If you’re working remotely, or even if you’re not, establishing good habits will help reduce stress and increase productivity during your work week. While you’ll want to experiment with, and then settle on, what works best for you between dawn and dusk, you’ll also want to establish a routine for your week if you’re serious about productivity.
Here are five habits will help you excel while working remotely:
- Establish good habits. Rising at an hour that is comparable for work, practicing good hygiene, participating in an exercise routine, dressing in fresh clothes and eating at regular intervals are a few proven ways to help you stay healthy and in control of your day and your energy. You’ll find that a workweek routine helps you spend your time wisely and not feel scattered or unsettled. By establishing a routine, you’re in a work mindset and are more likely to be highly productive. Also, you are setting yourself up for a smooth transition back to your workplace when that time arises.
- Set a weekly routine. While you’ll want to experiment with what works best for you between dawn and dusk, you’ll also want to establish a routine that allows time with family. Consider setting hours aside for family night, calls with relatives, home care, attending to chores and also ‘date nights’ (even if it’s dinner at the table). This will help you prioritize fun so you don’t experience monotony or boredom. And be certain to have fun on the weekends. How can you make Saturdays and Sundays feel different and special? While you’ll need to be flexible, having a baseline routine each week will help you and your family thoughtfully manage workloads and expectations. Establishing this familiar pattern will also provide reassurance that everyone has the freedom of their own personal schedules but can rely on specific events that will bring you together each week.
- Identify power hours. Everyone has certain hours of the day when they are rested and raring to go. For many, it tends to be mornings when energy and productivity peaks. No matter where you’re working or how you’re working, identifying power hours and holding them sacred will help you be productive. Once you’ve identified your power hours, block them on your calendar and ask others to respect them. During this reserved time, start by spending a few moments on a very important project, especially if it’s your most difficult or least savory. Knocking a few minutes out on this priority will set a positive intention for your day. Then move to other items of import. Use your non-power hours for more interactive and task-based work.
- Set communication guidelines. Your supervisor and your team should establish communication guidelines from the get-go. If they have not, broach the subject in your next team meeting or in your supervisor one-on-one. Set up a plan to minimize email exchanges, such as using SLACK or Google Doc, and set a weekly time for managing productive meetings as a group and with your supervisor, too. Share your calendar and let people know when they can reach you and when they will not get an immediate response. Just because they are up at two a.m. doesn’t mean they should expect a response from you until the next day. Establish emails and texts for non-emergency communication and unscheduled phone calls for urgent needs only. Remember, your urgency is not necessarily others and poor planning on their part doesn’t make it an emergency for you. This is critical. Just because texts and emails can be sent at any hour, make sure that you set your technology on mute so that you are not woken up or forced to abandon your personal schedule for others.
- Create a distraction plan. That’s right, when working from home there are bound to be interruptions. From the stream of telemarketing calls, to the neighbor mowing their lawn, to the television turned on in the next room. Welcome to the remote working world. Find a way to tune out distractions and make space for focused work. This begins with creating a plan for handling distractions. If you live alone, ask family and friends to respect your work time and hold off calls and texts during that time frame. If you have a family that lives with you, establish rules for when you’re working, i.e.: “When mommy is working you can work on coloring. After two hours, we’ll break and spend time together.” Although there will be exceptions, being proactive by creating a plan and sticking to rules will help you get more done.
While you’ll need to be flexible, having a baseline routine and a plan for each week, it will help you and your family thoughtfully manage workloads and expectations. Establishing this familiar pattern will also provide reassurance that everyone has the freedom of their own personal schedules but can rely on specific events that will bring you together each week. And in the long run, you’ll spend less time figuring out your day and instead, get into the productivity groove.
How to Be Career Happy? Establish Good Habits When Working Remotely