Whether you’re just starting out in your career or you’re looking to improve your productivity at work, it’s never too late to start forming good habits. With close to half of the American workforce working remotely at least part of the time, you’re not alone in trying to find the right rhythm outside of an office. Productivity improvement techniques are useful for anyone working in the modern environment.
Working remotely offers lots of great benefits like bathroom breaks whenever you want, no waiting for the coffee pot to refill, and no smelly lunches. For people who are used to having someone looking over your shoulder, that loss of pressure can be just as much of a shock as a relief.
If you’re looking for productivity improvement techniques for your remote work life, we’ve compiled the top 8 ways to streamline your day.
1. Plan and Prioritize
The biggest waste of time every day is when you first sit down for work and have to review everything that happened the day before. At the end of every day, you should build in five minutes where you stop what you’re doing, assess where you’re at, and plan for the next day.
Make a list of priorities will help you avoid distracting tasks that could keep you from completing easier tasks. This will allow you to be more efficient when you’ve got emails coming in throughout the day or you need to break for a meeting.
Give yourself a loose time frame so you can keep track of how well you’re doing every few hours. Don’t let your plan become another way to get stressed out, but use it as a tool.
2. Treat Yourself
If you need certain technology for your job, be sure that you aren’t struggling with something subpar. Many companies will spring for special mouses or tablets that relate to your job, so long as they technically “own” them at the end of the day.
Ask your boss when you feel like you’re struggling with the technology you have. If you want something that you’ll also be able to use when you work from home, like a nice speaker system, then budget for it. Being able to have the music you need to stay motivated will make the day go by easier.
Use the best technology whenever you can. If a better office phone would make your day go by easier, by all means, pick one out today. Often you’ll be getting what you pay for and when it comes to getting the job done, you shouldn’t cut corners.
3. To-Do List
Having a to-do list is a must for organization. It doesn’t jive with every personality type but it can save the day when you’re stuck working on a project.
If you’re stressing over a project that won’t be due for a month, you could be leaving out something that needs to be done by the end of the day.
This will also help make sure you’re working well with your other remote or on-site teammates. Often, they’re depending on you to do your part so that they can move on to the next phase of a project.
There’s also the added bonus of being able to cross things off of a list. No positive feedback in the world can match the feeling of crossing something off of a list.
4. Keep Your Space Tidy
A chaotic space will be a distraction for any worker. Taking a few minutes at the end of the day to pick up your workspace will allow you to start the next day with a feeling of working with a “clean slate”.
Rather than just closing your computer and stepping away from your desk at the end of the day, think about organizing your desk before you leave. Those extra minutes will allow you to take care of anything you might have overlooked through the hustle and bustle of the day.
Find a good desk organizer that works for your system. It will help you keep everything where you need it without cluttering your space.
5. A Good Schedule
One of the great benefits of working remotely is that you might be able to sleep in a little longer. But without that hard deadline of a train to catch or to be at the office by, you could find yourself being a little lazier.
It might take you a little longer to get revved up in the morning without some structure.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep every night. Try to continue to go to bed at a reasonable hour and get up at with enough time to start work at the same time each day.
Some people try to maintain working approximately 9-5 when they work remotely. That doesn’t mean you can roll out of bed at 8:55 and start working productively. You’ll still need that time to get your head in the right space.
Find a rhythm that works for you and try not to deviate too much.
6. Don’t Multitask
While multitasking can work for some people who text, walk and drink a coffee at the same time, it’s not the same at work. Often one thing will get a little more focus while the other things you’re working on will be subpar.
Think about productivity relative to quality, rather than speed. When you’re doing your best work, that’s when you’re at your most productive. Completing a bunch of project at a substandard level might mean you end up going back to them for revisions.
7. Minimize Stress
As in everything, pace yourself. If you’re working on a big project, figure out how you can space it out.
With the right schedule, you’ll be working on a little bit of a major project each day. This will help you from becoming overwhelmed, avoiding the project, and then rushing it at the end.
Adding some essential oils or scents to your workspace could help alleviate stress. Check out these options for more information on how to destress your space.
8. Have Fun
If you love working at a certain coffee shop or breakfast place, allow yourself that treat once or twice a week. If you want to work in your favorite slippers at home, give yourself that option.
Productivity improvement techniques are meant to make life easier, not more stressful.
Customize Your Productivity Improvement Techniques
Working remotely is the future of productivity. It will take us years to get the right rhythm as a culture, but the right productivity improvement techniques will make it a smooth transition
If you haven’t found the right remote working situation yet, check out our list of great remote jobs you could be doing.