More and more people today work remotely.
This happens with the progress of technology. In fact, professionals who work in new technologies can operate in a flexible environment. All they need to do the excellent job is a laptop, wifi and a sharp mind.
But it’s not just about technology businesses. Take a look at the chart below to see what industries are embracing remote work.
The more people work in these industries, the more remote opportunities open up.
The New York Times reports that 43% of employed Americans spent at least some time working remotely in 2016, according to a survey of more than 15,000 adults. This is a 4% increase from 2012.
Flexible scheduling and work-from-home opportunities are becoming decision makers or breakers in today’s recruiting environment, and they make a huge impact as to whether a new prospective employee will accept a job.
It’s no wonder that working from home saves you thousands of dollars by:
- Not paying commuting costs
- Not eating out for lunch
- No need to restock your makeup or wardrobe
What’s not to love here? Even while I’m writing this, I can admit from my personal experience that working remotely is just great.
There’s nothing better on the Earth that I enjoy more than spending those early mornings on the rug with a cup of coffee in one hand and a laptop in the other. How I enjoy the silence and relaxed work environment! It inspires me to write my best stories and marketing ideas, and brings my productivity to its peak.
As we can tell, remote working is currently a trend, so you may soon belong to this happy group too.
For this reason, let’s see how you can optimize your work-from-home experience and what smart productivity hacks can be incorporated here to stay sharp and positive when necessary.
Before we dive into it, I’d like to remind you that even the smallest tricks may have a huge impact, so don’t ignore any details about your workspace and working habits.
1. Change the scenery
When working remotely, you are flexible to change locations. Therefore, you should be changing the scenery and your workspace in order to avoid brain fatigue, procrastination and deal with lack of focus.
So, this is for whenever you feel your mind is tired or foggy and you can’t get yourself together.
First, take a break, rest for a while over a cup of coffee, and then immediately change your location. You’ll be positively surprised at what a refreshing impact it might have on you.
After all, you’re free to go and visit a coworking space at times, or stay at a coffee shop - and the best part is that every single day it can be a different place.
So use this opportunity and approach your work day creatively instead of sitting around in your pajamas all day. :)
Go out and feel different.
2. Limit decisions
Some say there’s a limited number of decisions an individual can make during an active day. And because you should be aiming to declutter your mind and optimize your focus, cut small, repetitive decisions out of your life to spare your time and clear your mind.
As a matter of fact, good decision-making takes discipline. So when you need to make small decisions, don’t spend a lot of mindpower on them. Or even go a step further and get rid of them.
What can you actually do to limit the number of day-to-day decisions you need to make? :)
Entrepreneurs wear the same clothes every day, just to keep their attention on the important things.
Some set their schedules a day before, some order catering so they don’t need to think of meals every day.
It’s actually all up to you, the time vs. duties you have to play with and what decisions you’d prefer to keep. :)
So review your day and try to figure out what the bottlenecks are and what energy demons you’re fighting with every day.
3. Have a to-do list
Ok, it doesn’t need to be on Trello, that’s just me - I adore Trello for work and private stuff too. But, you can use a notebook if it works better for you. No matter what tools you use, the point is to free your memory and throw your ideas for life and business into a backlog or ideas board.
Whatever comes to your mind, but you don’t have time to deal with immediately, note it down, put it on your to do list and add a due date, priority label, and people involved.
It’s the easiest way to manage your tasks so that they don’t harass you and don’t cause a feeling of guilt.
With a to-do list your life becomes more simplified.
4. No matter what, get dressed
Okay, I’m not saying that you can’t spend those comfy mornings on your rug because this is actually the best part of the remote working style. ;-)
However, getting dressed as if you were going to the office might be beneficial at times when you are about to receive a package or lunch or when someone unexpectedly knocks on your door.
Besides, you might want to eventually go out, and getting ready at that time can be irritating when you have a little time to get something done.
I don’t mean you need to wear a suit, but relaxed clothes such as jeans and a t-shirt will work fine. Of course, it’s up to you, so do this only when it might help you be more productive and less tense.
5. Set a timetable for your daily tasks the night before
Let me guess, you wake up everyday and you make your timetable in the morning.
That’s not the right way to go.
It’s better to create a timetable for tomorrow the night before.
Why? Having a schedule the night before will stimulate you positively in the morning and help you start your day in a good way.
Besides it will save you more time for breakfast in the morning.
6. Forget multitasking
There’s another thing you should understand. Multitasking is not a capability you possess. Our brains weren’t built to multitask. In fact, multitasking is killing your brain.
It reduces efficiency and your work quality. Our brains were designed to focus on one task at a time.
Plus, research shows it certainly lowers your IQ. Finally, stop pretending you can multitask. Just focus on one task at a time and get it done.
7. Get to know your productivity peaks
You know yourself best, and I’m pretty sure you can easily say when you’re having a peak in energy and concentration and when you’re procrastinating most.
Think strategically and plan your most crucial tasks exactly when you’re most alert and energetic. We’re all made different, so for some this can be an early morning, and for others it can be at night.
However, if you don’t know when you are most productive yet, this app will tell you.
Moo-Q will help you get to know yourself better, and in addition all of your data will be included in the Hungry Lab team’s ongoing research into cognitive behavior.
8. Work in 90-minute sprints
Human alertness is limited to 90 - 120 minutes at a time before it needs a break and gets distracted. This is called ‘ultradian rhythm’. After an intensive 90-minute working session, give yourself at least a 10% break to ‘recharge’ and keep your mind fresh during a day.
9. Work on your morning routine
They say “getting up on the wrong side of the bed can hamper your productivity.”
Are you the moody type? If you are, then you might find yourself prone to this trap.
I can confirm it from my own experience.
Mornings define the whole day.
For this reason, even if you are crazy busy, pay attention to the mornings and find your own ways to stimulate a good mood.
I can totally understand that it’s completely out of your control at times, due to a sleepless night, a morning quarrel with your partner or a headache.
But, no matter what the reason is, you can always maximize the habits and behaviors that promote a good, happy life and stop being such a grumpy cat.
Think what’s applicable to your individual situation and preferences.
Perhaps you’d enjoy some yoga in the morning, a meditation session, or a 30-minute run to immediately feel fulfilled and energized. In fact, morning exercise is considered to be a special mood booster, since it give you the impression that you’ve achieved something important for your health. Plus, once you’ve worked out in the morning, you can fully focus on work and even have dessert with no regrets.
Apart from exercise, you can work on habits that bring some sunshine to your family life.
Devote some attention (without being distracted) to your partner and family in the morning and you’ll be surprised at how it will improve your relationships. Even 15 minutes matter and bring positivity into the lives of everyone involved.
Well, I bet you think my advice comes down to simple things. But these are actually the factors that build the bigger picture. Starting with the small tweaks, you can expect to streamline your workflow and the productivity. So take these tips and see if you can implement them into your own reality.