Top Tricks for Remote Working
25th March 2020
- Establish a Rotating Routine – While a routine might sound like doing the same thing day in and day out, following that definition usually only leads to boredom. Instead, create two or three daily routines for your work week, and vary the days you do them. This mixes things up, keeping your brain more alert and engaged.
- Create a Timed Checklist – Making a list of things you need to get done each day, assigning a time limit, and setting a timer can work really well for people who have a competitive streak. You are in competition with yourself to get things done on time! Keep yourself motivated by rewarding yourself with that extra time – if you finish something 10 minutes early, give yourself that time to take a walk, channel surf, or make a cup of coffee. Then get back on schedule!
- Schedule “Lazy Time” – Don’t make the entire day about work. I know, it sounds counterintuitive. But oftentimes regular remote workers find themselves letting work creep into evenings and weekends. Because they don’t have to worry about a commute, they’ll start working earlier, or let a project slide later into the evening because they aren’t seeing their colleagues leave for the day. Be sure to monitor your daily workload – and if you realize you’re putting in overtime, sprinkle in some free time throughout the day to do what you please. This could be walking the dog, meditating, or catching lunch with a friend. These breaks will help reset your mind and prevent burnout.
- Identify Quiet Hours – Know when your roommates or family members are going to be around and plan ahead. During these hours, focus on less mentally-intensive tasks. Or, use that as your “lazy time”. That’s why some remote workers like to start at 6am while others burn the midnight oil. For those who don’t like either of those options, plan to get the most done based on others’ work and school schedules.
- Diversify the Work Scene – Same scenery, different day. Feeling uninspired? Take your home office mobile for a few hours each day or a couple times a week. Working from a patio, park, or co-working environment enhances your focus and breaks up the monotony. I often head to the lobby of my building to just get a change of view, which really helps break up the day.
- Stretch and Exercise – Nothing gets the blood flowing like a little exercise, and working from home gives you more flexibility to get flexible! Start a new routine of a few staircase reps, a stretching regimen, or a daily walk around the block. The physical activity will jumpstart your brain and help break up a long stretch of work.
- Prep Your Meals – Remote workers can tend to face one of two food dilemmas – they either get lost in their work and forget to eat, or they’re snacking all day without regard to healthy meals. Both can lead to low energy levels and lower productivity. Give your work from home meals the prep time they deserve! Either use free time in the evenings or weekends to make easy-to-reach-for meals and snacks, or take your full lunch break to cook yourself a meal.
- Turn Off Devices – One Facebook alert comes in, and suddenly twenty minutes have passed since you entered a social media black hole. When you’re home alone, it’s harder to control yourself when your browsing habits are on auto-pilot. Be mindful about your devices; consider an app that will block access to social media accounts for a prescribed amount of time. With nothing buzzing or pinging, you’ll be amazed how much you can accomplish.