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10 Habits of Highly Effective Remote Workers

Updated: May 4, 2020

Remote work can be fun, but in order for that to be possible one needs to be efficient and maintain a good work/life balance.

Efficient Remote Workers are in high demand in the digital world as they get projects done before deadlines are due and often exceed their employer’s expectations. People who are efficient get referred often and get handpicked for future positions or projects.

Here are 10 positive habits of Highly Efficient Remote Workers:

1. Track your time

Tracking the hours you spend working may seem like a nuisance, but in the long run, it will help you become more organised and help you to achieve daily targets and goals. It also makes it easier for you to accurately invoice clients and gives you measurable data to refer back to when budgeting in the future. There are some fantastic apps available such as Toggl, an app that can record your time as well as track your tasks. Tracking your working hours will also give you a clear idea of how long a particular type of project or task will take and so you will know what average timeframe to expect in the future.

2. Do the Hard Tasks during your most Productive hours

Every person has a time during each day when they feel the most focused and productive. Some may find first thing in the morning works best for them, others may find late evening work yields more productivity.

Discover which time of the day works best for you and tackle the most challenging tasks then. Doing so will not only increase your productivity but will allow you a more leisurely approach to tasks that perhaps require more creativity to complete.

3. Start your morning at the same time each day

One of the challenges faced by remote workers is not having a regular office schedule that requires them to arrive at work at a set time for a set amount of hours each day. Setting a good routine where you get up and start your morning routine at the same time will increase your efficiency and productivity as a remote worker. It will also help you to schedule in time for personal activities such as exercise or spending time with friends or family.

4. Create a Great Workspace

As much as we would all like to stay in our PJ’s all day, in bed, working off our laptops...doing so subconsciously lets our brains think we are not at work, and so negatively affects our productivity. You don’t need to set up a fancy home office to be a remote worker, but a clean, uncluttered workspace with few distractions will make working a whole lot easier and keeping to a routine second nature.

Something as simple as a small desk in your living room can become a great workspace. Pinterest has loads of inspiration for home office setups that are easy to create and won’t break the bank.

5. Stay away from Personal Tasks during working hours

It is easy to get distracted by dirty dishes or the overflowing laundry bin when you work from home. The rule of thumb here is if you wouldn't do those tasks in a regular office environment, you don't do them during remote working hours. If you do notice home chores that need doing, write them down on a list and you can complete them when your workday is done.

6. Have a daily Work To-Do List

A to-do list can change your entire day. Creating a manageable to-do list will help you to keep track of your progress on tasks and know which areas may require more time or attention. Having a To-Do list will also give you a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day where you have completed all the tasks you set out for yourself. It is a great time management tool as well.

7. Schedule Social Time

The downfall of being a remote worker is that one tends to become fairly isolated at home. With the nature of this work often resulting in working odd hours or massive amounts of overtime, it can become easy to get lost in your workload. It is therefore important to schedule some social time for yourself with your friends or family to prevent you from becoming too isolated. Connecting with others regularly is beneficial for both stress relief and your mental health.

8. Avoid Multitasking

It's easy to think that multitasking will save you time, but the opposite is actually true. Every time you switch tasks it takes your brain an average of 15 minutes to refocus on the new task. If you are trying to multitask several things at once, your brain is in a constant state of refocusing and this can adversely affect your productivity. Plan your tasks for the day based on their urgency and level of difficulty and tackle each one independently. You will find yourself being less distracted and more focused on the task at hand.

9. Take Lunch Breaks

It may seem more convenient to have lunch at your desk and continue with your work, but it is far more beneficial to take a proper break. Besides the obvious health benefits of getting up and stretching, taking time out of your workday to enjoy a meal and perhaps have a short walk will have you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of your day with a little extra boost of energy and motivation.

10. Become more Productive

Being productive is a mindset. Set yourself specific goals on tasks that need to be completed for the day and apply yourself to achieving them. Ensure your work environment has few distractions. One common distraction is message alert tones from your phone. Most smartphones have a “do not disturb” option or have apps that allow only specific contacts the ability to reach you during certain hours. Use these functions during working hours and you will notice a difference in your level of productivity, and so will your employer!

Creating positive habits within your remote working space is the first step to increasing your efficiency as a remote worker. Efficient remote workers get tasks completed on time, which has a ripple effect on one’s life and working environment. Besides getting the job done faster, being more efficient at work will leave you with more time for family life or personal pursuits.

Want to gain more skills as a remote worker to improve your earning potential? Then check out the online and home-study courses offered by Expand Digital Academy.

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