Working remotely can be both a blessing and a curse depending on how good you are at managing time and finding the inspiration to be productive. Some people can just wake up and make it happen—others, not so much. If you happen to fall into the ‘others’ category, then these 4 tips might very well be worth your time to try out.
Dress In Work Apparel
Taking part in the ritual of waking up, getting ready, and putting on your professional clothing is part of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Studies have been done wherein people who dress in certain types of clothing say they feel a certain way. For example, people who wore Superman shirts felt stronger and more confident. It may sound silly, but hey: science. So if you apply that to wearing work apparel, or something other than your pajamas while working from home, then you can hypothesize that the result will be you feeling more productive. The study suggests that “work apparel” can be whatever you designate as work wear. So if you’re more of a Mark Zuckerberg-type when it comes to professional garb, go for it. The idea here is that putting on the clothes designated as your workwear is what’s ultimately going to make you feel like you’re ready to get the job done.
Have a Designated Workspace In and Out of Your Home
This one is a given. If you’re having a hard time focusing while working remotely, it’s likely because so many other aspects of life are happening around. Simple fix? Make yourself a designated workspace. Some people work better with certain triggers that let them know it’s time to work. This might mean sitting down at your home desk, which can trigger your brain that it’s time to focus the task at hand.
Having a designated space can also give you more peace and quiet if that’s what it is you need. Let others know that when you’re in that special space, you’re not to be bothered. You wouldn’t go to their place of work and try to have a conversation with them, would you? If you’re in a rut sitting at your home desk—it happens to all of us—switch it up, head to a café with WiFi. The change of scenery can reset your brain and allow you to refocus.
Designate Office Hours and a Lunch Break Time
One of the hardest things about working remotely is not having a schedule etched in stone. If this is a problem for you, remember: you don’t have to be in an office every day to have office hours and lunch breaks. Even if it’s not necessarily a schedule that you’ve set for yourself, taking the time either the night before, the week of, or the morning of to tell yourself (and those around you) when you’re going to be working versus when you’ll be free, will help you be mentally prepared to get the job done. Designating a lunch break will help you to a.) Take a break if you’re overworking to stretch, move about, and get a change of scenery and b.) Help you keep on schedule and push yourself to finish something before lunch instead of just taking lunch and assuming you’ll come back ready to finish after. We are our own worst enemies, after all.
Tell Someone Else What is on Your To-Do List for the Day
Sometimes you just need to be held accountable. Sure, you might have ‘read the best digital marketing books, write 2 blogs, outline a social media strategy, and research other marketing agencies in CT’ written down in a personal notebook, but for many, that alone doesn’t make up the necessary force to get said to-do list done.
Take the time to either check in using a platform like what the one our Inbound Marketing team uses, Basecamp, or send an email to your boss or fellow colleague regarding what you’ve been working on, plan on completing, and plan on starting during the workday. This will hold you to your word. It’s harder to put things off when someone else is expecting something of you, or counting on you to get it done. If you really struggle with this, have your co-worker(s) ask you at the end of the workday if you’ve actually completed all the tasks you’ve assigned yourself. It doesn’t have to be like a Big Brother tattling on you—think of it as someone who’s just looking out for your best interest. Communication is one of the greatest keys to a successful remote-work environment.
So, next time you’re lying in bed thinking of starting your day late, find yourself staring off into space, or realize how distracted you are by small everyday life events, test out one of these suggestions. Even if you think you’re being productive to your fullest potential and drafting up your best designs and most thought out marketing strategies, try one of our tricks on for size… you might surprise yourself (and your boss) even more!
Can-Do Ideas is a Digital Marketing agency specializing in Inbound Marketing and Inbound Sales. We are located in New York City and Connecticut.