When thinking of working remotely, the first thing that comes to many people’s minds is probably typing on a laptop, in a pajama, in bed or straight out of bed. Although it is convenient to have the option to work from a bed without brushing one’s teeth, it often proves to be unproductive.
Working remotely can be isolating, and it can sometimes be a challenge to stay motivated considering all the distractions around such as family and social media. But where there’s a will, they surely is a way! All it takes is self-discipline and developing certain habits to stay productive and aim for success.
There are many productive habits that remote workers can do to become successful. But I’ve selected some of the top 12 productive habits of successful remote workers.
Let’s get started!
1. They choose a designated place for work
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a work space. Having a designated place where you work actually prepares your brain to get into ‘work mode.’ It helps you take your role seriously and prepares you to get things done.
3. They establish morning and evening routines and take care of themselves
I know, you can work in your pajama while looking half sleepy. But did you know that doing so could actually slow down your productivity, which would in return prevent you from reaching your fullest potential? I mean, think about … How motivated do you feel when you just wake up? You surely see the difference once you take a shower, right?
Having a morning routine prepares you for the day just as well as it would have done so if you were working at a 9 to 5 job. Get into the mindset of investing your time and energy more into yourself.
Take care of yourself by sleeping well, taking a shower in the morning and looking presentable. Having clean and comfortable clothes on will help you feel fresh, prepared and inspired to start the day; not just when you have a video conference.
Having a night routine is a way of pampering yourself. It’s also a way of telling your body that the day is coming to an end and it’s time to rest until the next day. Don’t get in the habit of checking work-related emails while in bed or watching videos at 2 AM about productivity.
4. They are organized
If you work from home, the last thing you’d want is to constantly look for a pen, paper or other items that you use to get things done. Not being organized comes at a cost. It wastes precious time, clatters your space and mind, and makes it almost impossible to stay motivated.
When you’re organized, your work space stays neat, you can easily see everything you need, you loose things much less, you know exactly what you’re doing and you’re able to think straight. The more you think straight, the more tasks you accomplish and get closer to your goals.
5. They plan their day
It’s extremely hard to be organized when one doesn’t plan. As the common saying goes, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” That’s especially true for remote workers.
Productive remote workers make daily planning a priority. They make a to-do list to visualize all the work that needs to be done. This helps them manage their time, stay productive, and make room for non-work related activities.
6. They have fewer daily goals and prioritize the most important ones
Just because it’s important to have a to-do list in order to better manage time doesn’t mean the to-do list has to be ten pages. Having a long list of daily goals can actually have the opposite effect of what was intended.
We tend to get overwhelmed and freeze when faced with a lot of things to do all at ones. The solution is to have a shorter list and to prioritize the most important things that need to be done.
Think about maybe 3 things that you believe will certainly make you feel accomplished if you checked them off your list today. Write them down and focus on only those three things. Overworking or overwhelming yourself will only prevent you from moving forward.
7. They prioritize work and let everyone know
Yes, you’re working from home, but it doesn’t mean everything else can come before it. Make your work a priority in your day or create a balanced work-life environment around you. Those constant notifications … gotta go! Checking your email every ten minutes? Please no! Choose specific times for the emails and turn off notifications while you’re working. Your brain will thank you for allowing it to focus.
Also, let your family and friends know that you work from home and are only available at certain times of the day/week to chat. Avoid unnecessary distractions as much as possible. There’s always room to attend to emergency situations, but that quick “10-minute” chat about the neighbor’s cat can wait.
8. They are professional
If you want to be successful at working from home, it’s crucial to be professional. When working with clients, colleagues, or staff, professionalism is a must. Don’t set up meetings and only show up half an hour later. If you give your word to finish a project within a certain period of time, stay true to the deadline. Also, if you have a video conference, looking presentable and sounding alert is a no-brainer.
9. They communicate with their clients and colleagues
Successful remote workers take communication seriously. They set up regular meetings with their staff, update their clients on in-progress projects, and make sure they reply to important emails. Communication helps everyone know exactly what’s going on and where things are going.
10. They set up time-blocks and take regular breaks
Although it’s crucial to stay focused while working, it’s just as important to take breaks to reset. Reward yourself after working hard for those few hours. It may help you look forward to the next accomplished task because you know what’s coming after.
On your breaks, go for a walk, call a friend, read your favorite book, drink some tea while looking at nature, eat that delicious cake you’ve been dying to eat all day, or think of something that’d help you look forward to the breaks after hard work.
Having time-blocks will help you focus on work and avoid all the distractions that could wait until break time.
11. They make time to socialize
Listen, just because you’re working remotely doesn’t mean you should forget about the rest of the world. There’s life beyond working from home. Make time to socialize with your friends and allow yourself to make new friends.
Even when working, you can socialize sometimes. Besides having a work space at home, it’s perfectly okay to sometimes change the setting and work in places like a library, a coffee shop or a co-working space. Try going to local remote work events or conferences. This allows you to feel less lonely and feel part of society.
It’s also important to have non-work related social life. Call a friend and go to the beach together, go to the movies, organize a tea party or whatever you enjoy doing with friends and family. Take care of yourself and your mental well-being.
12. They keep learning
There’s always room to learn new things and to improve one’s skills. Be open to learning from your mistakes, learning new information and working on improving overall. You can do so by taking courses, reading amazing books with practical information, and/or asking questions.
Most importantly, they make du’a and ask Allah for guidance and success.
Working remotely is desirable to many people. However, not everyone succeed at it. To make it successful, it’s important to acquire productive habits. It is possible for anyone, it just takes consistency and the willingness to make it happen.
What are some remote work productive habits you have?
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