As I’m typing this, I’ve been a (mostly) remote worker for the better part of the past two years. I don’t think I’ll ever regret the decision to leave the daily commute behind me, even if just for a while. With that said, however, it doesn’t mean that the remote working life has been without its challenges.
Early on during my current job, I wrote this post: My Experience with Remote Working so far…. At that point, I was still new to the change of scenery that remote working brought. By now, however, I’ve been moulded in its fires and I believe I can share my experience with anyone new to remote working or that might be struggling with actually getting work done from home!
When I first starting working from home, the people I know thought me very dedicated to actually manage to get anything done. While I do believe there is a degree of self-discipline necessary, I also made it a lot easier for myself. How did I do that? By creating structure around my work and home life. And that, in my opinion, is the big secret. I’m sorry that I didn’t hold off until the end of this post for some big reveal. That’s really it.
How can I implement more structure in my remote working environment?
- Create a separate space for work
When you start working from home it’s important that you set boundaries. If your home and work spaces overlap too much you might end up working 24/7 and that can be a very bad thing. I no longer have a set desk that I use only to work, which isn’t ideal. I do, however, tend to move around the house quite a bit and occasionally go out to work elsewhere. That means that there is at least a degree of separation, but perhaps not as much as it ought to be…
- Take breaks!
No, not as frequently as you might like, but studies have shown that taking breaks from work boosts productivity! Need more convincing? (Not that I think you do…) Read this Bustle post on 9 Reasons to Take Breaks at Work.
- Go work elsewhere!
Since my company opened an office closer to where I live, I’ve been less adventurous about where I work. I used to frequent coffee shops in town and often went to a local co-working space. I wrote a post about it too, Grounded Work, a real nice place with good people. The point is, you CAN do this. You have the freedom to change it up and to not have to look at the same cubicle walls day in and day out. So you should!
- Keep a to-do list
If you’re anything like me, this one is essential for you. But if you’re very much like me I would suggest that you make it a physical to-do list. I do have a to-do list app that I often use, but I also find it too easy to ignore tasks in the app. It’s a constant struggle. I recommend sticking a sticky note on your monitor or somewhere where you can constantly see it. Make it your task to get everything on the note done and dusted by the end of the day, or else. If you have to punish yourself for not doing what should have been done, do it. Whatever works for you to get shit done!
These are points I have focused on in the past to help my productivity. I’m sure there are many more methods, tips & tricks to boost remote working productivity, though. Think I missed something critical? Tweet me at @emile.hay! I’d love to hear your input. Happy remote working!