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By: Erica Hunter
For many, working remotely sounds like a dream situation, right?
No traffic. No crowded public transportation, and no having to sneak into the office because you were running late. You can choose where you want to work for the day, whether that’s on the beach or in your home… and the best part is you can wear whatever you want, even your pajamas. What’s not to love?!
This dream situation can quickly turn into a nightmare, if you don’t go into it with a solid plan for success.
Here are 6 tips to help boost your productivity while you’re working remotely.
1. Create a Schedule & Routine
A daily schedule and routine are essential to being productive. It can be so easy to get off track and waste an entire day. Trust me, I know from personal experience. It’s important to create a schedule and set up the flow of your day. Having a daily routine (like you would if you were working in a traditional office) is important too. Decide how you’ll start your workday and stick to it, every day. Create your plan but don’t be so rigid in your schedule that there’s no room for flexibility when needed. The key is creating a schedule and routine that you’ll actually follow.
2. Set Priorities & Time Block your Day
When you’re in the office, you have to prioritize your tasks. Same thing applies when you’re working remotely. Prioritizing your day helps you manage your time wisely. But if you take it a step further, and divide your day into blocks of time assigning a task to each time slot, you’ll be able to get so much done!
Of course, there’s a bit of trial and error. You have to find your groove and figure out how much time you typically need to complete certain things. But once you figure that out, you’ll see time blocking as a great time management tool that keeps you from focusing all of your attention on one thing or even a bunch of non-essential, time-consuming tasks.
3. Limit/Avoid Distractions
Let’s face it sometimes it’s impossible to avoid distractions (shout-out to all my fellow mompreneurs who have “little co-workers”). As much as you can, limit the distractions you can control. Let friends & family know you won’t be available during a certain time frame. Put your phone on silent/DND. As tempting as it may be to work while binge watching your favorite show, it’s probably going to end up being a distraction. If you’re someone who needs some background noise to get motivated, turn on Spotify, Pandora or try a site like Noisli.
P.S. Just in case you were wondering, working from your bed is a HUGE distraction. One minute you’ll be typing, the next you’ll be snoring! It’s important to stay motivated without being distracted or worse, asleep.
4. Practice Self-Care
It’s important to be kind to yourself. Make sure you are giving yourself breaks during the day. Exercise, sit on the porch, take a stretch break. Make sure you stop working and take a break for lunch. Schedule your breaks if you have to. It’s super important to have a dedicated ending time to your day…just like you would if you were in an office (of course there are exceptions to this rule).
Self-care also means making sure you have time to decompress from the day and focus on other important areas in your life. The goal is productivity NOT burn out.
5. Create Boundaries
Boundaries help you maintain a healthy work/life balance. When you’re working remotely, it’s so easy to become “all work and no play.” You can find yourself rolling over in bed, in the middle of the night, to hop on your laptop. That said, it’s important to create a dedicated workspace. I don’t just mean your computer at the kitchen table (but hey, if that’s all you got right now roll with it).
Set up a space that puts you in a work mind-frame. If you’re like me, you enjoy a little variety. Some days, I work in my dedicated area, and sometimes I head to the coffee shop to work. You can move your workspace. But, setting up a dedicated space that you (and everyone) know is your workspace, helps you get into “work” mode. It also helps you avoid working around the clock.
6. Set-up Systems to Help Communicate Effectively
If you’re an entrepreneur or if you have a team of people working with you, it’s important to have your communication channels figured out. Since you won’t have the luxury of swinging by someone’s office to quickly relay a message, at some point, you’ll need to use instant messaging and video conferencing to communicate. Don’t wait until you need to use these tools, to get them and figure them out. Be proactive and do it now. There are a variety of choices for instant messaging and video conferencing. Some are even free! Find the best option for you and your team (if you have one).
Getting your communication system in place now will help you avoid miscommunication headaches and keep everyone on the same page.
For more business tips & inspiration follow Erica on Facebook and Instagram @enhmediaonline. If you’re looking for help with content creation or managing your social media, Erica would love to help you! visit www.enhonline.com for more information.