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SZYMON NOWAK β€’ June 26, 2020

How To Boost Your Productivity While Working Remote?

Working remotely can be tricky for several people. We know how to handle it.

Since the begining of NS Code journey, we have been working partly or (sometimes) fully remote. Right now due to the situation related to the spread of COVID-19 disease we went remote-only.

There are plenty of ways to boost your productivity while working remotely and we have chosen some of them that we use every day.

Dress just as you are heading to the office

Don't work in your pajamas. Just don't. Wake up, have a shower, and dress just as you would dress to your office (maybe left your jacket on the hanger).

When you dress normally you get into "the mood" of working. You will be more focused and concentrated on your work. Besides that - sitting in your pajamas after long night can be sometimes a little bit smelly πŸ˜‰

Schedule your working hours

And let your relatives know them. When you are at work - you are at work, and nobody should interrupt you. It might be tricky if you have never worked at your home before.

Create a schedule - e.g. from 7:00 to 15:00 and tell your loved ones. Ask them kindly to not disturb you while you are working. Tell them, that they should think that you are not home - you are at work.

Disable notifications

It is for both home office and offline office. Notifications can be very disturbing. Left only necessary things (like phone and messages from your boss and family). On phone, you can enable "Do Not Disturb" settings, e.g. only for your work hours (as we said earlier - create your schedule!).

You can go one step further and disable unnecessary notifications on your computer. When we are working we've got only Basecamp left. I am checking only Basecamp from time to time and my mail 2 times a day. Everything else is closed / disabled.

Create your home-office

Home Office

Set up your workspace at home. It might be a different room, but it might be as well a defined area (e.g. a table in the living room).

It should be your space when you work and do nothing else. It might be very comfortable to work from your couch, and some can do it, but trust me - it's very hard to maintain focus when the pillow encircles you.

Create communication pyramid

comm-pyramid btw. we love Nozbe

The Communucation pyramid is a principle to prioritize some of the possible ways of communicating. And the top of the pyramid is deep work. No distributions, no calls, no meetings, because deep work produces the most impactful outcome.

Then, there should be emails - at NS Code we do have a rule that we respond to emails within 24 hours. After that, Basecamp (or any other communication app with chat πŸ™‚), and at the very very top of the pyramid - meetings. Meetings are the killers of productivity and we should avoid them as much as we can.

Brain.Fm / Brain music

There are several choices of apps that can play "brain music". "Brain Music" is a song with special waves that should stimulate your music.

You can use Brain.fm (which I recommend, but it is not free) or just go to YouTube and find some "studying" / "deep work" / "brain" music mixes.

When you listen to any song with lyrics you lose your focus, because you process them in your mind. When there is brain music (or any other music without high temp and lyrics), it is just playing in your background and you can focus on the work.

Pomodoro technique

Pomodoro Technique

Pomodoro technique is one of the "must-have" solutions when it comes to creative work overall (not only remote). The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. Each interval is known as a pomodoro, from the Italian word for 'tomato', after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used as a university student.

There are six steps in the original technique:

  1. Decide on the task to be done.
  2. Set the pomodoro timer (traditionally to 25 minutes).
  3. Work on the task.
  4. End work when the timer rings and put a checkmark on a piece of paper.
  5. If you have fewer than four checkmarks, take a short break (3–5 minutes), then go to step 2.
  6. After four pomodoros, take a longer break (15–30 minutes), reset your checkmark count to zero, then go to step 1

It is important that while working on your task, you should tunnel focus on your work. Disable notifications, do not do anything that disturbs your focus. When you've got a break, think about anything but not about the work itself. Watch some YouTube or listen to your favorite song. Several apps can help you stick to this method.

Workout regularly

Stretch

When you are not commuting to work and just sitting there in your house you can gain some extra weight easily. There are huge amounts of health benefits related to regular workouts.

When it comes to remote work - you can start your day with a quick workout which will wake your body and make sure that you are ready to work.

After work, when you sit for 6-8 hours, your back might get stiff. Perform a quick stretch to loosen up your muscles. You will feel so much better, trust me.

Summary

Working remotely at home can be very tricky, but we've got some rules and tricks that can help maintain our focus. We hope that some of these tips can help you with staying productive and achieving your everyday goals.