Remote work productivity is becoming crucial as the modern workforce gets more virtual.
The number of remote workers has doubled in the last decade, and most companies now have some form of a geographically unbound workforce. This means that you are never really “off the clock.”
If you’re going to be working remotely, you must find ways to stay productive during your 9-5 hours so you can maximize your time at work and spend less time checking Facebook or watching Netflix.
In this article, our team selected for you the top 10 ways to stay productive while working remotely.
Get Up Early To Enhance Your Remote Work Productivity
Eager to get a head start on your day? Try getting up at least an hour earlier than you usually do. This will allow you to tackle essential tasks like email before the rest of the world wakes up.
This may seem like it would make it harder to sleep, but research has shown that people who wake up early are more productive, happier, and healthier than those who sleep in longer hours.
Tips on how to get up early:
- Set your alarm to a time you know will work best for you (i.e., between six and eight AM).
- Get in the habit of using a Wake-Up Light. This innovative alarm clock allows you to personalize your sleep and wake-up experience through sunset and sunrise simulation.
- Before going to bed, put away any electronic devices so they don’t disturb your sleep.
- If possible, go to bed earlier than you usually do.
- Do some light stretches before getting out of bed.
Plan Your Workday Ahead Of Time To Stay Productive
There are several ways of staying productive while working from home, but the most important thing is that your day has a structure and a plan.
One way you can do this is by planning out your schedule ahead of time and setting up tasks for each hour in advance, so they’re ready when it’s time to work on them.
Your day-to-day activities need to be productive and manageable with the tools available in your environment to have a successful remote work experience.
One of the best ways to stay productive while working remotely is by using some form of scheduling software or tool on your computer like Google Calendar, Toggl to track your time spent on projects.
Manually entering times in a spreadsheet or text document is tedious and ineffective and provides you with no data that you may use for future analysis.
Tips on how to plan your workday ahead of time:
- Create tasks for all the hours of your day.
- Set a due date and time by when you want to have all your daily tasks completed.
- Use some form of scheduling software like Google Calendar or Toggl.
Have A Dedicated Home Office Space
Remote workers need to have an office space designated explicitly for home-based work, if possible. This approach will ensure you can focus on your tasks without distractions and avoid feeling like you’re just working at home.
Tips on how to set up a dedicated home office:
- Clear off space on a desk or table in your home for work.
- Get rid of everything that isn’t related to work and organize the remaining things neatly.
- Make it as close to an office environment as possible by adding items such as decorations, extra lighting, comfortable seating, and more.
Set Up A Routine That Works Best For You
If you have a straightforward routine, it will be much easier to stay productive while working remotely. To find the best practice for you, ask yourself what kind of schedule would work with your current lifestyle.
It’s important to give yourself a set amount of time to complete tasks and have breaks and take those breaks.
For example, if you are typically more focused and productive during morning hours, you should work during those hours.
Doing this will allow for a more productive day and less time wasted on distractions that may happen when working outside your most concentrated times.
Tips on how to set up your remote work routine:
- Decide when is the best time of day for you to start working (e.g., Mondays between 12 pm and 12:30 pm).
- Set an alarm that will remind you to start working.
- Set the alarm for a couple of hours before the end of your workday so that it will be easier to transition from work mode into relaxation mode.
- Choose when times between those two alarms are best for breaks (e.g., 11 am and 12 pm).
- Pick short activities during those breaks (e.g., a quick walk or run) that will keep you refreshed and energized for the following work session.
- Some people like to have three tasks in mind before they start working, while others prefer task-based lists with no more than five items on them at any given time. Your end goal is to have something to organize your thoughts and tasks.
- It’s also a good idea to plan the beginning of each day, whether you’re going through emails or tackling larger projects first (e.g., setting up meetings).
- In short, always stay on top of your work so you can be as productive and focused as possible while working remotely.
Work During Your Most Productive Hours
There’s no perfect time of day for everyone to work at their best. But there is a time when our body clock wants us to take a break – usually around noon! It can be not easy to stay productive and concentrated, but it’s essential to get up and move around.
For example: If you are most productive at night, then your workday should start after lunchtime and end before lunchtime the following day.
If you’re uncertain about your most productive hours, start from the 11 am to 12 pm timeframe and adjust accordingly.
Tips on how to find your most productive work hours:
- Track every day your work hours and productivity.
- Notice when you’re most productive during the day or week.
