If I get a chance to pick between office work and remote work, then I would choose the latter. I always loved remote jobs.
I don’t really like working in a corporate office due to the lack of freedom to do what I want. One more thing that annoys me about office work is the commute to the workplace.
Due to the virus outbreak happening around the world, I’ve been working from home for a few days. Many software developers and other workers do remote work these days. So I thought I would share some interesting tips for you to be more productive. Let’s see how we can make our remote work more enjoyable.
1. The Planner-Doer Strategy
Planning the day ahead of time is really important if you want to be productive during your remote working time, especially if you work for yourself since there is no boss to give you instructions and tasks. Even if you have a boss, you can plan your day to complete the work within a short period and save the rest of your day for other things.
If you are working for yourself, you need to wear two hats. You are the boss and the employee at the same time. In that case, you should only wear one hat at a time.
For example, you can wear the planner’s hat (boss) the day previous night, or at the beginning of a day and plan all the tasks. Write all the tasks, the time allotted for each task, and their priority.
Once the planning is done, you need to take that hat off and wear the worker’s hat. Now, you need to be the worker and finish all the work given by the boss (yourself). You are not allowed to change the plan in between or do any kind of procrastination.
You (the boss) can give yourself (the worker) something as a reward if you finish all the tasks. Also, you (the boss) can give yourself (the worker) a punishment if you don’t do the work as planned.
You can even create two email IDs for the boss and the worker. Whenever you complete the planning, you can send an email from the boss’s email ID to the worker’s email ID, listing everything that needs to be completed by the end of the day.
At the end of the day, you can send an email from the worker’s email ID back to the boss’s email ID, listing everything that has been done, and the things that were not completed. You can give the justifications for not doing the work as well.
You may think that I’m crazy. But, it really increases productivity a lot. On the other hand, if you wear both hats at the same time, you’ll always change plans and procrastinate in between work. This method is something that has worked for me. If it sounds interesting, you can give it a try.
The benefit of writing down all the tasks is that it takes the load away from your brain. Your brain knows that everything is written down on a list. Hence, it can focus on the current task without worrying about all the tasks that need to be done.
This is how the Planner-Doer strategy works. I know I gave this strategy a weird name. You can call it whatever you want. But it works.
2. Pick a Spot as Your Work Environment
Picking a work environment is key. You can’t just do your work by sitting on your bed or at some random place. Select a particular place and make it your work environment.
Having a dedicated place only for work helps, but it’s fine if you don’t have one. You can select a spot where a table, chair, internet connection, and other necessities are available.
Whenever you start your work, you can go to that workplace. That helps your brain as well to feel like you’re in working mode. If you need it, you can get out of your pajamas and wear something else. Once your work is over, you can leave the workplace and change your clothes.
This will help you to be in working mode when you’re working and switch off that mode when you finish working. You need to develop the skill to not worry about work when your working time is over. Hence, when you are not working, you can spend your time with your family and friends without worrying about work.
I do have a workplace, and I use that place whenever I’m working. But I don’t change my clothes since I don’t feel the need for it. If you think that this would help you, you can try it out.
Also, use decent tech for your work. If you don’t have all the stuff, invest some money to get reliable gear to do work efficiently.
3. Schedule Time for Emails, News, and Social Media
Social media and news is a big waste of time if not used properly. Don’t look at social media or news during random work times. If you do not schedule a time for looking at news and social media, it would be tough to maintain high productivity. So pick half an hour in a day to look at social media and news.
You can also set a rule for yourself that you’ll look at social media or news only after your work time. Or you can look at them during break time. If you jump into those during work hours, it will affect your brain’s ability to keep the focus on work. When there’s something urgent, you can let other people call you.
Dealing with Emails is no different. Schedule half an hour for reading emails and responding. If you have a boss and a team, it might be tough. You may need to look at important emails during work hours. However, maybe you can look at it during breaks.
Reading emails isn’t the most productive thing you can do. So give more priority to the most critical tasks in your work or business.
4. Spend Some Time for Self-Care
Whatever the work is, you shouldn’t compromise your physical and mental health. It is really important to take care of yourself when you’re working remotely. Do not sit in front of the computer for long hours.
Give yourself some break time to relax and refresh your mind. Just go for a walk or talk to someone to relax your mind and come back with more energy and clarity.
Give a huge priority to your physical fitness. Go for a run in the morning or do some active physical work. Or join a gym and work out. If you haven’t tried physical workouts yet, I would highly recommend you start as soon as possible.
For me, going for a run in the morning makes me feel fully energetic during the entire day. Also, being physically fit is proportional to being mentally fit. So, schedule some time for physical workouts.
Since you are working from your home, you’ll get a chance to eat clean. So choose healthy home-cooked food to eat. Do not buy junk food garbage from outside. Also, keep a bottle of water near you so that you can keep yourself hydrated.
Also, do not miss important moments in your life due to work. Since you’re working from home, you have more flexibility. So, manage your time well.
5. Communicate with Others
One thing that you’ll miss when doing work from home is your friends or co-workers. You might be all alone doing your work in your home. So, proper communication with your coworkers is really essential.
Schedule online meetings or calls to discuss your goals, daily tasks, and upcoming projects. That will help you to be more active in doing your work. However, do not overdo it. Sometimes, people waste a lot of time in unnecessary meetings.
It will be great if you can document all the work that you do somewhere in your system. Create an excel sheet and note down the necessary information regarding your work. In the future, that would be helpful.
If you don’t have coworkers or a boss, if it’s only you, then take some time off during the day to spend with your family or friends. You do not want to feel lonely, especially if you have an extrovert kind of personality.
If you don’t have someone to talk to in your home, you can call your friend or family member that you like the most, and spend some time talking about random things. Communicating with someone else would make you feel better.
Enjoy Your Remote Work
One last thing I would like to say is to enjoy your remote job. Many people do not get this chance to work from their comfort zone. You need to make maximum use of it. I would suggest you be productive and save some time for the important things in your life.
I hope this article was helpful. If so, let me know in the comments section. How are you going to be productive in your remote work? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.
If you are not a remote developer yet but want to become one, check out the article on how to become a remote software developer.
Thanks for reading. Enjoy your remote work!