Staying focused when working remotely
Working away from your office is a tricky thing. I get to work away from office now and then, and its far more difficult than it actually seems. It definitely sounds cool to say that you are running a remote office, but there’s nothing like face-to-face meetings and working hours.
Over the years, I’ve learnt and follow some techniques which allows me to focus on my work, rather than to go out and explore a new city. Efficiency is the key to everything.
Initially, I forced myself to follow these techniques. But ultimately, these things turned into a habit.
Work from a minimal and clean space
This contributes a lot when you are away from your desk. Making sure your work area is neat, tidy and minimal, will allow you to focus deep into your work. When you are working from your own desk, even if your desk is messy, your mind is familiar with the stuff on your desk. And it will not demand you to pay attention to the new thing it has identified.
That’s not the case when you work away from your desk. Everything around you would be new to you. The more you have the space minimal around you, the more focus you get.
Maintain and follow your task list. Rigorously.
Managing your work and knowing exactly what you would be doing for the day is way too essential. I usually manage my tasks with Allt’s Private Tasks feature. It just pings me wherever I am. Let it be email, Slack or SMS. Its right there, reminding me what I should be doing.
Above all, it is super essential to follow and stick to your schedule. If a meeting that you scheduled is going beyond the scheduled time, then, politely alert them during a conversation saying that you have like 15 more minutes for the meeting to end.
Really. Suit up. You should treat any workspace as your own office, with 100s of people around you. It might totally sound cool to work with your pajamas, but its probably not the best way to focus.
Your dress is going to influence the way you are going to look at your work. Little to bad dress is going to make you lazy, and you will eventually end up sleeping before you actually planned.
Say no to anything that comes your way during work. If there’s someone asking you to spend time playing around, say no. You are working and this is your working hour. Distractions are the deadliest weapon for your productivity.
Define your limitations very clearly. Say YES to the things that can help you focus better. Everything else is a big no.
When you are working away from your office, you are your own boss. And yes, there could be a million distractions coming your way. If you are going to be bothered regularly, do 25 minute sprints. So here’s how it works. You are going to take a 10 minute break every 25 minutes. But anything that comes your way during that 25 minute work-time, you are going to push it away to the 10 minute break you would be taking.
We all have very little attention span these days. And staying focused is as essential as your salary to buy food everyday. While these are only my views about the way someone could carry out their work-day away from their office, your view could be different.
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