Remote workers have to be self-motivated, but we all have days when it’s tough to get into the groove. Sometimes we need to shake up our normal routines to be more productive.
Whether you’re a new or seasoned remote worker, everyone needs their go-to strategies to jumpstart their focus. Here are 5 exercises to clear your mind and help you dive into your work:
1. Go somewhere new.
Wherever you normally work, try somewhere else. If you work from your home office, try out a local coworking space. If you usually go to a coffee shop, try a library. Every city has plenty of places that offer free Wi-Fi and a new view. A change of pace can help invigorate your attitude. As long as you can connect with your team, you can work from anywhere.
2. Rethink your schedule.
While multiple modes of communication are a big advantage in remote working, they also add up to a lot of channels for interruptions. The urgent often overshadows the important. In the evening, determine one to three high priorities for the next day. First thing, start working on those priorities—without logging in to email or chat. That way, you won’t be distracted by the minor things while you knock out the major things.
3. Shut down distractions.
Many of us find ourselves task-switching, whether it’s moving between tabs on our browsers or jumping from email to chat. If you have a project that requires your total focus, take advantage of the fact that you don’t have coworkers knocking on your cubical “door.” If you can, disable your Wi-Fi on your laptop and get to work. If that’s too drastic, try using a web-blocker that keeps you off social media and on task. Log out of email and chat to avoid interruptions.
4. Work at your best time.
One of the benefits of remote working is flexibility. Many jobs require some availability to your team during certain times, but you can adjust schedules so that early birds can overlap with night owls. The key to juggling scheduling is transparency and communication. Be clear about your availability so your team knows when you are reachable. If you keep unconventional hours, it’s a professional courtesy to check in during normal business hours. That way, if something needs immediate attention, you can take care of it.
5. Take care of yourself.
Office workers often think that working remotely makes it easier to eat well-planned meals and find time to work out. It can actually be more difficult. You might snack or graze throughout the day, or tempting treats in the cupboard might be your downfall. When you work remotely, it’s easy to forget about proper meals and scheduling time to exercise. If you’re not healthy, you’ll feel sluggish and unproductive.