Maggie Tran, on behalf of 8×8, shares her top tips for being productive in a remote job.
Did you know that, according to Thrive Global, employees are typically productive for only three out of eight hours in a workday?
The other five hours are spent on mobile devices, exploring social media, eating, chatting with colleagues or doing other non-work-related activities.
There are many things competing for our attention, and when it comes to being productive, everyone has their own process of getting work done.
Maximizing productivity in an office setting is one thing, but when your job offers the opportunity to travel or work remotely, it can be difficult to get into a productive groove.
This blog is meant to help you discover tips and tricks to be productive anywhere and anytime.
Take Care of Yourself
Getting enough sleep and eating right plays a huge role in your productivity levels. When your body is tired, your productivity levels are decreased drastically.
If you’re someone who often finds themselves staring at a screen hoping things get done, it might be a sign of exhaustion. Experts suggest that adults get about 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
Beyond getting a good night’s rest, eating right is also important. Snacks like almonds, walnuts, berries and avocados contain ingredients that are good for brain health.
Discover Your Ideal Environment
Your environment is the most important component when it comes to getting work done.
For those who work from home, it is essential to have your own designated workspace.
Separate your personal space and your working space. Avoid placing your working space in your bedroom.
Your bedroom is a room for comfort and relaxation. This might sound like a nice idea, but you are more likely to be less productive because you’ll have the urge to fall asleep or get too comfortable.
Change Your Environment
Speaking of working from a bedroom, sometimes you just need a change of scenery. Working in one place for too long contributes to a feeling of comfort that causes a decline in productivity.
If you want to break that pattern, you need simply to make a change.
For example, if you are sitting at your desk and you feel like you’ve hit a wall, try doing work while standing up. Although you’re in the same area and you’re just making a change by standing, a change is a change. If you find yourself tired of the office setting, try doing work in a library or a cafe.
Studies have shown that when you work in an environment with others doing work, you feel more motivated to work as well. You’ll just want to find a spot that minimizes distractions and provides the right balance of ambient noise.
Find Your “Perfect” Time
Some individuals are morning people and they are more active in the morning than in the evening. Others prefer to work at night.
Timing is important when it comes to doing work. You likely know the times of day that you’re most productive and it’s important for you to do work at the time that works best for you.
Let’s say you’re more of a night owl, but you wake up early to do work. Chances are you cannot be as productive as you wish because your body is naturally resistant to doing its best work at that time of day.
Create a “To-Do” List
Begin each day by creating a to-do list. Having a list helps you feel more put together and helps you to avoid feeling scattered and trying to remember your task list.
The practice of creating a to-do list will boost your efficiency, too.
When you cross items off of your list, it gives you a feeling of accomplishment. That feeling gives you more confidence, which increases your motivation to perform at your best.
Our cell phones are one of the biggest distractions from getting work done. We’re all conditioned to check our phones whenever we hear a chime (even if the device is not ours).
To help avoid this, try putting your phone on Do Not Disturb. If your mobile device does not have that option, turn off your phone instead.
Easier said than done? Incentives are a great reward system. Here’s one example: Set a timer for 25 minutes (or longer, if you think you can focus for more time).
During that time, avoid touching your phone or going on any platforms that might distract you. Focus exclusively on your work completely.
Once 25 minutes are up, set your timer for five minutes. Those five minutes are for you to take a break and reward yourself for staying focused.
Doing this will not only allow you to recharge every 25 minutes, but it will increase your productivity levels.
If you’re working with others, try placing your phones face-down in a pile and keep each other accountable from doing mindless phone checks.
If you have a tendency to visit distracting websites, sit side by side with a colleague and keep each other in check. This is a great system to ensure that both you and your colleague remain focused.
Take a Break
On average, humans can concentrate for a maximum of 20–35 minutes or 90 minutes. Our brains suffer from exhaustion when they stay focused for too long. This can drain your energy and decrease your productivity levels.
When taking breaks, do something that has nothing to do with your work. Take a walk, watch a short video, stretch, go on a coffee break, etc.
Also, if you can, take a 15-minute nap. That’s right, naps are possible and are a great way for your brain to get a quick rest and recharge before going back to work.
Unplug From Social Media
I know this is a drastic one, but take a break from social media. Turn off your notifications, don’t post, and give yourself some time to enjoy the great outdoors and those in your community.
Start with a few days and then see you how feel. It will give you a different perspective to live life in the moment and appreciate those around you.
When you come back to the social media world you will feel your priorities are aligned and set correctly.
While there is no magical formula to follow when it comes to getting things done, there are a few steps that will help you to be more productive from anywhere.
We know that it’s difficult to find a routine when working from home or on the go, but we encourage you to experiment with our recommended techniques to find your sweet spot.
By finding your setting and timing and disciplining yourself, you’ll soon find the perfect way to stay productive anywhere.