Working remotely sounds like a dream… at the beginning. Unfortunately, there is always the risk of extending some working tasks to an entire day if you struggle with the lack of self-discipline when being left on your own. And if it does not seem like a problem at first, with time, it can lead to getting overwhelmed by overlapping tasks, increased anxiety, or even burning out.
As people differ so much from each other, different reasons can affect their workflow, so determining what works best for you and sticking to it is crucial to maintaining your working from home routine healthy and productive. Keeping your work hours structured is challenging, and this is only the beginning of the pitfalls of remote work. However, there are still some things you can implement to ensure you are making the most out of a home office routine and make it genuinely beneficial:
Exclude Any Technical Issues
First of all, you need a stable and fast internet connection to work from home efficiently, performing many types of tasks, such as writing, researching, and calculating, or participating in video and audio meetings. Next, make sure you have all the necessary tools required by your employer or those facilitating remote work.
Second of all, having a backup of all your assignments in the cloud or another hard drive is a necessity. You do not want your work to vanish due to an unintentional click or an error. You can head to Minitool for their free data recovery services to protect yourself from system crashes or computer viruses.
Prepare a Workplace
You can be extremely flexible when working from home, but it is not a good idea to settle on the bed with your laptop. It seems comfortable at first glance but will eventually result in back pain and even sleep disorders. Having a proper workplace is crucial to staying productive. You may have a habit of starting work by the dining table while eating your breakfast and tend to spend the whole day there, or maybe you struggle to find a fully private space when living with other people.
If it is something you have been postponing for a while, fix it right now. Having a special workspace while working from home will help you focus on your tasks better but also not to carry your work-related thoughts to bed with you. This will truly benefit your mental health, which significantly affects your overall efficiency and productivity.
It is also essential to keep your workplace organized, tidy, and free of distractions. Ensure to limit things on your desk only to those you cannot perform your work without (spoiler alert: in most cases, your smartphone is not a necessity). It will help you stay focused longer and avoid inevitable procrastination. If you cannot get rid of your phone because you use it at work, make sure you limit the time for using social media in settings or try apps like Forest that will block access to all the apps unnecessary for work tasks.
Keep Your Day Scheduled
In many cases, remote work allows you to get started whenever you want (or within a particular timespan) and adjust your schedule to your productivity hours, so make sure you get the most out of it! The first thing to do is establish strict working hours – don’t let your work extend for the whole day and take too much of your free time. Some prefer to work during the same hours they used to work in an office and even get dressed every day; some like to take breaks every few hours. Sort out what works best for you and stick to it!
Starting every morning without a specific plan may be confusing and time-consuming. You can either prepare a plan for the whole week ahead or write a to-do list for every next day – whatever works best for you. Another tip is to keep your tasks visible – it can be done quickly by putting everything to a calendar (up to every video call) or moving all work-related things to a platform like Notion.
Structure your day aiming to get things done, give yourself some space, and avoid the unnecessary rush – be sure to include going for some fresh air for your brain or preparing yourself a healthy meal on time. It is also vital to check emails and respond to incoming issues only in the allocated time as it helps you stay focused while working and avoid being bothered with work problems in your free time.
Remember, productivity cannot exist without proper rest, and working from home does not mean you should be effective every moment you spend at home.
When you work from home, you get an excellent opportunity to be more focused on results and have your day organized according to your personal needs and preferences. But being in charge of yourself is not the simplest task as it implies continuous negotiations with yourself where it is impossible to determine whether you are winning or losing.
Self-discipline is based on the understanding that, in a given moment, your primary goal is more important than other needs or tasks. To keep yourself motivated and engaged, make sure you always know what you will do tomorrow, but do not overload your to-do list – keep it realistic, it will limit the risk of procrastination or even eventual burnout.
Do not forget that remote work should not take away your private life, so put some personal tasks on your list too! Remember to be mindful and examine your overall well-being to keep your mental health in a good state.