Though remote work has been popular for around a decade, COVID-19 has changed the daily routine of billions of people. And if you find working from your home pretty challenging, you can be absolutely sure — you have plenty of soulmates who struggle with distractions like daytime TV and dirty laundry. It is not that easy to work efficiently when you’re in pajamas. A comfortable sofa becomes a real temptation, and you may find it’s complicated to stay on assignments.
The good news is that there are some strategies that you can apply to boost your productivity.
Use online tools that can save your time
Start by identifying which tasks you enjoy and which take the most time and energy from you. When you focus on the first ones, you can be more productive since you don’t procrastinate and don’t waste hours trying to come up with a single idea. For example, when you need to do audio to text transcription, you can do it yourself, which will take you a couple of days. Or you can hire a professional human transcription service with certified transcriptionists who know their onions. Or you can use auto transcribe software when you have a record with a single speaker and low expectations from the final draft. If you’re a content maker, you can use these services to create English subtitles without pulling an all-nighter trying to make your video more accessible.
The same approach works for other tasks as well. If you don’t really like some parts of your job, and you don’t have colleagues nearby who can help you, just delegate. Find the highest quality services and get the most out of them.
Create the schedule
When your workday is not structured, you can easily mention how time gets away from you. The atmosphere in the office doesn’t support procrastination, but when you’re at home, no one can distract you from lying just near your cat or sipping a fifth cup of coffee. Then, to get your work done, you pull an all-nighter, which doesn’t improve your productivity the next day, as well.
So, is it possible to find a solution? Of course, it is. You need to create a clear schedule with established time slots for all activities. Reflect on your productivity and goals to understand when you feel the best. For example, you can set up team meetings for mornings and emails for evenings. Don’t forget about short pauses between all of these activities.
Set goals and divide them into milestones
If you’re looking for motivation to finish all of your projects, think about setting goals. At the same time, they shouldn’t be too global. For example, it can’t sound like “I want to launch the best marketing campaign in the world.” It is too large, and you can just lose your motivation at the very first steps.
Instead, keeping this idea in mind, try to break this project into several milestones. Create simple and achievable goals, and don’t forget to reward yourself for completing them. For example, if you’re going to run a fantastic webinar, set several goals like “find the guest,” “check the quality of headphones,” “try new record software,” “create subtitles,” and so on. In the end, you’ll understand that you have succeeded with a dozen of tasks, not with the one only. It is an incredible motivation booster, so don’t miss this chance.
Get enough sleep
It is a no-brainer that your brain and body can’t work at their maximum when you’re exhausted. That’s why before you start working on your motivation, ask yourself: “Am I getting enough sleep?”
Nobody dies when you deliver your part of the job an hour later. Nobody dies when you make pauses. Your health is much more important than instant results. Moreover, when you feel healthy, you can provide better results. And if the project is really very important, think if you can delegate some parts. For example, you can hire transcription experts who will deal with your content much faster than you.
Don’t forget about physical activities
While you’re working at the office, you have to commute, walk around the city or around the office, and so on. When you’re working at home, the only distance you have to cover is the distance between your bed and the desk. It means that your body doesn’t spend energy, and it is surely not that good for your physical and mental health.
So, try to walk outdoors when you have little pauses. Do some exercises, play with your dog. Do something but don’t just sit all day long. Fortunately, there are many YouTube videos with tutorials for all levels. Try yoga or Tabata, and you’ll mention that sports affect your work in a positive way.
Stay in touch with your team
It’s important to have other people around you — people who are working on the same projects, who have the same goals, who can provide you with valuable insights and a dose of inspiration. Even if your company works absolutely remotely and you don’t have colleagues in your town, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t stay in touch. Skype, Zoom, and even Clubhouse provide users with various opportunities to stay connected.
It will be a great idea if you create different channels for different purposes. For example, you can discuss some work issues, but you also need space for personal conversations. Share your feelings, discuss your fears and doubts, and support each other. If COVID-19 restrictions in your country are not that tough, you can even meet from time to time but ensure that your communication is regular.
Finally, it is essential to understand that motivation is always about development. You can’t reach new heights when you’re just marking time. Think about things that drive you and look for online opportunities to grow your knowledge. There are many platforms like Coursera, Udemy, MasterClass where you can gain new hard and soft skills.
Always go the extra mile to make your projects as good as possible. If you have amazing video content, hire talented international transcriptionists to make your videos more accessible. If your blog is popular, think about catching newsletters to get your audience involved. Think one step ahead, and it will energize you regardless of the work conditions you have right now.