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5 Easy Tips To Improve Your Working Remotely Experience!

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I want to start off by saying that working remotely during quarantine is very different from working remotely in general. This idea exploded last week when Scott Hanselman tweeted about it. He stated that in 13 years of remote working he’s never felt burnt out, however in 1 month of quarantine work he’s starting to see a stinge of burn out.

With that in mind, I think now, more than ever, we have to be more rigorous about how we manage ourselves while Working From Home (WFH).  That’s why I would like to share my top WFH tips and hopefully you’ll give them a try.

Disclaimer: These are not meant to work for everyone, some people might like them some people might find them impossible to apply them. Giving them a try and not liking them is way better then not trying at all.

Positives

A great way to lighten up about remote working is to start focusing on the positives. Copy them in a doc somewhere, write them down in your note book or come up with your own. It’s important to appreciate the positive things we have right now and also revise them from time to time. As Zig Ziglar used to say “Repetition is the mother of learning…”, and you are learning to adapt to this brave new world.

Flexible schedules

Which I like to call autonomy over time. It’s wonderful to be in control of your most precious resource isn’t it? Maybe you’ve always been an early riser and you like waking up at 6 putting in a solid of 3,4 hours of work then take 2 or 3 hours to relax, do a hobby, spend time with family and come back for the remainder of the working day. If not, you are free to experiment however you want to and make it work for yourself! Oh and I do pushups when I’m frustrated, would be pretty hard to do this in the office without freaking some people out.

Family time

Try to appreciate the extra time you have with them, I bet some of you prefer being tapped on your shoulder by your loved one instead of a random colleague during their day.

No commute

You are saving time and money on not commuting! Imagine all the time you’re saving by not getting stuck in traffic, or driving to and from work. Not to mention the money for petrol, random cravings you spend on during your trip etc.

Less distractions

I’ve never heard a person say “I’ll come into the office because I have some important project to finish and there are no interruptions”.  You have more control on connecting or disconnecting with your team as well. You can choose to delay the response to that IM for a bit more in the zone creative work.

Having a source of income

With the multitude of government support schemes, you still have a source of income. It’s hard to be grateful about it sometimes, however, during global crisis, we used to have it much worse than this.

Top 5 Tips

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Now, for the the tips! They’re a mix of things I found work great for me personally and what others have mentioned online, mostly: Remote: Office Not Required and Zapier.

1. Manage your environment 

Personal opinion, after I bought the cheapest Ikea desk and chair I could find it completely changed my world.  Event the most basic chair with lumbar support will help you tremendously. Invest in yourself!

Be mindful of where you work. Our subconscious constantly analyses information about the environment we’re in which makes us more susceptible to our surroundings that we might think. If you work on the couch, in front of the TV, well you’re going to have a bad time. No matter how tiny, or crowded a place only dedicated for work is better than working with distractions all around you. 

2. Build habits to transition between home and work mindsets

Have a morning and evening routine. My routine consists of a 30min morning workout followed by shower, meditation and breakfast while the evening routine consists of a set of stretches. If you have family around you can them involved as well!

Switch into work clothes and home clothes. Have a set of clothes you work in and a set of clothes you relax. Fight the urge of chilling in your jammies all day! This creates a bit of a Pavlov effect but this time with clothes instead of dog food.

3. Organise and find your sweet spot

Some people are early birds, others night owls, find what works best for you. 

Organise your best work for the hours that you feel most productive and defer unimportant tasks for the hours you feel less productive. I like waking up at 6 am and until 12, I have the most productive and creative hours of my day. That’s when I schedule all my exciting hard work!

Jeff Weiner LinkedIn’s CEO recommended added some buffer time to your day. Give your kids and your family 10 mins off each couple of hours. It’s extremely important now more than ever to be strict about this!

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4. Add constraints to your day

Pomodoro. Have you tried it? Give it a try if not at least consider breaking your day into well defined chunks!
Use a calendar app and plan your day ahead.
Try to do lists or follow Get Things Done methodology, whatever productivity craze you like most.
Exercise: Be aware that commuting was actually some form of exercise, walking to your car, walking to the office etc. all of that has to be replaced and you have to make an effort for it. Your body is more than just a vehicle for walking your brain around so treat it as such!

5. Stay real

I’m aware some of this advice sounds *serendipitous*, however it’s aimed at being more productive, taking care of your health, and becoming more effective during a certain amount of time.

You know that *1 day of creative*, in the zone work, can make up for a *week uninspired work*. This also focuses more on your mental health and taking control of your day, and life. Remember: proactive instead of reactive to whatever the day might throw at you.

To close out I’ll say we have to be aware that we’ve been thrown into a completely new dynamic. This new dynamic requires us to work on our day to day habits, our working environment, our relationships (family especially), our time and organisational skills. It’s a lot but it’s worth putting the effort in! And to all the parents reading, you have my respect, you people are heroes!

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