Working from home is becoming increasingly popular among professionals these days. Being able to work anywhere, setting your own hours, and choosing how you work are only a handful of the benefits that you are able to enjoy with this setup.
As with all good things, there’s another side of the coin. Along with the flexibility and freedom comes a plethora of distractions. Be it hungry kids, a new K-drama, a mountain of laundry, or your tantalizingly comfy bed, there are numerous things that may grind your productivity to a halt.
It’s certainly hard to stay on top of your to-do list when you want to make the best of your life. Fortunately, we have some steps you can take to stay on track not only in your job but in your personal life too.
Step 1 – Establish a routine
For instance, by setting your email management in the mornings and sales calls in the afternoons, you’ll have fewer choices to make when you start your day.
This helps to reduce procrastination and decision fatigue. Recognize when you’re at your most efficient and handle the important tasks then.
Step 2 – Maximise your flexibility
There are likely times when you’re expected to be online and available. If you find loud alarms and notifications to be intrusive, set aside time earlier or later in the day to be in focus or Do Not Disturb mode.
Don’t forget to insert sections in your schedule for taking your parents to the doctor and other errands.
Step 3 – Break up your workflow
Some people are able to sit down and concentrate on a project for hours on end. Others will run out of steam then begin browsing Facebook. Are you more of the former or latter?
Arrange your timetable in a way that works for you while ensuring that you have breaks in between blocks.
Step 4 – Clean up your workspace
When your desk is covered with books, sticky notes and your child’s artwork, you’re more than tempted to divide your attention among them.
Take a few moments at the start or end of your day to clear up any clutter. Have a box or drawer where you can keep unnecessary items out of sight until you need them.
Step 5 – Join a coworking space
For social butterflies, being surrounded by people while you work is beneficial to productivity. This isn’t possible when you live in an apartment alone but is easily resolved when you join a coworking space.
This will give you the chance to take to expand your network but you’ll also learn a few new things.
Step 6 – Install a distraction blocker
Imagine that you’re Alice; the internet is the rabbit hole you’ll fall into when you get distracted by a single white rabbit.
If you’re not good at stopping yourself from checking social media or surfing the web, try installing an internet blocking tool like Qustodio or StayFocusd which you can turn on or off at certain times.
Step 7 – Set up a home office
Instead of working in your living room or bedroom, it’s best to designate an exclusive space for work, preferably someplace with a door to separate yourself from the rest of your home.
Use this area only for working so it’s easier for you to log out mentally once your day is done.
Step 8 – Keep fellow residents informed
It’s helpful to post a printed or written copy of your schedule on the door of your home office. This will let your family or friends know when you’re busy and when you’re free.
Use a screen divider or a tall piece of furniture if you don’t have a room to use for work.
Step 9 – Play some tunes
A lot of people find that listening to music while working makes them focus better on the task at hand. There are some who prefer white noise like the sound of the rain or crashing waves to get their creativity going too.
Loudspeakers are nice if you have your own room or office but if you don’t, then headphones are a top choice.
Step 10 – Address your weaknesses
Determine what your major distractions are and deal with them before starting with your workday. When an issue is hanging over your head, it’s harder to concentrate.
If you’re a hands-on parent, for example, your mind might get stuck on prepping your child’s meals until you accomplish it rather than on your actual job.
Step 11 – Give yourself a reward
Let’s say you’ve sectioned out your timetable (as recommended in step 3) and you’ve finished one. Give yourself a reward before beginning on the next block.
The prize might be to spend three minutes on Twitter, having a taste of that Godiva chocolate you saved in the fridge or just cuddling with your loved ones!
Step 12 – Munch on something
Keep some snacks and water on hand while working, especially if you have a tendency to get “hangry“.
Nuts and dried fruit are highly recommended as they’re non-perishable and healthy. Plus, there are numerous options including dried mangoes, pistachios, cashews, raisins, peanuts, and prunes.
Step 13 – Use some visual tools
Writing your thoughts on a dry erase board or notebook may give you a different perspective on your tasks.
Also, the act of writing by hand can potentially reduce stress, deepens thinking, increases creativity, boosts retention and enhances memory which all help you become a better worker.
Bonus step – Work with Remote Workmate
This is essentially step 14 and, though optional, it’ll prove useful to many a virtual professional such as yourself.
We at Remote Workmate are an offshore staffing agency who work with clients from all over the globe. What we do is assist employers in filling their vacancies with qualified candidates. We post job openings on our website on a regular basis.
As a remote worker, in choosing to browse through our listings, you don’t have to worry as much about seeking your next client. Applying through us means you’ll be added to our database, even if you don’t get hired.
This way, we can easily refer you to a different role that you’re better qualified for so you can focus on what’s on your plate now.