It’s no secret that at Pesto, we’re a big fan of remote work. And while there are many benefits of building a distributed team and not needing to work at the office, that isn’t to say there are some challenges that come with working remotely.
Getting rid of your commute can save you a ton of time, but if you’re not careful, you can quickly succumb to the many distractions that come with working remotely.
We put together a few simple productivity hacks to help you not only get more done but stay on track on those days you find it challenging to get anything done.
Experiment “Workstation Popcorn”
Coined by entrepreneur Joel Runyon, of Impossible, workstation popcorn is strategically splitting your day across multiple locations to ensure you stay focused and on the task at hand.
For example, if you’re a content marketer, you can plan your content for the day at home, and then head to a coffee shop to focus solely on writing.
If you’re a developer, you can take care of all your admin tasks at a coffee shop, then bunker down at the local library to do the actual coding.
Splitting your work across multiple locations adds some variety to your remote working routine, and allows you to physically change your environment based on a series of tasks.
Even if you’re super busy and can’t move to multiple locations, try and experiment with several places where you focus on one specific type of work. It really can make all the difference.
Do Deep Work
One of the downsides of working in a traditional work office is it’s incredibly easy to be interrupted by a coworker or other pressing need when you’re trying to stay focused.
From coding to writing, uninterrupted focus is crucial for producing high-quality work.
But even outside of the office, you’re often not immune from distraction when working at a coffee shop or from home.
Email, text messages, and Slack notifications and video calls can quickly cause you to lose focus if you’re not deliberate about blocking out distractions.
The term Deep Work, popularized by computer science professor Cal Newport at Georgetown University, argues “Deep Work” is incredibly important for both career and life satisfaction.
While your job may prevent you from having Deep Work all the time when possible, set aside a few hours of truly interrupted time to do your most focused thinking, it genuinely can make all the difference.
Close your office door. Turn on those noise-canceling headphones. Make deep work your most productive time of the week.
Have An End of Day Ritual
In today’s increasingly connected world, it can often be difficult to “turn off” from work, and you know, enjoy your life.
While working from an office has the physical cue of leaving the office, remote work doesn’t always make it so cut and dry.
Although working hard is important, so too is having time to decompress and relax, especially if you are working to solve severe problems. Many times that engineering problem you’re working through won’t be solved while actively at your desk.
Having an end of day ritual is a helpful way to separate your work from your personal life. Maybe it’s literally turning off your computer and going for a walk. Or maybe your end of day ritual is taking your dog for the walk.
While your ritual will most certainly be different than your colleagues, try and work to perform your end of day ritual each day. It truly does make a massive difference.
Batch Your Communication Skills
With the vast majority of your communication occurring through apps and tools such as Slack and email, batching your communication tasks is another effective way to improve your productivity while working remotely.
Though it may be tempting to check Slack every few minutes, doing so doesn’t allow you to get in a deep state of flow.
Experiment with different times in which you batch your communication tasks. For some, that may mean checking Slack in the morning and afternoon. For others, you may have to be available more frequently. What matters is you communicate with your team and find what works for your specific role.
Another added benefit of batching your tasks, is you don’t feel guilty about not being available. When batching correctly, you know everything will have time to take care of throughout the day — no need to endlessly refresh email while you wait around.
Use distraction blocking tools.
Our final tip for today is to make use of distraction blocking tools. While there’s nothing wrong with checking in on your favorite sports team or browsing social media, you don’t want to become distracted when you’re in work mode.
Using tools such as “Self Control” and “Freedom” can help you resist the temptation of opening up a new tab and going down the rabbit hole or Reddit.
Though using a tool to block certain websites may seem extreme, in my experience, it is one of the best productivity hacks to get more done.
If a distraction blocking tool isn’t your thing, try turning off the internet when you’re working on writing or coding and don’t need an internet connection.
It’s been said every time you become distracted; it takes 5-10 minutes to get back into a state of flow. Leverage technology to help keep your mind from wandering!
Have any tips and suggestions for working remotely? Let us know!