It’s still a very uncertain time as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and numbers are constantly fluctuating. Many business owners are taking safe measures by pushing the returning to office date all the way into 2021. This means working remotely will continue to be a trend we see throughout the rest of the year.
By now, you’ve probably figured out how to work from home or remotely productively, but it may be time for some new strategies to avoid feeling bored or trapped. If you’re coming across the mental fight of how to spend free time and how much of that time should be for productivity, this blog came to you at the perfect time. If you’re reading this because you have become a part of the cycle of stagnant, even better.
Let’s dive into the 5 ways entrepreneurs can avoid stagnant productivity while working remotely. First off, it’s important to start by acknowledging what it is that is causing your productivity to become stagnant. Here are a few signs to determine whether or not you’re experiencing the cycle of stagnant:
You feel unmotivated and uninspired (even when you try hard to find inspiration/motivation)
You’re slowly starting to avoid responsibilities
You find yourself constantly procrastinating
You don’t feel like doing anything but mindless activities and distractions that bring easy pleasure
You have a gut feeling that you aren’t reaching your fullest potential
How to Avoid Stagnant Productivity
1. Create a consistent schedule to stick to
Remember when you’re home, you won’t be able to avoid all distractions such as family. When you have a lot going on, you want to make sure everything has its dedicated time. Setting a schedule for yourself is a great way to start breaking the cycle of stagnant. Set times to make meals, take a break, work on tasks, help kids with their homework, etc. Following this schedule will allow you to maximize your time and productivity while minimizing distractions.
Once you nail this it’s time to apply it to your household. When everyone is on a schedule together, a clear understanding of boundaries is established. This doesn’t mean that everything needs to be black and white. It’s okay if little interruptions occur, just make sure these interruptions are necessary.
2. Avoid doing household chores or having easy distractions during your scheduled work hours
When you’re trying to be productive from home, specifically through work, minimizing distractions that are at the tips of your fingers can increase productivity. This includes having a TV on as background noise or taking a break to clean the kitchen (which usually ends up taking more than just a short break). Distractions like these can instantly take your focus off your task at hand.
Remember: Multitasking isn’t always the most productive way to get things done. Use your designated work time wisely.
3. Set up a comfortable remote office
Having a comfortable and organized setting to do productive work is very important because it sets the tone for your workday. Ideally, it should be a quiet area within your home that is easy to escape from distractions. You should incorporate your own personal style to your workplace, such as art, photos, plants, and other decor. Also, make sure you’re choosing a location to optimize natural lighting as it can help keep your mind focused and prevent possible eye strains.
Keep in mind that cluttered and unorganized spaces can and will hinder your productivity levels. Typically, the environment you keep around you is how you are feeling inside and you want to feel at your best!
4. Have a designated accountability partner
It’s not always easy forming new habits, but you can make it fun by having an accountability partner. This is someone who will check-in and follow up with you to make sure that you’re doing what you said you would do. In this case, it’s having productivity check-ins to see what all you did. This information can help you measure how truly productive you’ve been and where you could improve.
Practice giving each other advice on how you could be more productive or what you could change in your routine to minimize distractions. Hear each other out and make sure not to take anything too personal. This person is here to help not to criticize.
5. Know when to log off and check out
As you get in this routine you may find yourself wanting to keep going to maximize your productivity, but the burn out will be real. Once the time comes to end your workday - END IT. You can always have a team member work on it if they have time, come to it later in the day if it is still on your mind, or add it at the beginning of your to-do list for the next day.
Keeping a balance of mindful and mindless work is imperative. You’re working remotely so you are in charge of knowing when it is time to wrap up and give your attention elsewhere.