Focus pocus: Get productive when working remotely

Working from home might sound like a great idea – a break from the boss, no workplace distractions or annoying colleagues to distract you from getting things done. This blessing might be a curse in disguise because our homes might be just as distracting. 

Your productivity might take a toll when you’re starting to work in a place where you usually find rest, but there are ways you can focus and get right back on the productivity track. 

Choosing the perfect space.

Dedicate a space in your serviced apartment to do work, you can look out for ones that come with a study space or home office. For those who like to be out and about, try co-working spaces. You do have to pay for these, but having a dedicated space to work makes a world of a difference – having other people in a space motivated to do work could spur you on to do your own. 

If you enjoy some background chatter and white noise hit WiFi-enabled cafes like Starbucks, you can even get your caffeine fix at the same time. If you need the noise but hate the cafe crowds, put on a little music or let the TV run at a low volume for some background noise to break the silence in your serviced apartment.

Setting the right pace.

Sometimes, working hard isn’t all about diving deep into work and see what comes out completed with you on the other side. Usually attempting that leads to an early burnout and an unfinished pile of work. The Pomodoro Technique is a time management productivity hack that utilises a timer. It can be broken down simply:

  1. Choose the task to be completed.
  2. Set the Pomodoro timer (Usually 25 minutes).
  3. Work on the task.
  4. End work after the set time and put a checkmark on a piece of paper.
  5. If you have fewer than four checkmarks, take a short break (3–5 minutes), then go to step 2.
  6. After 4 pomodoros, take a longer break (15–30 minutes), reset your checkmark count to zero, then go to step 1.

Working through the maze.

A lot of other, unrelated to work tasks might prop up while working – like getting food, doing chores and more. Keep these tasks to a minimum and do them beforehand – if you have to get food prepare it beforehand or get takeaway. If you’ve got to wash the dishes and make breakfast, do it before your workday starts. 

Keeping to a tight schedule keeps you on the ball and productive. Make to-do lists and plan your day out the night before.

Start with the most unpleasant task to do, and work your way from there. Even if you didn’t get all that you set out to do done, at least the most trying and challenging one is completed or attempted – it’s not lingering in the back of your mind anymore.

Cutting out the laze.

We all fall off the horse once in awhile. It’s extremely tempting to check our phones for 5 minutes, and that 5 minutes can turn into hours of scrolling if we’re not careful. There is a reason why millions of people use social media sites. Set up a ban on stuff like these, at least until you are done working. If the temptation proves too great, use a website blocker (here is one, but there are many to choose from) to keep you away from distracting social media sites. 

When working from home, it’s important to prepare for work like any other day. Get a good night’s rest, get up, put on a pot of coffee, take a shower and get dressed. These everyday prepare-for-work activities get you mentally equipped to start work. Without, your body might mentally lull you back into your bed – the last place productivity happens.

If any of these tips help, share it with your friends to give them a little boost in productivity!