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Mastering Remote Work: Strategies for Boosting Productivity from Anywhere

In recent years, remote work has transformed from a perk offered by forward-thinking companies to a necessity for businesses worldwide. Being a direct sales consultant, I’ve been working from home since 2014.  I love the flexibility and freedom offered through remote working, but I also find it challenging to set temporal and spatial boundaries in my business. In this blog post, we’ll explore effective strategies for mastering remote work and maximizing productivity from anywhere.

 

Embrace a Routine

 

One of the keys to success in remote work is establishing a consistent routine. While the allure of pajamas and flexible hours may be tempting, maintaining a regular schedule can help create structure and discipline. Start your day as you would if you were commuting to the office: wake up at a set time and get dressed.  Getting dressed actually tricks your brain into realizing that it’s time to be productive (not sleep, lounge, or binge Netflix). and allocate specific blocks of time for work, breaks, and personal activities. A routine not only helps delineate work from leisure but also primes your mind for productivity.

 

Designate a Dedicated Workspace

 

Creating a dedicated workspace is essential for mental separation between work and home life. Whether it’s a spare room, a corner of the living room, or a cozy nook, designate a specific area solely for work purposes. Make sure your workspace is comfortable, well-lit, and free from distractions. Personalize it with plants, inspiring quotes, or whatever boosts your motivation. When you enter this space, it signals to your brain that it’s time to focus and be productive.  This is one area where I struggle.  When we lived in Ohio, I was fortunate enough to have my very own office in our home.  I had my own desk, a window with a view of our backyard, and a door that closed.  Our current home in NJ has a great office space, but unfortunately it’s a three-season room which is uninhabitable in the cold late-fall to early-spring months.  So when it’s cold outside I’m a nomad worker wandering from the basement to the dining room to the living room.

 

Have a System to Organize Your Schedule and Your Tasks

 

Having notes, reminders, and to-do lists in multiple places is a recipe for disaster.  I love to keep my schedule and tasks organized in one place.  I’ve been using the app “Artful Agenda” since October 2020, and it truly does provide #allthethings!  Block scheduling, task reminders, repeating tasks, endless lists, habit tracking all with a monthly, weekly, or daily calendar view.  You can even color coordinate covers, tasks, and add stickers! AND, it’s syncs across all of my devices! Gone are the days of carrying around a big, bulky paper planner!  Here’s a deeper dive into why I love Artful Agenda: https://susanlarimer.com/artful-agenda-a-digital-planner/ and if you decide to give it a try, I’d love for you to use my referral code: RS146879

 

Set Clear Goals and Prioritize Tasks

 

Before we even tackle goals and tasks, it’s imortant to know what time of day you are most productive.  For me, it is early in the morning (after my first cup of coffee of course!).  After 3pm I am completely useless work-wise as my focus shifts 100% to family and non-work related activities. Once you identify WHEN you are most productive and focused, you can manage your goals and tasks.  Without the structure of a traditional office environment, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the endless list of tasks. Combat this by setting clear goals and priorities for each day or week. Break down larger projects into smaller, actionable tasks, and use tools like to-do lists or project management software to keep track of them. Identify your most important tasks (MITs) and tackle them during your peak productivity hours. By focusing on what truly matters, you can make significant progress while avoiding burnout.

 

Establish Boundaries

 

One of the biggest challenges of remote work is the blurring of boundaries between work and personal life. Without a physical separation, it’s easy to find yourself answering emails late into the evening or working weekends. Establishing boundaries is crucial for maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Set specific start and end times for work, and stick to them as much as possible. Communicate your availability to colleagues and clients, and resist the urge to constantly check your email outside of designated hours. Remember, downtime is essential for recharging and preventing burnout.  One thing I started doing in October of 2021 was adopting a 24 hour tech break from 5pm on Friday until 5pm on Saturday.  During this time I refuse to check emails, log into FB, IG, or any social media platform, and I even limit my texting and phone calls to only contacts on my “favorites” list.  It’s amazing what a day of rest can do to stimulate creativity and reenergize your work life! For a deeper dive into why I love my weekly 24 hour tech break, you can read my blog: https://susanlarimer.com/24hourtechbreak/

 

Stay Connected and Communicate Effectively

 

Remote work can sometimes feel isolating, especially if you’re used to the camaraderie of an office environment. Stay connected with your teammates, customers, and friends by prioritizing face to face meet ups!  Grab some coffee, attend an in-person training together, or go for a walk together!  If distance is a factor, schedule video calls instead of relying solely on email or chat to foster a sense of connection and collaboration. Effective communication is key to successful remote work, so be proactive in reaching out to colleagues and sharing updates on your progress.

 

Practice Self-Care

 

Lastly, prioritize self-care to maintain your physical and mental well-being. Take regular breaks throughout the day to stretch, move your body, or simply recharge. Incorporate activities that promote relaxation and stress relief. I am fortunate enough to live less than a mile from the bay and just a few miles from the ocean.  I actually plan and prioritize time kayaking on the water and sitting on the beach guilt-free!  It is the best therapy for my mind, body, and soul.

 

Remember, remote work offers unparalleled flexibility and freedom, but it also requires discipline and effective strategies to thrive. By embracing a routine, establishing a dedicated workspace, setting clear goals, stying connected, and prioritizing self-care, you can master remote work and maximize your productivity from anywhere. With the right mindset and habits, remote work can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience.

 

If you need extra help managing your busy schedule and increasing your productivity by being PROactive vs. REactive, I highly recommend connecting with Megan Sumrell and her FB group:

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