- Experiment with different times of day to see what works best for you. For example, if mornings are a better time than evenings, try that instead.
Take Breaks Regularly To Enhance Your Remote Work Productivity
The best way to combat procrastination and fatigue is with regular breaks. It’s important not to let yourself be distracted by the other things you could do during your break time – you should use your break time only for relaxation.
A short walk, stretching exercises, or some deep breaths in the fresh air can make all the difference. A quick break can also help you refocus on your work and get back into the zone.
Use a self-timer to take breaks on your phone. With this approach, you will know how long it has been since you have checked the time and can make sure that you get back in touch with reality.
Tips on how to take breaks regularly:
- Take a break every 90 minutes.
- Set your timer for 20 minutes and put it to go off at that time. When the alarm goes off, take a small break.
- During this mini “break” session, get up from your desk or office chair and stretch – do some deep breaths outdoors if you can.
Don’t Let Distractions Stop You From Getting Things Done
It’s always important to be careful when it comes to distractions. The internet is not your friend, and neither are the many games and apps you can play on your phone or laptop.
Limit yourself by blocking distracting sites like YouTube and Facebook with an app called Freedom – this app will block all these social media platforms for an allotted amount of time. You may install this app on your phone and laptop because that will be where you most likely need it.
A good way of blocking social media sites could be by creating “Do Not Distract” periods during your workday in which you choose to focus uninterrupted on one task.
So, for example, if you need to get some serious writing done and don’t want any distractions, set Freedom up to block these sites from 11 am – 12 pm.
This way, next time you check your laptop in this hour-long window of “Do Not Distract” periods, there won’t be any emails, Facebook messages, or work notifications to distract you.
Tips on how to not let distractions stop you from getting the work done:
- Set “Do Not Distract” periods on your laptop.
- Turn off notifications for emails, Facebook messages, and work information.
- Use a tool like Freedom to block these sites from distracting you.
Tips On How To Not Feel Overwhelmed By Remote Work
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the amount of flexibility that remote work offers. If you’re feeling this way, try taking some time for yourself. Put down your laptop and do something else like read a book or go for a walk in nature. This approach will help get your mind off work.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you feel overwhelmed by tasks. Remote work can make it challenging to get the assistance you need when you’re stuck on something – even if that means emailing your boss and asking them in person what they think of this issue.
Tips on how to not feel overwhelmed by remote work:
- Regularly take a break from work to do something else during your day.
- Permit yourself to take some time off for yourself.
- Reward yourself with something you enjoy doing (e.g., watching your favorite TV show) if you finish your task before the deadline.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help or assistance when you feel stuck on a task or overwhelmed by the quantity of work.
How To Stay Motivated While Working Remotely
To stay motivated, set some long-term goals for yourself and make a plan on how to reach them. Use tools like Trello or Basecamp so you can see your progress throughout the day (or week). Remote work offers unparalleled Freedom, but this can be overwhelming if you don’t have any long-term goals set in place.
Tips on how to stay motivated while working remotely:
- Set some long-term goals for yourself and make a plan on how to reach them.
- Use tools like Trello or Basecamp so you can see your progress throughout the day (or week).
- Remote work offers unparalleled Freedom, but this can be overwhelming if you don’t have any plans in place.
Other Tips On Remote Work Productivity
- Stay organized. This will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed, and it can also give your work a polished look when others are looking at it (even if they only see the final product).
- Get dressed up. Having professional attire around for online business meetings or other professional events is vital to uphold an image of professionalism, even while working remotely.
- Spend quality time with friends and family. This will keep you grounded in reality and help your mental state.
- Make time for yourself. This might mean reading a book, going on a walk to reflect, or taking care of personal tasks like washing clothes and cooking meals.
- Take care of your health by eating well, getting enough rest, and using breaks as needed (even if that means going outside for a walk, taking a nap, or meditating).
- Get involved in the community. It’s easy to feel disconnected when you’re working remotely sometimes, but joining social media groups related to your work niche can help you stay.
Enjoyed this article? Check our further reading suggestion: A Remote Worker’s Guide To Staying Healthy
After reading the ten tips on remote work productivity, you should be able to find a routine that works for your lifestyle. We hope this article will help make remote work more manageable and enjoyable!
There are many different ways people have found success in remote environments. We want to hear from you too – what has helped you succeed?
Please share any other productivity tips below or contact us anytime if you need support setting up a plan customized just for you or your virtual team!