Although it has merits, it’s not until we start working from home long-term that we realize its real hurdles. Some newbie remote workers end up watching Netflix during working hours, some waste a lot of time sleeping, chit-chatting with family, eating, and many other things.
That is not to say that remote workers are not efficient; however, they do have some particular habits they stick to get the work done. Highly-productive remote employees follow some specific rules and habits to stay active and get the most done while working from home.
Let us shed light on 5 of these useful habits essential for crafting the perfect remote working day:
1. Setting a Realistic Routine
What do we think?
When choosing to work remotely, we plan to get up early in the morning and enjoy a healthy breakfast while utilizing the commute time for an energizing morning walk. Then we will look at our daily schedule that we created last night. We will start the day by answering emails and replying to chats. Then we will move on to our key tasks, taking a half an hour break in the middle and then continuing work with full dedication till evening.
What is the reality?
The reality of remote working is quite the opposite. Since you are working from home, you will likely get emails and messages at odd timings, like the middle of the night. So, instead of enjoying the hot cup of coffee in the morning, you will start your day in a problem-solving mode replying to all queries from the team. Then you do breakfast 2 hours late, there is no time left for a morning break, and you work in between breaks as your kids, neighbors, unexpected guests, or the milkman needs your attention.
How to manage
Instead of living in a fantasy, you need to set up a realistic routine and accommodate all the distractions that you are likely to face while working from home. If you cannot work with distractions, then choose a time that reduces the probability of distractions, e.g., early morning or late at night.
Secondly, you need to separate work and personal life; even if you are getting multiple emails during off-hours, resist the urge to answer. You can start answering once you start your workday. Ideally, let your colleagues know your preferred time for answering queries, as people may have different working times during remote work.
Finally, do not try to multitask; focus on one task at a time to get the best outcome.
2. Investing in Work Space
It is silly to expect that you will be very productive while working in your living room. Therefore, investing in a dedicated working space is essential. Space should give a feel of a real office with a comfortable chair and desk, and lighting.
Create a workspace that is close to nature to stay active and fresh while working. If you do not have a good space at home, you may consider some other options like a café or a co-working space. However, consider the drawbacks of both places before making any plan.
Co-working spaces are highly expensive these days. If you are still opting for it, go for a short membership initially. Cafes, on the other hand, are less expensive. However, expect some loud voices of crying babies, coffee machines, and chit-chat.
Besides this, you will feel the guilt of working for long hours while just paying for a single cup of coffee. Also, expect low-speed internet and other interruptions. You can also opt for a park or a public library, but do bring your own internet with you.
3. Set Priorities
One biggest problem in remote working is doing unnecessary tasks. When we are at home, we consider many additional tasks having no relation to the core projects. Many CEOs recommend highlighting unnecessary tasks and eliminating each day by day.
Apart from it, do not sit on your desk with a blank mind. If you have no planned tasks, you will use your mind’s energy in thinking about what to do first. When you spend so much time thinking about what to do, you end up using all your energy thinking and have none left for the key tasks. Therefore, get your day organized before you start working.
Also, consider the critical thinking involved in each task. Sometimes, the task is short but critical. Try to complete critical tasks in the first half of the day. At this time, your mind is fresh and full of energy. Stay realistic when setting priority tasks to avoid being overburdened.
4.Getting Rid of Distractions
Unlimited phone calls, email notifications, social media updates, and many other distractions will never let you go into a deep working mode. Since deep attention is directly proportional to productivity, you need to cut down distractions greatly. You can use apps like Zero Willpower and Forest to stay focused while working. These amazing apps silent social media app notifications for a specific time.
It means you can adjust the settings whenever you are working from home. The forest app also lets you design a virtual forest. This forest is meant to increase the productivity level.
5. Balancing Work and Life
Though it seems simple, remote work is an all-day challenge if not managed efficiently. In on-site work, you are occupied for specific hours, and then you are free. However, remote work keeps you busy 24/7 because work delays are normal in remote working. We do not complete our work specifically during office hours.
This habit ruins everything; it affects our personal life, our relationships, and activities. Even if you are working from home, plan a schedule, and set your limits. Also, set the alarm for each task so that you can complete your project on time.
In this way, your activities won’t be disturbed. Whether its gym classes, morning walk, friends meet up or something as mundane as carpet cleaning, you will get it all done when you create a balanced scheduled. Take at least one day off per week. Indulge in relaxation tactics, socialize, and enjoy your life besides working.
Wrapping It Up
In short, an ideal remote working day is the one with zero distractions, focused work, goal achievement, and some spare time. Managing it becomes simple when you develop habits like controlling distractions, setting limits, determining priorities, and investing in a good working space.
What is your experience with remote working? What habits have you developed for this change, and how are they beneficial for productivity? Share with us!