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Productive remote workers do these 5 simple things every day

As certain workers are beginning to return to the office, some are thrilled to have regained an environment more conducive to their personal productivity. For some, the office has fewer distractions and just makes it easier to get work done, particularly if their projects are highly collaborative.

But for others, working from home has actually provided a large productivity boost. And working remotely could potentially provide even more effectiveness as they continue to work from home but have fewer restrictions and less uncertainty in their overall lives in coming months.

As a time management coach, I’ve been partnering with my clients in navigating the transition from working in the office to working at home and back again. And I have found those who use these five strategies have been able to increase their overall productivity when working from home.

1. THEY CONVERT THEIR COMMUTE

Among the individuals who have found working from home to be a welcome change, I’ve seen a fairly similar pattern of converting their commute time into exercise time. Typically in the morning, they’ll workout (or at minimum walk their dog). And in the evening, they’re often choosing to go on more leisurely walks either on their own, with their dog, or as a family.

This pattern of physical activity not only improves their physical health but also has positive benefits on their mental health and alertness throughout the day.

2. THEY BLOCK FOCUSED TIME

I’ve always recommended setting aside time for focused work. But one challenge in an office environment is that even if you’ve put the time as “busy” in your calendar, colleagues can still drop by. These drive-by meetings can be productive at times but can also lead to an inability to have unbroken work blocks. In these situations, I’ve often recommended creating some physical distance such as shutting your door, going to a work “telephone booth,” or working remotely.

But one good thing about being at home is that you have physical distance from your coworkers, so you can block focused time and stick with it. I recommend that you either have recurring focused time in your calendar, such as for an hour or two in the morning. Or that on a weekly basis you block in some chunks of time for the key activities you want to get done, such as putting together a report or writing an article.

3. THEY SCHEDULE MEETINGS

To further increase your predictability and productivity, ask your colleagues to schedule a meeting with you to talk, especially if the meeting will require any forethought. It’s helpful to have meetings scheduled, so you can effectively plan your tasks around them and so that you’re in the right headspace to be present.

That being said, these meetings don’t have to be long. If you think something should only take 30 or even 15 minutes to discuss, ask for a meeting of that length to be scheduled on your calendar. There’s no need to stretch every conversation out to an hour.

A couple of my coaching clients also go so far as to completely block the next day’s calendar the night before in order to enhance their productivity. So for example at the end of their business day on Wednesday, they would block Thursday. This increases their ability to plan and get things done during the “in-between” times.

4. THEY UPDATE THEIR STATUS

In order to be fully mentally engaged in what you’re working on during your focused time, in can also be helpful to update your online status. That could mean designating yourself as “away” on Slack or otherwise unavailable on IM or other internal communication tools. This declaration of your intention to not be available at a certain time can insulate you from the thoughts in the back of your head that “someone might have messaged me about something important” or “I might miss something and annoy someone.”

5. THEY RESIST THE URGE TO SELF-DISTRACT

With all external distractions eliminated, our mind can sometimes unhelpfully search for ways to distract itself. Especially for extroverts, when the environment is most calm, the drive to find more stimulation is most high.

If you find yourself in that kind of situation, look for ways that you can increase the stimulation in your environment without reducing your productivity. That might look like listening to music that helps you get in the flow, using a standing desk, or simply placing your laptop on top of a high counter or bureau, so you can shift your weight as you work. Or chewing gum and giving yourself planned breaks, such as the five-minute break after every 25-minute Pomodoro sprint.

All of these activities allow you to feel less bored in your environment without going down time-sucking news or social media rabbit holes.

You may find yourself returning to the office soon, or you may find that working from home has become your new lifestyle. Wherever you see yourself on the spectrum, these strategies can allow you to be most effective on the homefront.

Origen: Productive remote workers do these 5 simple things every day

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How To Be Productive When You’re Working From Home

Working from home is usually thought of as a perk at most companies, but lately it’s become a requirement.

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the country and the world, many businesseshave asked or required employees to work remotely.

Working from home can be fantastic. You don’t have to deal with a commute, a uniform, or the fuss of annoying colleagues. You might even be able to make your own schedule.

Here’s the thing though. It can be difficult to settle into the daily grind when you’re only moving from your bed to your desk and you have the option to stay in your pajamas all day.

