Welcome to the remote life 🙂 Today’s post has all my tips for working remotely and everything I’ve learned in my years of working online! A lot of you are new to this lifestyle and may be having trouble adjusting to working from home. It can be really easy to get distracted or unproductive, especially after the initial WFH novelty wears off.
SO. These remote work productivity tips will help you get focused, stay focused, maximise your productivity, and stay sane during this weird af period of life.
Remote Work Tip #1: Set Up a Workspace
This makes a HUGE difference, even if that workspace is just your couch (in my case, it’s a hammock in my garden 😂). It’s super important to have a “work” area and a “rest” area that are separate. This isn’t just for productivity, it’s for your mental health, too!
When you work from home it’s easy for work and regular life to blend together, which sucks both personally and professionally. Do yourself a favor and do what you can to keep them as separate as possible.
Remote Work Tip #2: Create a Pre-Work Routine
When it’s work time, get TF OUT OF BED, make yourself a coffee, get dressed, and head to your workspace. This tiny routine will help get you in a work mindset and distinguish your living space from work.
I always find this really helpful in separating work time and non-work time. And I seriously can’t stress enough how important that distinction is to your sanity when you’re working remote.
I notice a huuuge difference in my productivity on days where I actually get up, get ready, and have a coffee, versus days when I roll over in bed and start half-ass responding to emails before I’m even fully conscious.
Remote Work Tip #3: TURN OFF UR NOTIFICATIONS
It’s very, very easy to get distracted when Big Brother isn’t hovering over your shoulder making sure you’re being productive. Checking on one lil ping from your phone can quickly turn to texting, scrolling through Instagram, replying to that funny meme you just got tagged in on FB … NO lol do not do this.
When it’s work time, disable anything REMOTELY distracting. I deleted Instagram, Facebook, iMessage, Whatsapp, Messenger, etc, off my work devices, and put my phone on the other side of the room while I’m working, and it has made SUCH a difference.
Remote Work Tip #4: Make Actionable To-Do Lists / Use Online Productivity Tools
There is something SO motivating and SO satisfying about to-do lists. Checking sh*t off that list feels so good.
The trick is to make your to-do lists achievable. Add 25 complicated items and you’re just setting yourself up for failure. So start small. Write a list of about 10 things you KNOW you can realistically get done that day.
There’s a ton of different online productivity tools and apps you can use for this. I literally just use Notes and make a checklist, but a few easy-to-use options if you prefer to be a little more organised:
Here’s a one of my quarantine to-do lists from back in April, for your viewing pleasure. Really crushed it mentally that month obviously.
Remote Work Tip #5: Do Not Do Non-Work Sh*t During Work Hours
Don’t try to do it all. If you are working, don’t worry about your pile of laundry, or doing your dishes, or cleaning your room. Trying to juggle work, housekeeping, etc will just overwhelm you and decrease your focus and productivity.
Save chores for after work. Your dishes and laundry can wait a few hours.
Remote Work Tip #6: Take Frequent Breaks!!!
Humans are generally pretty sh*te at staying focused and productive for long. Unless you’re working on a huge project that requires intense focus and concentration, take a step back from work FREQUENTLY. It’s up to you to assess yourself and figure out when you need a break, and for how long, but I personally have found a 15-minute break every hour or two is what works for me.
Get up, get a healthy snack, go get some fresh air, move around, respond to some texts, chill for a bit. Don’t force yourself to stay “on” longer than you’re able.
Remote Work Tip #7: Batch Your Work
That basically means breaking down your work responsibilities into subgroups and tackling similar tasks at the same time. This method works GREAT if you get overwhelmed easily. So instead of juggling 500 tasks, spend one full afternoon JUST focused on clearing your inbox, another cranking out spreadsheets, etc.
If you can, don’t plan these in advance and allow yourself to work on whatever you feel most motivated to accomplish that day. For example, I save writing for days (like today!) where I feel inspired. Other days are solely for technical website stuff or keyword research/SEO or editing. This method has seriously been so helpful in actually getting sh*t DONE instead of just spinning my wheels bouncing around between tasks.
Remote Work Tip #8: Set Boundaries with Your Roommates
A lot of you are trapped with your families or SO for the foreseeable future. Many of these people have never seen you in “work mode” before, or have completely opposite working styles. Different people respond to noises, interruptions, etc differently, so it’s super important to make clear what is and isn’t okay when you are working.
For example, one person might be delighted for a conversation break in their day or a surprise snack. Another might be jolted out of their work by the interruption, lose focus, and never get it back.
To avoid killing each other, I suggest having a straight-up convo and laying out exactly how you need your work space/day to be, and how your family or partner should act if they want to talk to you during work hours.
I used to deal with roommate interruptions a lot and eventually bought a F*CK OFF sign for my door off Amazon – when it’s up, the message is loud and clear: I AM WORKING, PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE lol. Problem solved.
Remote Work Tip #9: Set Boundaries with Work
Especially if you work at a startup, boundaries can be a HUGE issue. For some reason, when you work remotely people think it’s acceptable to contact you (and expect a response) 24/7. Newsflash, crappy seed-stage company with 15 employees, everyone’s lives do not, in fact, revolve around work.
If you’ve noticed a huge uptick in people bothering you recently outside of work hours, do NOT just accept that sh*t. Now more than ever, you have a right to be left the f*ck alone when you are not working. Send a polite but firm message explaining you’ll address the issue when you are back on the clock.
Hope these productivity tips helped you guys a bit with your adjustment to remote work! Let me know if there’s anything I missed or if you found this post helpful. Good luck & hope you’re all doing ok ❤️