Six top tips for more productive remote working
People often say how much more productive they are when working from home or away from a busy environment. Working remotely has so many benefits; not least is the improved ability to focus because of fewer distractions. For any university student starting on their journey with Unisource and keen to work on degree-related tasks, we’ve put together our six top tips for productive remote working.
They say a tidy desk is a tidy mind and it really is true! If you are working on a detailed-oriented project then having an organised space is very helpful. Before you start your task, clear a space on your desk for your laptop, grab a fresh notebook and any reference books you need and (apart from a cuppa) move anything else out of the way. If you’re working with documents, a few folders, storage boxes or a document holder can help avoid the clutter and create a stress-free zone.
Being productive is all about focusing on your ultimate objective and not being side-tracked. As Stephen Covey, author and productivity expert said: “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing”. In other words, don’t lose sight of your end goal. Start by reviewing the task description, prioritise each deliverable and plan the stages you need to take to get there.
For anyone wanting to focus, the Pomodoro Technique, also called the tomato timer, is a great time-management tool. Using this technique, you work for 25 minutes without interruption and then take a break for five minutes. Then repeat. After four tomatoes you take a longer 15- to 20-minute break to make a hot drink or get some fresh air. If this doesn’t suit you, try adding some structure to your day, with clear breaks in between. This will help ensure you don’t lose focus or succumb to procrastination.
It’s not always easy to get “in the zone” with your phone buzzing beside you or with email alerts pinging. Social media is designed to grab your attention and keep you scrolling, so for the moments when you need to concentrate, put your phone on silent, close your email and stop your notifications. It may also be worth setting some boundaries with housemates so they know when you’re working.
Some people prefer complete silence for focus, but if that’s not for you then soothing playlists or apps like Headspace have a Focus music mode.
The time of day has a huge effect on our energy and productivity levels, depending on our natural rhythms. Some people find they are fresher first thing in the morning, while others don’t get going until late afternoon. Save the tasks that are harder for when you feel most alert. The benefit of working remotely on Unisource tasks is that you can pick the time that best suits you.
It’s worth checking in regularly with your key point of contact to update them on progress. If you collaborate across digital tools like Zoom, Basecamp, G Suite or Asana this makes the process easier. Regular touchpoints are great for building working relationships and boost engagement in the task. It means you can make little tweaks to your approach, ask for help along the way and address any issues to improve productivity and the result.
Hopefully, these tips and tricks will help you ace each task. When you’ve completed your task for the day, clear your desk, write a to-do list for the next day and then take a well-earned chill to recharge!