When you work remotely, you will find that you have to push yourself daily. When there is nobody else to talk to or there is no physical workplace to attend to, you can run the risk of getting lazy and unproductive. Even if this happens unintentionally, you will find it is a cycle that can be very hard to break. So, just what positive action can you start taking to maintain productivity when working remotely as a digital nomad?
1. Ensure You Have a Clear Workplace Setup
Your priority must always be your workspace. Where you work can make or break the success of your day, and having the separation between work, play, and home is crucial. Even though you are working remotely, it is important to have a quiet place to work from. A quiet corner of a room or a sheltered spot outside (in good weather) is ideal.
Trying to carry out your role while sitting on the sofa and watching TV is not going to work, no matter how much you want it to. When you have a clear workspace setup, you know you can perform your work to the best of your ability at all times. You have consistency, and this is key when talking about productivity.
2. Focus on Comfort – Make it a Priority
Once you have established where you will be working, you then need to start prioritizing comfort. When you are comfortable at your remote workstation, you can enjoy working. Comfort will come in many ways when working remotely. For instance, it will come in the clothing and attire you wear, such as the casual women's athleisure and loungewear you choose. Casual clothing is going to be comfortable for those long shifts in front of the computer or laptop.
As well as comfortable clothing and attire, you must consider your desk/chair. An ergonomic chair that gives you comfort and support must be high on your priority list, together with good lighting to ensure you are not straining your eyes when working in the evening.
3. Set a Schedule and Stick to It
It can be easy to get distracted when you are working remotely, especially if you have lots going on in your home. When you set a schedule and stick to it, you will find your time and energy are much more focused. Without a schedule, you may find that you struggle to put in the hours you need. You may also struggle to motivate yourself to get up off the sofa. A schedule gives you direction, and this is very much needed when working remotely.
4. Start Feeling Comfortable Saying No
As you will soon start to realize, your time is important – especially when working remotely. As your time is so important, it is essential to feel more comfortable saying no. Saying no to distractions in the household is key. Saying no to extra shifts is acceptable too. To gain a healthy and manageable balance when working from home or your Airbnb, you have to learn to say no more often, especially when working around other commitments such as children.
5. Look at Automation, Where You Can
When you look at your typical day (or shift) when remote working, how much time are you spending on simple tasks? Automation can be very useful in remote working, and when you can save time automating those tasks that take a few minutes – why wouldn't you? Automation can reduce constraints on your time, and it can help you balance your workday. For instance, you may find that automation may come from using a platform to organize our daily schedule.
6. Set Boundaries With Family, Friends, and Loved Ones
One of the biggest hurdles impacting maintaining productivity levels may be those living in your household, family, friends, and loved ones. Often family and friends find it difficult to understand what is involved with remote working (unless they have experienced this for themselves). Therefore, they do not understand that you must always retain focus, professionalism, and motivation. You may find that they disturb you regularly or try to make plans with you when you are working.
To limit these situations, honesty and openness are crucial. Let them know when you are working, so they do not cause a disturbance. Also, let them know that you are not contactable via phone, email, or messenger during your scheduled hours. Digital communication can end up being just as distracting as real-life communication, so make it clear and always lay out the boundaries.
7. Communicate and Reach Out to Others
There will be those occasions when you feel quite isolated from colleagues and others. Working remotely has its perks, but sometimes the need for human interaction can make you less productive than you want to be. To overcome this., you must always communicate (and reach out to others) where you can. This may mean attending real-life meetups.
It may mean having a check-in call with other team members once a week. Or, it may mean having a video conference once a fortnight. Communicating with those that you work with (and for) will help you feel more connected, even if you are not in the same state – or even on the same continent!
8. Learn to Balance Your Time
Getting a sustainable balance in your life when you are working remotely can be tough – especially if you are juggling other commitments too. Being easy on yourself, taking your time, and seeing what works for you is essential, this can take some trial and error as you get started. Planning out the week or fortnight ahead will give you more control over your free time and working time and help you ensure there are no overlaps or clashes. The art of balancing your time comes with practice, knowledge, and awareness.
Trying to achieve perfection is going to leave you feeling overwhelmed and stressed. So, instead, focus on going for a happy medium that allows you to enjoy working and still spend quality time with friends and loved ones.