Ways to Improve Productivity When Learning or Working Remotely in 2021
The stark realities of 2020 brought many changes to the twin spheres of work and school. While it’s likely that some things will “return to normal” once the pandemic subsides, the culture of remote learning/working is probably here to stay on a lot of levels.
And though this sea change is a welcome one for many (with its short commutes, flexible work hours, and nonexistent dress codes), it’s not without its share of challenges. Chief among them is the difficulty more than a few of us have had when it comes to staying productive in a relaxed home environment.
With that in mind, here are a few expert tips on how to improve productivity in an ever-evolving remote-work landscape.
Eat the Frog
Wait, WHAT?!? Don’t worry — things aren’t THAT far off the rails. “Eating the frog” is a metaphor. As Mark Twain once opined, “Eat a frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” In short, if you prioritize your biggest, most daunting, or most dreaded task early in the day (rather than procrastinating until later), the rest of your day will feel like it’s coasting downhill in comparison. Clear the decks of that monster job right out of the gate, and you can coast on momentum for the remainder of it.
Set Realistic Goals
Often, we begin our days with a surplus of ambition — ready to tackle lengthy to-do lists — only to find our drive waning right along with our time by the end of the day. Avoiding burnout and frustration often begins with being realistic about our time management. If you consistently find yourself with too many tasks still left unfinished by the time the clock runs out, then give yourself the permission to take on less. That way, you’re less likely to end up working even longer hours at home than you ever did in an office.
Multitasking Is Overrated
Given the average workload many of us face during the day, trying to complete multiple things concurrently can be a tempting prospect. However, our work often suffers when we try to accomplish too much at once. By breaking up tasks into smaller “chunks” — and working on one thing at a time — we can give each project the attention it needs to be its best. Focus is key!
Here are some quick links to a few handy tools we’ve found to be particularly helpful when it comes to managing daily workflow:
- Communication & Collaboration — Slack
- Time Tracking — Harvest
- Project Management — Trello
- Design — Canva
- Documentation — Google Docs
Give Yourself a Break
When we’re working in an office, it’s a given that we’ll tap out regularly to hit the water cooler, grab a cup of coffee, or enjoy lunch. But being at home can breed a different mindset. We’re already where we’re going to wind up at quitting time, so taking breaks can feel unnecessary or even gratuitous. Don’t fall into that trap! If you start to feel like you’ve been at it a bit too long, you absolutely have the right to take a powder now and again. Take a short walk. Get some fresh air. Stretch your legs. Grab a snack or a beverage. Remember — burnout is most common when our candles are lit at both ends.
If you’re working or attending school from home, chances are you’re not the only one — especially given the quarantine “bubbles” many of us are maintaining as we ride out COVID-19. So, since we may have family members sharing our spaces, it’s important to be firm when it comes to work hours. Carve out a space and a time when it’s clear you shouldn’t be disturbed unless there is a legitimate emergency. Then stick to that. It may be a bit tense at first, but if the inverse is constant interruption that throws roadblocks up in front of your work rhythm, it’s still a preferable alternative.
Treat Yourself to a Change of Vista
For many of us, working or attending classes remotely means doing so from home. Still, the cabin fever can get pretty real when we’re occupying the same four walls 24/7/365. So, if you can work from anywhere, then why not take that to heart? Give the life of a digital nomad a whirl. Check out of your home environment and check in to Days Inn San Diego Hotel Circle. We’ve got a whole host of amenities that make productivity (as well as downtime) a snap, like complimentary Wi-Fi, a fitness center, and a heated pool. That way, when 5 o’clock rolls around, you can head straight to unwinding! Check out our unbeatable travel specials, and we’ll see you soon!