10 Quick Tips for Working from Home – Boulder Goes Remote
Welcome to the world of remote work! It can be a beautiful thing, however it takes a different level of self-discipline and prioritization to stay productive. Here are my 10 quick tips based on 4+ years of successful remote work:
1. Keep a Schedule
Set your alarm at the same time every morning and have a morning routine (just without the stress of having to go sit in traffic). Don’t take working from home as an opportunity to sleep in and be lazy, or you won’t get anything done! Give yourself a set amount of time for lunch and don’t shut off the computer before a designated ending time.
2. Don’t Work in your Pajamas
The idea of never taking your PJ’s off again sounds great, but you have to find ways of disconnecting yourself from relax mode and putting yourself into productivity mode. You don’t have to put a suit on, but have some difference between sleep clothes and work clothes. Wake up, take a shower, eat breakfast, and dress for success!
3. AVOID SOCIAL MEDIA
Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – if you don’t need to use these for work, DO YOUR BEST TO AVOID THEM! Nothing will suck your productivity away like getting down a social media rabbit hole. Same goes for the news, and anything that is going to pull your mind off your current projects. Work time is for work.
4. Set Boundaries with Others
Ensure that you have clear set of rules regarding your work time and space. You’ll need a way of being uninterrupted, so that people aren’t barging in when you’re ‘in the zone’ or on calls. Just because you’re home doesn’t mean that you’re available.
5. Set Aside a Dedicated Work Space
Whether it’s a home office, a desk area, or a place at a table – make yourself a work space. Avoid mixing your productivity space with other things, as this is a necessary boundary to keep your mind in ‘work mode.’
6. Stay Hydrated and Eat Well
It’s easy to forget things like how much water you’ve drank when you haven’t left the house. It’s also easy to snack all day when the kitchen in 10 steps away, but another critical aspect of productivity is to maintain a healthy diet. Set a habit of what you eat and when throughout the day, and avoid that snack drawer as much as possible.
7. Make a Daily and Weekly Checklist
When you don’t have manager or colleague checking your work on a regular basis, it can be easy to fall into a bad habit of procrastination, or of working without the same level of intent and focus – DON’T DO THIS! Use checklists to keep track of what your priorities are and what you have accomplished. The better you keep track of this, the better you will organize your days and weeks, and the more efficient remote worker you will become!
8. Find Software that Works for your Work Style
The world has changed, and so has the way we work! There are countless applications across the internet dedicated to helping maximize your workflow and create efficiencies. As a freelance remote worker, here are a couple I use:
- Accountsight – Tracks hours per project/client
- Trello or Asana – Agile style Project Management
- NordVPN – Keep your web traffic safe
- Wunderlist – Checklists and notes
9. Get Use to that Awkward Webcam
If you haven’t already, it’s time to dust off that pesky webcam and get use to video-conferencing. Nothing replaces a face-to-face meeting, but a video call is a decent alternative. Find a well lit spot in your office space and make sure the background is acceptable for a professional setting (no dirty bed or messy room!). Grab a button-up shirt and get video chatting!
10. Give Time to the Dog, Kids, Partner, and Take Walks
Don’t be afraid to take the benefits from working for home. Spend more time with your dog, your kids, or your significant other, your mental health and relationships will thank you!