How to create a remote work schedule and make it work

Remote work schedule has become popular and is quite trending thanks to the COVID 19 Pandemic. While people might think that remote working is easy, people who have been doing it will tell you otherwise. Contrary to popular belief remote working is not always easy.  Productivity and loss of work-life balance are some issues that might be troubling you as a remote worker. So what can you do to overcome these? Scheduling and sticking to routines? I bet these are the two most important terms you will find in every other article about remote working. Well, we all know it is easier said than done.

So, here are a few tips and tricks on how to create a schedule and make it work.

  • Create a schedule that is customized to you and your life– It makes no sense to create a schedule that starts early morning when you have been working into the late night. You might push yourself out of the bed but that does not mean you will be productive. So, be realistic and pen down a schedule that allows you ample rest hours and coffee breaks. Allot more time than you think would require to complete a project. This gives you some buffer time while ensuring that you meet your deadlines. 
  • Have meaningful breaks– Watching your favorite movie might not exactly be a good idea of a coffee break. Have fixed breaks and do not engage in any activity that might turn your 15-minute break into a 3 hour one. Try to take a small walk, or engage in some form of physical activity. This truly rejuvenates your tired mind and body. 
  • Set your priorities right: It is not always about finishing your work. You also need to get things done at home. Plan your schedule according to the deadlines that have to be met. Trying to squeeze in some time to play with your kids, meeting your friends, or taking your pet for a walk also gives you a sense of accomplishment. Most working women feel guilty when they do not get things done at the home front. This is highly taxing on your mind and distracts you when you really need to be concentrating.
  • Dress up – Have you lately seen videos where professionals are providing hands-on grooming sessions? Well, they are doing this for a reason. Get out of your PJ’s and wear work clothes. Believe it or not, they help your brain to realize that it is time to do some real work. Who says you should not wear makeup and look good if you are working from home?
  • Ergonomics- This is kind of a personal choice. If you can splurge, looking for a cool and chic co-working space is a good option. It mimics a regular job situation and also saves you from a lot of distractions. But if you cannot afford one, do not worry. You can turn a small part of your home into your work cubicle. A small makeover and your space is ready. The point is, to have a private space where you are free from disturbances and more productivity. Do not shy about spending a little. Think of it as an investment.
  • Know your productive hours – Do not beat yourself to start your work at 5 am when you have always been a night owl. Identify your most productive hours in a day and work your schedule around it. Allot your high energy hours for difficult and tiring works. Pack up some light work for those low energy hours. This helps you to make good use of your productive hours.
  • Distance yourself from distractions – Is that NETFLIX series too tempting? Stay away from it. You could remove those shortcuts from your desktop. Log out of all your private social media accounts. You could also consider working from an incognito browser window or use a private account during work hours. 
  • Communicate your plans to your family – It is very important for your spouse or kids to know your working hours. Communicate your work hours so that they are prepared to go about with their routine without expecting you to help. This is more important when both you and your spouse are working remotely. Get together and plan your work routines. Giving equal importance to each other’s work schedules and helping each other to meet their respective deadlines can be truly rewarding. 
  • Invest in tools and set your hardware in place – Spending on good Wi-Fi and Net connections required for your work, and choosing gadgets that compliment your work can be time-saving. Never hesitate to make use of some online tools like Google calendar for planning, Focus Apps to prevent you from getting distracted, mind mapping tools like Coggle or Gitmind when you are brainstorming alone, and Security tools that protect your office files. Let these tools and apps take care of their tasks while you enjoy your work.

Finally when you finish tasks as per the plan, do not forget to treat yourself to your favorite series or gift yourself something that has been in your wish list for quite some time. This inspires you to stick to your schedules and be more productive. So, what are you waiting for? Get started. Happy remote working guys!!!

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