6 Productivity Tips for Working from Home That Aren’t About Lists or Schedules

25 Mar 20

Many of us are into our second week of social distancing, and there’s no clear end in sight. Working from home day in and day out takes some getting used to, and by now we’re sure you’ve Googled “tips for remote working” at least a handful of times.

A lot of the recommendations you’ll see about optimizing your remote life are tried and tested (and maybe a bit obvious): don’t work in your PJs, separate your “work space” from your “relaxation space”, make schedules and to-do lists, avoid distractions like the TV, etc. These tips are all well and good, but we’ve come up with a few more creative solutions to help you survive working from home in the era of social distancing.

1. Revisit your long-term goals.

Now that you don’t have to deal with your daily commute and can’t be easily distracted with office banter, you may find that you have more time in the day to simply stop and think. Don’t feel guilty about using this time to practice introspection! Taking time out to step back and reevaluate your long-term goals (both personally and professionally) can help reinvigorate you so that you use your time more productively.

2. Declutter.

This one goes for your workspace, your inbox, your desktop and your mind. When you hit that inevitable motivation roadblock, go through those old emails in your inbox; clean up your shared drive; go back through old meeting agendas or to-do lists. Best case scenario, you stumble across an email or project that kickstarts your productivity again. Worst case scenario, you’ve done a bit of spring cleaning!

3. Seek inspiration from new places.

When you’re fresh out of inspiration, you likely have a hit list of websites and resources you visit to get the juices flowing again, but when was the last time you actively sought out new ones? For example, if you tend to check out Pinterest for design inspiration, try Behance or Designspiration. Default to Twitter to see trending topics? Give TrendWatching a spin. Need a random selection of beautifully-curated, topical designs and blogs? Check out Swiss Miss. Now is a great time to broaden your inspirational horizons.

4. Research your resources.

You’ve likely got resources you use on a daily basis for your job - be it a CRM system, email distribution platform or productivity tracker. How familiar are you with these systems? If you haven’t done so already, do some tutorials to discover how you can use these resources more effectively.

5. Set up regular check-ins.

When working remotely, it’s important to stay on top of internal communications, especially if you’re used to working in a small office where you can easily pop over to your colleagues’ desks during the day. Schedule regular check-ins with your teams, but consider putting a fun spin on them. Maybe you have a daily coffee chat with your direct report or an afternoon lunch quiz with your team. Regardless, setting time in your calendar to talk with your coworkers (whether or not it’s directly work-related) will be better for your productivity and your mental health.

6. Dance party.

Speaking of mental health…

Okay, we concede that not everyone wants to have a solo dance party during the day, but regardless, do take time to do something that makes you happy. Draw some sketches. Do some press-ups. Pet your dog. Work on that jigsaw puzzle. Whatever it is, take short breaks throughout the day to give yourself some headspace.

Have other tips for working remotely? Share them with us on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook!