With so many people working these days remotely, it’s vital to keep productive. Some workers working remotely because of the pandemic have found they prefer to work this way. However, many companies are reluctant to keep up the practice and want to bring them back to the office. They feel that people aren’t as productive when not at the office.
While it can be challenging to stay productive at home, especially with family distractions, there are proven methods, productivity tools, and techniques to help you stay productive, and perhaps prove the bosses wrong.
Time management is crucial to stay productive while working from home. Prioritizing work each day and getting the most important ones done first will help. If there is no task more important, try doing the harder ones first. The rest of the day will be easier without something hard hanging over your head.
Also, try to batch similar tasks together, or those that require similar software and such. Turn off notifications, and limit your email checking to two or three times daily. If people are used to getting instant answers, they can get used to waiting a couple of hours. Let your friends know that you can only take personal calls after working hours.
Internet access is crucial for remote workers. The good idea is to set up a mobile hotspot on your phone, or at least know how to do it. That way, you’ll still have internet access even if your internet goes out or slows way down for some reason. If your phone plan doesn’t allow this, the reason of it could be small access point devices that don’t cost much, and their service is also not so expensive.
One proven method to help is the Pomodoro technique. This system is geared toward helping people work with their time instead of against it. This method entails breaking your day into 25-minute work sessions with a five-minute break, or so-called “pomodoro”, after each. After four of these pomodoros, you need to take a 15 to 20-minute break.
This timing tends to instill urgency into the work, as you have only 25 minutes to make progress. It keeps workers from wasting time on distractions and helps them to concentrate during a work period. The breaks keep them from working too long and feeling worn out. There are many Pomodoro timer apps available for mobile phones and other devices.
A planner is an excellent tool to keep your work prioritized for the day and track progress on long-term or ongoing projects. They save time when your boss wants an update on your progress for a particular project. If you’re held up because you need something from another worker before continuing, you can note this and tell your boss when he asks why you’re stalled.
You can also note discussion results and answers to questions, time schedules, and anything related to a particular project. Not all planners have pre-printed dates, so you can fill in the dates you want or even use two or three days’ worth of pages for one day if it’s needed.
You can also use a notebook to group progress notes by project if that would work better. Items or materials ordered for a project, pricing and dates ordered and delivery expected are all right there if anybody needs to know, and you can keep up with what’s expected. Notes on contacts with people outside your company and the results can be kept here as well.
Group the information in whatever way suits your type of project best and enables you to find it quickly. While this can be done on the computer, sifting through pages of emails from somebody who doesn’t know how to use a subject line for that one email you need can be maddening. Recording the facts elsewhere can save much time.
If your work involves a lot of typing, there are text expansion tools that autocomplete phrases you commonly type, standard email replies, date and time, and other such things. They also include autocorrecting features. These tools can save you more time than you think.
Note-taking apps save a surprising amount of time by organizing notes you might take during collaborations or team meetings. Time spent searching through a bunch of notes is time wasted. These apps can put things in perspective and keep you organized.
Another helpful tool is audio to text converter, which transcribes audio and video files into readable text. Usually, transcription is available in many languages, even with multiple speakers. It’s great for transcribing corporate or business meetings, interviews, training programs, and legal transcription.
Having these things in writing makes it much easier to analyze a whole conversation, go back and recheck or verify what was said and by whom, provide proof that something was said, etc.
Whether working from home is something new or you’ve done it before, check out the various apps available to aid time management and productivity. More apps come online every day, and you may be surprised at the variety that’s out there. You may even be able to convince your boss that remote work can work, and let’s face it, the coffee is better at home.