Top 13 Productivity Tips For Remote Workers.

Updated on August 8th, 2023

Jul 30th 2022

Ontology Of Value Productivity-tips-for-remote-workers-1024x683 Top 13 Productivity Tips For Remote Workers Self-Care & Mental Health Self-management Tools and Strategies

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  • After the pandemic and a global shift toward remote work, white-collar productivity is lower than before.

  • In this article, we focus on 13 practical strategies that will help you function as a remote worker in daily life.

  • We include multiple aspects of productivity, from mindset, through time management, to diet and exercise.

Effective Strategies To Boost Your Productivity Working From Home.

To stay competitive as professionals in the times of the COVID-19, we all had to quickly become remote work ninjas. Especially given that, according to Resume Builder, 96% of remote companies use employee monitoring software.

But how to quickly improve your productivity and how to achieve career development when working from home, especially as an extroverted person? How to self-motivate yourself and keep pace when all you hear is a dead, resounding silence?

In the article “Working from Home: Tips and Tricks,” we touched on this problem and discussed how to develop the right mindset to speed up your career development while working from home. In this article, we will put more attention into practical everyday strategies that will help you function as a remote worker.

If you are looking for effective sources of energy, you should hear this first: no, drinking more and more coffee is certainly not the answer you are looking for! Coffee dehydrates your body more than anything, as it is highly acidic. Actually, every acidic beverage with the exception of fresh lemon juice, dehydrates you — from coffee, through strong tea, to soda drinks.

In this article, we introduce the top 13 tricks for how to boost your productivity and achieve career growth when working from home – right here, right now!

1. Find Your Optimal Daily Rhythm.

This is the most basic yet often overlooked strategy to increase your productivity and speed up your career development. Research shows that our circadian clock is genetically conditioned to a high extent. 

It was also shown that night owls substantially underperform at work and are at risk of disability in middle age once they are forced to wake up early and work alongside morning larks.

Therefore it is crucial for your career development to discover your optimal circadian cycle. Plan your night before you get down to planning your day! Please check our article dedicated to circadian rhythms, entitled “Dizzy At Work? Work According To Your Chronotype!” to learn more.

2. Learn the “5-Second Rule” by Mel Robbins.

Mel Robbins gained international acclaim when, as a 40+-year-old, financially broke mother of two, she discovered the “5-second rule.” 

The rule is strikingly simple: you only have 5 seconds in the morning to jump out of bed and start acting. Or, otherwise, your brain will talk you out of it.

Well, hard to disagree with this statement. The human brain is naturally paranoid. We evolved this way — the most paranoid of humans were the most likely to dodge natural danger and survive. We are naturally fearful of anything that is new and unknown.

Mel’s advice is: when you open your eyes in the morning, count from five to zero and stand up — without any deliberation. Then, just get down to your morning checklist. 

Please find more information about the 5-second rule and how to effectively implement it in your life in Mel’s best-selling book “The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage.”

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3. Use Your Personal Goals As Motivators.

While working from home, you need to keep on motivating yourself every single day and become your trainer and pacemaker. To put it simply, it is much easier to find the energy to run toward the finish line with a carrot on a stick! Namely, when you see the finish line to your very eyes.

So, invest some time into imagining what you ultimately want to get in life and at work: your lifestyle, your dream job, your dream house, your dream family. Draw or write down your dreams, and put them in a frame on your desk. Just remind yourself every day what the whole game is for!

4. Make a Clear Distinction Between Work and Leisure.

Your brain will keep on thinking about work and burn calories day and night, for as long as you don’t out clear boundaries between work and rest.

Firstly, separate work and leisure in time. It is best to assign specific time slots for working, ideally, suited to your chronotype.

Secondly, separate work and leisure in space. It is ideal if you can afford to work in a separate room allocated specifically to work. If this is not possible, perhaps you can at least use a separate desk for work. 

If you have none of these opportunities, you can at least choose one color of clothing that you wear only when working alone. The point is: that you should condition your brain and develop triggers that switch the focus every time they are used.

5. Use Time Management Apps Implementing Time Management Techniques.

If you think that some people “were born productive,” you are wrong. Career development is all a matter of getting to know yourself, self-discipline, and consequence. 

Research has shown clearly that too much visual and auditory stimulation is harmful to the brain and causes massive loss in productivity. If you feel distractible, information diet will be the best solution for you.

Techniques such as pomodoro or time-boxing help millions of people get onto such an information diet, focus, and work more productively. So, make best out of them!

You can use time managing apps for assistance, such as TimeOut for Mac OX. These apps will effectively help you and prevent you from cheating on yourself, as they will disable your keyboard while taking a break.

