you'll be healthier, happier and far more useful to your company than otherwise.
Utilize Remote Work Tools⚙
We actually published an article with three of our favorite tools for this HERE. Working remote comes with unique challenges all in itself and having the right tools can mean working more efficiently and promoting positivity within your personal work place.
Create Long-Term and Short-Term Goals🥅
What do you want to have finished by the end of the week? What about the month? What about the year?? These are all things you can constantly keep in the back of your mind to help you stay on track when things start getting crazy. By organizing your goals this way, you can also find out what holds the highest priority on your list and thus takes precedence over other less-pressing tasks.
All the Puppy Snuggles!🐕
As long as you're staying on task, (and who knows, maybe it makes you more efficient!) you can totally feel free to let that doggo snuggle in your lap. They'll probably enjoy the lap time, and you can enjoy the snuggles and your meeting at the same time! What's not to like?
It Won't Last Forever ⏳
Before you know it, you'll be back at the office with your best buds, (unless of course, this is a typical thing for you!😏😉) and chatting it up at the water cooler or debating where lunch is going to be for the day.
For now, take advantage of the time you have to enjoy your own cozy abode for a work environment and do your best to wow yourself and surpass expectations on every front.