5 Tips for Staying Productive and On Task When You Work Remotely
Remote work isn’t for everyone, since staying productive requires a certain dedication to the task at hand that can be hard to follow without a boss and coworkers looking over your shoulder or checking in on your progress every so often. Still, if you find it hard to concentrate when working from home, you don’t need to throw in the towel just yet.
Here are five tips for staying productive and on task when working remotely:
1. Track your time yourself.
These days you don’t need to work at a big company to have your time tracked—you can do it on your home computer with a simple plug-in. Programs like Toggl make use of simple online timers and timesheet calculators that will help you gauge how you’re spending your time on your computer when working from home. Even if you’re the only person who ever looks at the information, it should still help keep you honest.
2. Control what websites you use during the day.
If your favorite online entertainment, news, or social media sites are a major time suck to your day, try Internet control software like StayFocused, which promises to increase your productivity by limiting the amount of time that you spend on time-wasting websites.
3. Use the “do not disturb” setting on your cell phone.
Setting your phone to “do not disturb” allows you to complete your work without the distraction of unimportant and time-wasting calls. You can still allow for important phone calls to make their way through, though, by setting up the program so that calls from a certain number (your boss, say, or your husband) or multiple calls that come from the same number in a certain amount of time always get through.
4. Have a separate area where you work.
This won’t always be possible, but to the extent that you can, try to separate your office life from your home life, even when you work from home. If you can have your own room with a door to close, that’s great, but even a small corner away from nurseries, distracting television, kids’ playrooms, and the kitchen can help you focus on the task at hand. If you are lucky enough to have a separate workspace, check out this piece for even more tips to cultivate a productive home office.
5. Use a buddy to keep you focused.
Even if you don’t work in an office with anyone, that doesn’t mean you can’t use a friend (or coworker who also works from their own home) to keep you on task. Find someone reliable and trustworthy and make a promise to help each other stay on task by checking in at certain points throughout the day to assess progress.
You could even meet in person at a local coffee shop or group workspace to work side-by-side, if getting out of the house helps motivate you to get stuff done. Just like with exercise, working with a friend (even a remote friend) is a good way to motivate you to finish what you start.
Photo Credit: bigstockphoto.com
By Cheryl Lock | Categories: Work Remotely