Lastly, you can use a trick and use your own empathy as a vehicle to prevent you from wasting working time on social media. One popular app for that purpose is Forest. This innovative app lets you “plant a tree” every time you start your deep work session.

During your session, the tree will grow on the screen of your phone. If you will lose your cool before the scheduled session runs out and use your phone, your beautiful green tree will die. Needless to say, this app keeps thousands of white-collar professionals motivated to stay strong and keep on going!

Also, productivity strategies resemble dieting. There is no one-fits-all approach. You will need to test multiple strategies and productivity schemes to find the one optimal for you.

6. Manage Social Media Responsibly.

Of course, as a remote worker, you are more prone to overusing social media as you have more need to surround yourself with people online than stationary workers. Staying off social media gives you FOMO and makes you feel lonely.

Everything is made for people — social media as well. But, social media are highly addictive and induce the same dopaminergic reward system as gambling or drugs. Therefore, they should be used with caution. It is recommended to use social media managing apps such as Franz.

These apps allow you for logging into ALL your social media accounts at a time. Once young into your Franz account, you see all the notifications received via all your social media accounts at once. Once you quit Franz, you cut yourself off from all the accounts at once as well.

Please also check our article “Top 10 Free Software to Assist You in Your Professional Development” to get more ideas about software that can help you throughout your professional career.

7. Keep Your Body Hydrated.

As mentioned in the introduction to this article, everything starts with the body. And, coffee is not your friend when it comes to productivity. As an acidic beverage, it presses your body to use its own minerals to balance the acidic pH before the digested liquid can be mixed with the blood in your system. It literally drains your bones from calcium and other mineral compounds!

Moreover, not every water is good for your health. Drinkable water should ideally have a potential of hydrogen (also known as pH) higher than blood, namely higher than 7.4. 

Therefore, you might be inclined to test the pH of the water you drink. You can also prepare yourself a refreshing beverage by mixing water with ice, mint, and fresh lemon. It will give you much more sustainable energy than coffee!

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8. Choose Foods With a Low Glycemic Index.

Similarly to beverages, you should also mind the food you choose. The glycemic index is a number that represents the relative rise in the blood glucose level two hours after consuming certain food.

To put it simply, the higher the glycemic index, the more sleepy this food will make you. Hence, it is better to avoid meals and products with a high glycemic index in the morning, before you start your working day.

Mind that the glycemic index may vary depending on how the meal is prepared. For instance, pasta cooked al dente has a low glycemic index, while over boiled pasta has an extremely high glycemic index. So, watch out for this!

9. Choose Your Optimal Working Setup.

At work, and especially while working from home, you have all the freedom to choose how your working space is organized. So, free your mind! Test various setups, colors, accessories. Whatever works! For instance, you don’t need to sit on a chair — you could choose a standing desk or a fitball instead.

Perhaps you prefer to work in a bathroom gown only! Anything is possible from home, so why not experiment? Your employer will only be interested in your results, not your way to get there.

You might also be interested in visiting a nearby co-working space, such as WeWork. Co-working spaces slowly become the norm, not only among freelancers and contractors but also, employees. 

Today, managers test new solutions to manage remote employees by providing them with a professional workspace and a sense of community. The benefits of co-working spaces, such as increased productivity and collaboration, suggest that companies should consider using them as a solution to manage their remote workforce.

10. Self-Reward Yourself After Every Smallest Milestone.

How to achieve a career progress while there is no boss to check upon you? You can additionally discipline yourself by self-administering rewards for every smallest achievement! Our brains tend to feel the rewarding shot of dopamine at the start of every project. What decides our eventual success is the ability to finish rather than start projects.

This is why it is good to condition your brain by rewarding yourself for every smallest success. It could be a movie, a piece of chocolate, a session of video gaming, et cetera. Small success —- small reward. And yet, it will do you miracles.

11. Arrange a Mastermind Group.

Don’t be alone on your way! Networking is the key to career development. Peer support and mutual mentoring in a peer group is the best way to make your remote work experience more satisfactory and successful. 

Furthermore, research proves that accountability is the key to productivitySo, join forces with other remote workers and motivate each other by becoming each other’s fellow-sufferers and pace makers!

You could, for example, invite a few friends to your mastermind group and organize a debriefing online via Zoom and share your experiences, little achievements, and bottlenecks at the end of each working day, or once per week.

Or, you could make use of the established online communities and services pairing remote workers as sparing partners or self-help groups such as LaunchPass or FocusMate.

Of course, you need to make sure that you don’t break the IP of your employer during these meetings… You also need to make sure that there is more collaboration than competition in your group. If you experience any toxicity, just change the group.

