Usually, I roll out of my bed feeling rested, make myself a cup of coffee, read a book during breakfast and then move to my office area. Stress-free. Distractions free. Frustrations free. I sit at the desk, crack my knuckles and start typing my thoughts away.
It ain’t always so fine and dandy, though. Sometimes I struggle to start the workday, lingering over the kitchen counter and trying to mentally separate the private sphere from the professional one. My biggest weakness is combatting the afternoon slump. There are no coworkers in my environment to boost my motivation, and little by little, my self-discipline tends to melt like snow in the springtime.
As a remote worker, I’m here to officially testify that the idealized image of working from home, aside from its benefits, definitely has some drawbacks. Throughout my productivity journey, I tested out different habits and systems. In this post, I’ll be sharing 6 tips that will help you level up your productivity game – read on to find out how to work from home like a boss.
First of all, do not mix business with pleasure. This old saying definitely has its application in this case. Pick ONE spot to be your home office and stick to it. Avoid transforming your kitchen or living room into the command center filled with work documents – these places are simply destined for different purposes.
Once your area is chosen, here is our latest blog post filled with tips on how to upgrade your home office and create the setup that boosts motivation, creativity, and productivity. We also included a list of recommended products tested by us – click here and don’t miss out on all these awesome life hacks!
To be completely real with you, even the most fantastic gear won’t matter much without a good system here. If you want to work from home like a boss, you kind of have to become one. What do I mean by that?
You need to create reasonable rules for yourself and maintain such standards over time. If you’re just embarking on this adventure, start by making a schedule with office hours. Once the time’s up – your work for the day ends. That rule will help keep the business and pleasure away from each other.
Even though your colleagues can reach you via email at all times, it doesn’t mean you should be available 24/7. You wouldn’t stay at a regular office for a whole day, right? Then stick to the schedule. Except for the most urgent matters, all those emails can wait for you until tomorrow.
Once you establish a reasonable time frame that works for you, figure out the rest of the daily routine and habits you’d like to exercise. Did you know that establishing a specific procedure to follow when approaching a task at hand oils the wheels of our creative thinking? It supports a smooth and seamless workflow!
In case you’re still not convinced, here’s a list of benefits of having systems in your life:
→ Following a routine saves your time and energy by removing decision fatigue – “the emotional and mental strain resulting from a burden of choices”, according to Healthline.
→ having a system creates a seamless workflow
→ it boosts our motivation and adds a sense of momentum
→ maintaining routine ramps up productivity
→ self-discipline gives us a sense of clarity
Easier said than done, right? After all, setting healthy boundaries is like art. Mastering it is difficult, to say the least. Nevertheless, we all need to learn it in order to live a healthy life.
“When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself.”– Paulo Coelho
Remember to respect your professional presence. Don’t stretch yourself too thin in the name of helping others. Know when to say ‘no’ – it is a fundamental right to prioritize your needs. What happened last time you took too much on your plate? Let me guess – you barely managed to fulfill your tasks.
Perhaps the quality of your work was significantly lower?
Were you doing it at the cost of your mental wellbeing? Was it worth it?
Another way to look at these healthy boundaries is in the context of the self. Once again, it comes back to having enough self-discipline to separate work life from home life. Seriously, don’t spend a whole day in your pajamas. Try to resist working from bed. You wouldn’t do that at a typical office, right? Then, for your own sake, don’t do it at home as well. Honestly, working from home is great only if we manage to stay reasonable.
To foster deep concentration, look at your working environment and create a Distraction-Free Zone. There can’t be anything else competing for your attention. That’s because your ability to focus is a limited resource that gets used up over time. Therefore, it’s essential to use it wisely.
Trying to multitask, switch between different activities, pick up your phone whenever a notification pops up, read each email as it arrives in your inbox are some of the most common examples of how to move further away from productivity.
“Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.”– Pablo Picasso
Following Picasso’s thought – eliminate as many distractions as you can and work from home like a boss:
→ turn off notifications, disable alerts, put your phone in a silent mode and as far away from you as possible
→ close any unrelated tabs on your computer, including your email inbox
→ declutter your desk – leave the absolute essentials and put the rest in a neatly organized storage
→ minimize the external noise to the minimum with the noise-canceling headphones – here is our favorite pick.
→ Finally – talk to your housemates/family members and ask them to not distract you during your working hours.
While it’s nice to chat for a minute or two, it’s not so lovely anymore when you have to keep restoring your focus after getting distracted for the hundredth time this week. Especially since, on average, it takes 25 minutes to fully gather your attention on the current task.
So often, we jump into action hot-headed, not clear on our goal, without a plan and the faintest idea of how to get to the end result. We move from one task to another, basically winging it, proudly wearing a badge of “busyness” on our chests. I’d like to encourage you here to prioritize being productive over being busy – there’s a huge difference. Here’s a whole blog post with a great framework to organize yourself.
Having a clear outcome, a precisely defined goal gives a reference point to our focus, keeping it razor-sharp. When you feel like deviating from the main road, it will act as a lighthouse, shedding light in the right direction and helping you get back on track.
The quality of our work is astronomically different when we’re distracted compared to when our full attention is located on the current project.
So, once you have a particular task in mind, set some time aside to map out your goal. Break it down into a step-by-step process. Know the what, why, when, and where of your activity. If goal-setting is not your forte, here’s a blog post dedicated entirely to the topic of setting action steps.
Self-care is one of those buzzy words which slowly turn more and more meaningless. Yet, my personal understanding of it boils down to prioritizing yourself by carving out the precious moments of slowing down, focusing your attention inwards, and honoring yourself. The truth is, taking rest is one of the most productive things we can do to support our wellbeing.
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes,
including you.”– Anne Lamott
There’s an element of soul-nurturing kindness embedded in that activity; it can leave us feeling relaxed, nourished, and ready for the hustle and bustle of the outside world, including all challenges that come with working remotely.
So pay attention to how you spend your breaks. Fill them with meaning, avoid the act of mindlessly scrolling through your social media, which, by the way, can leave you feeling mentally drained and overstimulated.
Instead, try these screen-free activities to unwind:
We live in strange times, a chaotic world filled with distractions and stimuli, constantly changing at high speed. There are also those absolutely exceptional opportunities, such as working remotely!
However, mindlessly “rolling with it” without having a sense of structure can be detrimental to our health. Trust me, I’ve been there, and let’s just say that I don’t recommend it… The tips I shared are the ones I genuinely apply in my life and can honestly recommend them to everyone trying to figure out how to work from home like a boss!
Let me know your productivity habits of a remote worker in the comments down below or via our social media – find us here!
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