Since the onset of COVID-19, people are working and learning more independently and remotely than ever before. While there are advantages to this, the temptation to “do the bare minimum” is all the more enticing when emails and Google invites are your only means of accountability. However, remote productivity can flourish for those who are intrinsically motivated.
Before you start assuming that it’s time to get everyone back in the office, take time to evaluate each team member’s productivity. You may discover they need help figuring out how they can be more productive. Here are five steps you can share with them to help them improve productivity while working remotely.
- Set a Schedule – Planning your day is an imperative step in achieving your goal of being more productive. Use a planner or Google calendar to schedule out your workload. Take a few minutes the day before or start your day five to 10 minutes earlier to figure out what you need to accomplish. When you schedule your day, it can reduce stress and keep you from procrastinating so that you can stay organized and meet deadlines. Once you set your schedule, stick to it and reward yourself after each milestone to stay motivated.
- Refresh Your Workspace – It can be easy to lose motivation when you sit in the same space all the time. One way to boost productivity is to change up your workspace. A benefit of working remotely is that you can go almost anywhere, so use it to your advantage. If you feel like you need to be inspired, try to update your workspace or change which room you work in frequently. Don’t be afraid to redecorate your workspace, rearrange furniture or try working outside.
- Take Small Steps – Large projects and looming deadlines can be intimidating. It may feel as if you are drowning in work. Instead of looking at everything you have to do as a whole, break your projects down into manageable steps. The small steps you take will eventually come together so you can accomplish your end goal. By doing this, you can make a large task feel more manageable. You can also feel a sense of accomplishment after each small milestone that will keep you motivated until the end.
- Value Your Time – Time management is a critical aspect of working independently. For some people, time can get away from them when they are not being supervised. To avoid this, you have to realize the value of time. Time is one of the most valuable currencies because, unlike money or possessions, it cannot be recovered. That’s why it’s important to make every second count. Be sure to take breaks when you need them, but set time limits so you don’t let the day get away from you.
- Know Your Purpose – To flourish in your job or career, it’s essential that you find purpose in what you do. In his book “Man’s Search for Meaning,” Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor E. Frankl argues that purpose is even more essential than food and sleep. People thrive on finding their meaning in life — which in return ignites their productivity. Even if the small task you are doing right now doesn’t seem meaningful, you have to look at the end goal. What you are doing now can help you later in your career or job. Always focus on the bigger picture.
Since working remotely is a relatively new dynamic, it may take time (and patience) for everyone to adapt. In fact, remote work could be a catalyst for independent growth and improvement. By encouraging your team to follow these five steps, you may find it helps transform your entire work culture for the better.