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12. Don’t Fall For the “Toxic Productivity.”

We often have to struggle with the “toxic productivity” culture promoted by authoritative figures such as Gary Vee (please read more about Gary’s career path in the article “Tell Me What You Think of Gary Vee And I Will Tell You Who You Are“).

The central concept of this school of thought is that you need to outwork and outlast your competition — that’s how you get successful in life.

This thinking can lead you nowhere but to burnout and depression. In fact, you should forgive yourself for unproductive days. Sometimes, it is just “not your day” to work, and that’s fine. You will waste more energy by blaming yourself for apathy and mistakes than by doing the actual work.

So, be good to yourself! If you are a couch potato who prefers to watch Netflix in your free time to sweating in the gym, so what?

Moreover, being too focused on productivity can lead to a paradox: reading and watching too much content dedicated to productivity can lead to a decrease in productivity. While watching content such as the YouTube channel by Ali Abdaal can make you feel like you are working on your productivity — while in fact, you don’t do anything else than watching YouTube!

Please learn more about how to avoid burnout and make yourself happy and wealthy in our other articles:

13. Monitor Your Mental Health and Intervene When Necessary.

As research studies demonstrate, due to isolation and loneliness remote work is associated with higher mental health risks. Even those who “pursue the dream” by following Timothy Ferriss’ school of thought and embarking on a 4-hour work week (as described in his best-selling book “The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich”), often report mental health problems.

Therefore, you need to carefully observe yourself throughout the process. If you feel that you start worrying more than usual, you might try techniques such as the “mental diet” proposed by Tony Robbins in his iconic book “Awaken The Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Life.”

However, such a mental diet might be insufficient in the long term. Remember that as humans, we didn’t evolve to live and work on our own. Remote work is not natural for us. This is why we need to monitor our mental health, go for regular checkups, and disconnect from work when necessary. No shame about it.

Conclusion: How To Be Productive As a Remote Worker?

Is remote work all that good for us after all? In her fascinating Nobel-prize awarded work “Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms,” Elinor Ostrom writes:

“Face-to-face communication in a public good game-as well as in other types of social dilemmas-produces substantial increases in cooperation that are sustained across all periods including the last period. 

The strong effect of communication is not consistent with currently accepted theory, because verbal agreements in these experiments are not enforced. Thus, communication is only “cheap talk” and makes no difference in predicted out- comes in social dilemmas. 

But instead of using this opportunity to fool others into cooperating, subjects use the time to discuss the optimal joint strategy, to extract promises from one another, and to give verbal tongue-lashings when aggregate contributions fall below promised levels. 

Interestingly, when communication is implemented by allowing subjects to signal promises to cooperate through their computer terminals, much less cooperation occurs than in experiments allowing face-to-face communication. 

The finding that face-to-face communication is more efficacious than computerized signaling is probably due to the richer language structure available and the added intrinsic costs involved in hearing the intonation and seeing the body language of those who are genuinely angry at free riders.”

What is the conclusion?

Well, it seems that communicating face to face at work has some added value over remote work as it evokes natural human empathy and leads to more utilitarian, cooperative behavior in the group – subverting the expectations coming from the game theory.

And yet, in daily life, we often have no choice but to adhere to the current standards and opportunities in the job market, that often involve remote work. What can ewer do for ourselves in these suboptimal circumstances?

To achieve an optimal career development as a remote worker, you need to experiment and trust your subconsciousness! We are all different and there is no one-fits-all productivity routine. We always need to constantly experiment with our minds, as we also change over lifetime. 

For instance, you might be inclined to try energizing meditations and subliminal affirmations published on the channel Minds in Unison on YouTube. Some of these affirmations might even reprogram your mind and make you more energized and productive while you sleep!

Your success as a remote worker will be proportional to your depth of knowledge about yourself. The better you know yourself, the more effective you will be at cherrypicking the strategies for self-management best for you. You need to play a little detective here and test multiple working schemes and accessories before finding your optimal settings.

Also, remember that we change over time while working on our professional development. When we age, we use to become better decision-makers on the cost of horsepower.

You just can’t work as many hours as a 45-year-old as you used to as a 25-year-old. And that’s perfectly fine as with your knowledge. You will be able to achieve more in a shorter amount of time.

Best of luck!

PS: Are you interested in remote jobs? Please find 25 companies currently hiring for 100% remote roles here.

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Please cite as:

Bielczyk, N. (2022, July 30th). Top 13 Productivity Tips For Remote Workers. Retrieved from https://ontologyofvalue.com/top-13-productivity-tips-for-remote-workers/

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