Are you struggling to adjust to the new work-from-home routine? It’s understandable if you are feeling unproductive, unsettled, or overwhelmed. With the shift towards remote work, many people find it challenging to manage their daily routines.
However, remote work has been around for a while, and companies have chosen to be remote-first due to the advantages of remote work.
The CEO of Microverse emphasizes the importance of routine to their completely remote team and to the hundreds of students worldwide preparing for software development careers. Your routine determines your productivity levels and maintains a healthy work-life balance.
As more companies adopt a remote working model, it is becoming increasingly important to master working from home. Here are some tips to help you master your work-from-home routine while working remotely and stay productive and motivated.
Maintain A Regular Schedule
Hallowell emphasizes that even the most responsible people can succumb to procrastination without proper supervision. Establishing a routine provides structure to your day and boosts your motivation.
Start your day by waking up early, dressing up, and avoiding online distractions once you begin working. Whether you are new to remote work or have been doing it for a while, take a few weeks to find the best rhythm for your day. Then, set achievable expectations for your daily goals.
“Create a schedule and follow it,” Kramer advises. It’s also important to permit yourself to rest. If you must work extra hours on a project, compensate by giving yourself extra free time later.
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Prioritize Your Tasks
When working from home, it can be easy to get distracted by non-work related tasks like housework or running errands. Prioritizing your tasks and focusing on the most important ones first is important. Make a to-do list at the beginning of the day and prioritize your tasks based on their importance and urgency.
Prioritizing your daily tasks requires understanding the state of mind you want to achieve while working, whether in an office or remotely.
Deep work is the ability to concentrate without distraction on a demanding cognitive task. It’s crucial for tasks that require human creativity and experience, which cannot be automated by software or algorithms. Achieving a state of deep work adds significant value to an organization.
To achieve deep work, you need long periods of uninterrupted focus. This means eliminating distractions like social media, emails, phone calls, and unscheduled meetings. Dedicate two to four hours of uninterrupted time to immerse yourself in a task fully. It’s unlikely to achieve more deep work in a single day. Regardless of how much deep work your job requires, planning your calendar should be your top priority.
Maintaining a healthy work environment while working from home is your responsibility. Setting boundaries and norms are important to create the best possible work environment.
One way to do this is by keeping your work and personal life separate. Work in a different room away from family members or roommates. You can follow my lead and use headphones while working if you can’t. This will create a clear signal that you’re focused on your work and need to continue working.
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Working excessively might seem a good way to prove your productivity while working from home. However, taking regular breaks for your mental well-being is crucial, according to Hallowell.
But how often should you take breaks? Researchers at a social media company found that their most productive employees worked for about 52 minutes with a 17-minute break. These restorative breaks don’t have to be anything specific. It could be as simple as staring out the window or reading the newspaper, giving your brain a chance to recover. Kramer says the brain, like any other muscle, needs to rest.
Take short breaks every hour or so to stretch, move around, or take a quick walk. This can help you stay refreshed and focused. Make sure to take a lunch break and step away from your workspace to recharge. Taking a walk, exercising, or stretching can be an excellent way to give your brain a break before returning to work.
Use Technology To Stay Connected
Working from home can be isolating, especially if you are used to working in an office environment. Using technology to stay connected with your colleagues and team members is important.
Use video conferencing tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams for virtual meetings and to stay in touch with your colleagues. This can help you stay connected and avoid feeling isolated.
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Planning & Execution For Meetings
Preparation is key when it comes to meetings to ensure productivity while working remotely. Having a clear agenda, meeting notes, and designated action items for specific people can make meetings more efficient and increase productivity during scheduled deep work time.
It’s also important to use the right meeting tools for remote teams. It is recommended to use a good pair of headphones since your computer’s sound, and microphone quality may not be as good.
Zoom is the best application for video conferencing, and Krisp is a great tool for filtering out background noise, which is especially helpful for those taking meetings from home. Otter.AI is another useful tool that allows for meeting transcriptions using audio from Zoom.
In addition to utilizing the right tools, managers should consider giving their remote teams a budget for their home workspaces. This not only keeps the team comfortable but can also lead to more effective meetings.
By taking these steps, you can ensure that your remote meetings are as productive and efficient as possible, allowing for more time and focus on deep work.
Celebrate Your Wins & Stay Motivated
Remaining motivated while working from home can be challenging, as many distractions hinder productivity. A useful strategy to maintain focus is to take a moment to recognize what you have accomplished during the day rather than dwelling on what you have yet to do.
“Instead of focusing on unfinished tasks, set aside some time at the end of the day to celebrate what you’ve accomplished,” suggests Kramer. Keeping a journal in which you reflect on the day’s events and record completed tasks can also be beneficial. This daily reminder of your progress can create a positive cycle that boosts your motivation in the future.