Here are 4 crucial tips to help you do your best work – remotely.
Productivity isn’t an innate skill. Although there is endless literature supporting and fortifying how working from home helps boost both productivity and efficiency, that’s just half the journey. It’s up to remote workers to grab the opportunities provided by teleworking to make it work.
That’s why we’ve curated top 4 tips that’ll help remote workers do the most with their new workstation.
#1 – De-clutter your space to de-clutter your mind
We’ve highlighted the relationship your workspace has to your mental wellbeing. But having clutter around you makes productivity hit the pause button.
According to a study conducted by Princeton University, a cluttered, disorganized environment impairs our ability to focus, restricts our capacity to process information, and ultimately keeps us from doing our best work.
This clutter could be both physical – with articles and instruments strewn around or virtual – multiple open tabs that keep you from being 100% focussed. So make sure your workspace reflects your mind-space when you’re sitting down to work.
#2 – Priority makes perfect
We tend to overestimate how much we can get done in a day. Because of this, we start the day with a veritable mountain of work and end the day feeling like Sisyphus watching the rock roll down the hill- completely unsatisfied. While doing a large chunk of work is never an achievement to be underappreciated, often times in a bid to complete every “to do” on the list, we tend to focus on less effort intensive but less urgent work over more urgent and more effort intensive work. This leave remote workers in a cycle of their own creation, forcing them to pull all-nighters to meet deadlines that needed to be met weeks ago. To combat this, a good prioritisation concepts like the Eisenhower Matrix (as shown below) or Eat the Frog can go a long way.
#3 – No ‘pro’ in procrastination
A second half of the previous problem is to underestimate how much work can be done within a single day. A growth mindset matters when you’re teleworking. The way we approach a day mentally makes a huge difference to the outcome of the day. Keeping urgent or uncomfortable tasks for the last minute can force people into what is called the “procrastination doom loop”.
The way out is by identifying the tasks that you’ve been avoiding and break them down to smaller, more manageable sub-tasks and schedule the next step to tomorrow’s to-do list.
And most importantly – consider the real reason behind why you are procrastinating. Beating procrastination starts with practicing self-compassion and forgiving yourself when you’re not as productive as you’d like to be.
#4. Time your work
Starting and ending your day on time is essential for a remote worker. In fact, the longer hours you work – the more unproductive your work gets! The point of remote working is not to subplant ineffective office working habits to home- but to grow away from the need of a 9 to 5 and get a life!
A way to start this is to have regimented work hours, especially time when work starts and when work ends.
Bottom line is: if you’re more productive, then you work less and if you work more then you’re less productive. So stop looking at the clock, and start looking at things that actually give you happiness by clocking out.