If you are working remotely, you’ll know for sure that productivity is your secret weapon. But there is so much going around about productivity, but few targeted to remote workers. That’s why we created this guide about productivity for remote workers specifically.
Some of the advice in this page may sound generic, but we didn’t want to start the subject from the middle. And thus, we start from the beginning: Thinking about productivity in a healthy way.
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If you’re new to productivity, or you’ve been following some “productivity gurus” online, you’ve certainly seen some toxic behaviors. Some scheduling every minute of their days, others trying to push you to meditate, run, and journal before 6AM, and many other examples.
But all of this is terrible advice. In the end, our life doesn’t turn around being productive. Nor does it mean we should squeeze every second of our days.
Increasing your productivity is a perfectly fine goal, and you should be happy you’re doing it as most don’t bother. But, it shouldn’t come in the expense of your health, social, or personal life. It may sound normal, but many forget it at times.
And that is healthy productivity. Or maybe we should call it productivity only, and call the first one toxic productivity. It’s better that way.
But what does it mean to have a healthy productivity?
Just like scheduling time for work, make sure to schedule time for leisure, social activities, and rest. Yes, schedule time for doing nothing. Take a break, and enjoy it. Toxic productivity gurus will call you crazy, and “unproductive”, but your mind and body will thank you for it.
Toxic behaviors like scheduling every second of your day will give you a false sense of accomplishment and being productive. But that is a short-term feeling. Few weeks later, you’ll feel burned out, unhappy, and depressed.
Take it slowly
Only bad things happen quickly. Every good thing takes time. And your productivity is no different.
Picking a new productivity plan, or embarking on a productivity journey is a long process. The goal is to find your own plan, your own schedule, and your own set of apps. And for that you’ll try many apps/flows, you’ll hate most of them, like a small set, and love a few. Your goal is to find those few and to stick with it.
Of course, following someone’s system blindly is much easier, but that’s not going to stick with you for a long time. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get inspired by what others are doing and sharing. Just don’t follow it religiously.
If you’re looking for productivity methods, the Get Things Done (GTD) method is one the most used ones. Even if you don’t use it as it is, you can learn a lot from those principles.
Another thing to master, regardless of the productivity method you’ll end up picking, is time-blocking. Pick a chunk of time, tame distractions, focus, and get to work. We are living in a world filled with distractions, and it’s hard to disconnect, but try to fight back.
While we’ve been talking about personal productivity, team productivity is no different. As an individual, you might pick tools and processes that work for you, but find out it doesn’t work in a team settings. And that’s normal.
As a team, give yourself time to learn how you can better work together. In general, working asynchronously provides the best work environment for all those involved, but we are also aware it’s not always possible. You can find some advice for team productivity in this post.
Schedule more than work
As a remote worker, you have one extra parameter to take into account: You have a flexible schedule. From one side, it’s liberating to work anytime you want. But it’s also one of the hardest parameters to take into account.
Having a flexible schedule means you should intentionally schedule things like social interactions, seeing friends, and collaborating. Things that we usually take for granted when we work from an office.
If you want to keep your work/life balance, you need to schedule these things in addition to your work. Otherwise, work will expand to fill all your time, or you may end up not working. Luckily, we have one of the greatest posts about the subject: 4 daily pointers to structure your day, and a complete eBook about it.