Working from home? 4 tips for staying productive

My Post - 2020-03-17T180227.430.pngCOVID-19 has led many companies to recommend that employees work from home. For many, remote work is a new reality and one that takes some getting used to. Below are a few tips for working remotely from Google’s Primer team to help you make the most out of the situation. A version of this tutorial originally appeared in the free Primer app.

Whether it’s done by choice or by necessity, working from home has its benefits, like avoiding your daily commute. But it also means it’s up to you to motivate yourself and get as much out of your time as you would in an office setting.

To help, here are four tips to keep yourself accountable, collaborative, and productive as you work from home.

Establishing a designated workspace can help tell your brain you’re in the place where you do work productively.

Tip 1: Create “work” triggers for your brain

When you work in an office, the daily routine of getting ready and commuting helps your brain get ready for the day. When you’re working remotely, you can create “start the day” triggers that get your head ready for work in a similar way, like exercising, reading the news, or making coffee.

A workspace may also be key. If you can sit down and be productive anywhere, that’s great. If you need more structure, establishing a designated workspace — whether it’s a separate room, a fully stocked desk, or just a clean part of your kitchen table — can help tell your brain you’re in the place where you do work productively and without distraction.

About distractions: They’re one of the biggest challenges of working remotely. To keep your brain in the right mode, avoid doing nonwork tasks during your work time. For example, schedule a separate time to do laundry instead of tackling it while you’re finishing a work presentation.

Tip 2: Stay motivated with a list

A simple to-do list can do wonders for keeping you both organized, motivated, and productive as you work from home. As you create your list, think about big, long-term goals, like finishing a project, as well as small goals, like completing tasks that lead to that big goal. Checking off those smaller goals lets you know you’re making progress, which gives you positive reinforcement throughout your day. And work feels much more doable when it’s not all one giant task.

Write or type out your list instead of just having it in your head. You won’t have to devote headspace to constantly remembering what you have to do, and the pleasure of crossing tasks off your list can help you stay motivated. – Read more