Following are some tips on how you can harness all the positives of working from home to have productive and industrious workday during the pandemic:

Create an office space

Even if you aren’t lucky enough to have a home office, create an official workspace for yourself with everything you need, such as your laptop, phone, files, and whatever else. This will help get you into the working mindset when you’ve got to get down to business.

Even if it’s just a desk in the corner or your tidy kitchen table, having a proper workspace is much better than flopping down on the couch while you work.

Get dressed

Getting dressed in the morning is a signal that the day has begun and you’re officially “on,” something which is easy to forget when you work from home. You don’t have to put on a suit and do your hair, but by putting your pajamas away and changing into something fresh, even if it is a fresh pair of sweatpants, you’re telling your brain that work is about to begin.

Research suggests that this simple change can trigger much higher productivity in-home workers.

Don’t eat where you work

Make sure to set apart time for lunch and get away from your workspace when you aren’t working. Make an effort to eat elsewhere, and get out of the house on your breaks when possible, so that you return to work with fresh eyes.

Don’t sit down and eat in front of your computer and browse the internet. It can make it harder to get back on track.

Play office sounds

Working at home lets you have more freedom than you would in an office; you can chat to whoever else is at home, play music out loud, or even sink into the silence of an empty house. But these things can easily become distractions. Try sticking in your headphones and listening to office sounds on YouTube. The familiar sounds of a work environment will put you in the right mindset for a productive day.

Can’t go to a coffee shop because you’re social distancing or your usual spot is closed? Check out Coffitivity, an app that plays the sounds of your favorite java joint.

Go for a Walk 

When in doubt, go for a walk if you can. While officials are recommending socially distancing, you can still take a walk outside by yourself to clear your head, and also get your blood flowing.

Make sure your internet connection works

Make sure you test your internet connection before you really start working from home. If you regularly have problems with your internet, you might think about setting up amobile hotspot so that you can connect to the internet wif you experience any outages.

You can typically purchase a hotspot plan through your cell phone provider, allowing you to hook up to the internet almost anywhere, or you can buy a mobile hotspot online. A hotspot is basically a portable internet router which allows you to use data from your cellular plan to connect your laptop or computer to the internet remotely.

A lot of companies require a Virtual Private Network (VPN) in order for employees to securely access programs and files outside the office. If you need to set up a VPN to work from home, make sure you set it up before you set up a home office.

Make sure you’re able to video conference

People have spent 5.5 million minutes in meetings on Cisco’s video conferencing platform in March, according to Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins. And that’s just one platform.

As more people work from home, you may need to rely more on video conferencing technology. Download any video conferencing tools your company might use such as Google Hangouts, Zoom, or Skype.

If you don’t have a webcam, you may also want to order one online.  Seeing your coworkers, and vice versa, can help everyone feel more connected in a virtual workplace.

Also, consider creating a designated place where you take video calls so that you’re not interrupted by roommates or loved ones. And keep co-workers aware of any background noise or distractions on their end of the video calls.

Stay accountable

One of the biggest killers of productivity when working from home is letting yourself get away with procrastination. When there’s no one watching you or checking up on your work, it’s easy to sit back and spend the afternoon watching videos or hanging out in bed.

Try setting up a reward system for yourself while you work for home. Tell yourself you’ll go for a walk or watch that video once you finish a certain task.

You might also want to consider setting up a daily or weekly check-in with your manager or team to hold yourself accountable. You’ll probably stay on track with your tasks if you know you’ll be checkin in with a manager regularly.

If you live with loved ones or roommates, help each other stay accountable by not distracting one another and encouraging each other to stay focused.

Test out some free time management apps such as Rescue Time which provides reports on how you’re spending time on your computer, or Remember The Milk which helps with project management. Make sure you attend all of your meetings, even if they’re virtual meetings.

By getting your routine into shape, you’ll be getting work done while also loving your workspace.

Origen: How To Be Productive When You’re Working From Home

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Earn An Extra $1,000/Month Working At Home 💰🏠 (5 Jobs You Can Work At Home)

Discover 5 jobs that you can do while working at home 🏠 to earn an extra $1,000/Month!

Working at home is a dream of many, and thanks to technology, that dream is coming true for more people than ever. But if you want to work at home, you’ll need to research the possibilities and develop the skills required for many of these jobs.

So what are you waiting for? With the right skills, you could be working at home in 2020.