Working from home is often met with curiosity, with the most common question directed towards me being how I’m able to maintain focus. Typically, I respond with a witty remark about needing to pay my mortgage to stay motivated. Truthfully, it’s not always easy to remain concentrated while working remotely, and I know this struggle is shared by many.
As your own boss, there are undoubtedly benefits to allowing yourself some procrastination. The freedom to choose when to be most productive can be quite an advantage. However, there may come a time when a task requires immediate attention or a deadline looms. In these instances, it’s crucial to prioritize and maintain focus to achieve success.
Undoubtedly, there are numerous distractions and opportunities to procrastinate when working from home. Balancing daily tasks, personal hobbies, and the allure of streaming services can be challenging to navigate. For this reason, implementing effective strategies is crucial to ensuring work is completed in a timely manner. What methods can you utilize to increase the likelihood of achieving this objective?
With our extensive experience in managing remote teams, Works is a leading expert in this field. As a distributed organization, we are able to source the most exceptional remote developers from every corner of the globe (learn more about our process here). Here’s how we approach remote team management.
Seize Control of Your Busy Environment
It’s strongly advised to have a designated workspace if you’re working from home. By doing so, you provide your brain with a cue that it’s time to buckle down and concentrate. Even if you don’t have a dedicated office, you can still establish a routine or “work-starting ritual” to assist you in getting into the proper frame of mind while staying productive. Bear in mind that a disorganized workspace may be distracting, so keeping it tidy is crucial.
In the modern world, some workers are able to operate remotely while travelling by carrying an ‘office in a backpack’ with them. To appear professional and maintain productivity, it’s essential to create an environment that conveys to others that you’re concentrating on work.
Being proactive and creating a work-conducive environment is crucial for maintaining focus. When participating in video calls, closing the door can be a straightforward yet effective method of reducing possible interruptions. Classical music is known to aid concentration, but if it’s not to your liking, white noise generators can be beneficial. Alternatively, if you own an Amazon Echo, asking Alexa to play a selection of repeating background noises is an option.
Minimize Distractions with Simple Measures.
In the digital era, distractions are commonplace. With every new email, text message, or game-life refill notification that appears, it can be challenging to maintain concentration. Furthermore, websites may produce pop-ups informing us of new content, making it tempting to take a break and investigate. It necessitates a great deal of resolve and commitment to remain productive despite so many potential distractions.
A “silent” or “mute” setting on a smartphone can be quite beneficial. To minimize background noise, setting designated quiet hours or utilizing the “do not disturb” feature on your device are excellent suggestions. Gmail is a commonly-used service that offers this type of feature, but other alternatives are also available.
It’s evident that not everyone has the same level of “toughness.” While some individuals can have social media tabs open and ignore notifications, others may struggle with this. If you fall into the latter group, a distraction blocker could be a solution worth exploring. ColdTurkey is one such tool that can aid in limiting access to personal websites during specific work hours.
Organize Your Schedule Effectively
It’s easy to get sidetracked and procrastinate when switching between tasks. To prevent this, planning out your day ahead of time is incredibly helpful. Many project management and contractor collaboration tools are available, including Trello and Basecamp, as suggested by Works. Other options, such as Asana and Monday.com, provide somewhat varied features. We’ve previously released an article delving into these resources in more depth if you’re interested in learning more.
It’s crucial to never waste time wondering, “What should I do next?” Generating a list of all your essential tasks and completing them in the order they’re listed is a wise approach. If necessary (and especially if you finish early), reward yourself once you’ve completed them.
Without Taking Any Breaks into Account
It may seem paradoxical, but taking a break can enhance your productivity. However, this does not mean you should spend your break time playing games on your computer. Rather, get up and move around. Taking your eyes off the screen for at least ten minutes is ideal – why not grab a drink of water, go for a brief walk outside, or engage in something enjoyable instead?
Studies have confirmed that taking frequent breaks, as outlined in this article, is indispensable for our physical and mental well-being. In addition, they can enhance our efficiency by preventing decision fatigue. Regular breaks increase our ability to make sound judgments, so it’s crucial to take them and commit to them. Trust me; it will be worthwhile.
Proceed Slowly and Steadily
For a long time, multitasking was considered the ideal method for boosting productivity. However, a study led by Stanford revealed that attempting to juggle numerous tasks at once is unhelpful and can have negative effects on one’s cognitive abilities, comparable to staying up all night or using marijuana. If someone, such as Bob from Accounts Payable, is suspected of being under the influence, it’s recommended that they consider practicing mindfulness instead.
Experts at the University of Sussex located in the United Kingdom express apprehension that the damaging consequences of multitasking might be long-lasting. This implies that if someone tries to manage numerous tasks concurrently, it could impose adverse effects on their career prospects.
If you have read this piece in search of a ‘secret sauce’ to guarantee that your off-site personnel remain productive, our recommendation is straightforward: initiate action. Quit trying to interfere in the work of your remote staff. While it’s crucial to be cognizant of available communication methods such as email updates and phone calls, to what extent are you employing these methods to check in on your remote team? Have you contemplated whether your interventions are indeed affecting productivity negatively?
Maintaining regular communication with remote teams is essential to ensure that everyone is aligned and the business operates smoothly. Concurrently, it is vital to have faith in your team members and assign them the responsibility to carry out their roles to the best of their abilities. Striking a balance between communication and trust is fundamental to the success of any remote workforce.
If you’re uncertain about the capabilities of your virtual team, there is a possibility you made mistakes during the hiring process. At [Name], we are committed to aiding you in addressing this issue. We have an expansive network of skilled remote professionals from all corners of the globe, each of whom has undergone thorough evaluations to ensure that they possess the necessary technical skills and devotion to deliver high-quality work from their own abodes. To learn more about the services we provide, reach out to us without delay.