“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs
I just celebrated my anniversary as a Top Rated freelancer in UpWork a few days ago so I thought I should create a blog post to share how I stay productive even when I’m working remotely.
There is no magic formula in staying productive but there are strategies you can do to make sure you get the most out of your day.
The beauty about being able to work remotely is you get to work anywhere in the world. This is one of the many reasons why I’ve chosen this career path. I get to travel and earn at the same time.
Although these things have worked for me, everyone is different. If it’s not helping you much, try and tweak it. 🙂
Strategies for a Productive Remote Work
1. Wake up on the right side of the bed
Well, not literally. But you know when you just woke up and it feels like it’s going to be a bad day? Chances are, it’s going to be a bad day. But if you wake up on the right side of the bed, you’ll have a kickstart to your day.
I won’t tell you to start working as early as possible instead do things that makes you feel good and inspires you as early as possible.
If that’s working or checking your emails then go ahead, do it. If reading makes you feel good then start your day reading a book. If it’s meditating then meditate before you jump out of bed. If it’s playing with your kids, do it.
There are so many ways to start your day right. Find out which ones work for you.
I find that there are days when working right away fires up my productivity. Some days I like it slow and meditate. Other mornings I prepare myself a delicious breakfast and start working after.
However, when I’m traveling, I have to be more mindful of how I manage my time because I have to divide my time between staying productive at work while exploring places. I usually create a plan the night before on how I’m going to spend my days so I don’t miss any work or places to visit.
2. Don’t work in the same place every day
I have my own office desk at home but I rarely use it. I just place all my work stuff there but I don’t really work there. Not all the time, at least.
I usually work sitting on my comfy chair or at the dining table. Sometimes I bring my mama’s portable table in the garden and work there.
Right now I’m typing this in our nipa hut where I’ve been working for the past few days because the summer heat is killing me.
I’ve lived on my own several times so when I find a place to stay, I make sure that there are different spaces where I can work. The last place I lived at alone was a condo unit in Cagayan de Oro and even though it was small, I can comfortably work at the dining table, living room sofa and in my room. It is also close to a mall where I can easily work at coffee shops.
I used to work in cafes a lot but this year since I came home from my Europe trip, I’ve been working in our home most of the time.
What I miss right now is being able to work in the beach, sipping a cold mango shake and my feet on the sand with relaxing wave sounds in the background. Ah, great times. I remember staying in an island for a week and worked from the beach every day. I would pack up books and my laptop and find a sun bed. I start working on my laptop and take a break by swimming or reading a book. Now that I’m writing about it, I just might do it again. LOL.
3. Find out what fuels your productivity
Is it the smell of freshly brewed coffee? A cold shower in the morning? An early morning run? Or your productivity playlist?
Whatever it is that fuels your productivity, use it. Do it. Get it. Play it.
I found out what fuels my productivity by working in different environment and doing different things. I write down what I’m going to do or where I am and assess how it affects the way I work.
I find myself very productive in cafes. I think it’s the smell of coffee and relaxing music.
When I’m at home, even if I fix myself a cup of coffee and play bossa nova, it’s still different from when I’m in a cafe.
When I travel, I always visit cafes and work from there. I don’t only get to be productive but also try the local coffee and food.
4. Don’t work when you’re sleepy
A no-brainer but I’m so guilty of staying up late to get more work done.
I’m a workaholic. I work A LOT not because I have to but because I WANT to. I love what I do that’s why I enjoy doing it.
You can mix work with pleasure but don’t mix work with sleep.
Whenever I write about sleeping and working, I always remember the TED Talk of Arianna Huffington. If you haven’t watched it, you’re definitely missing out. Watch it here.
5. Try different productivity tools
Music apps. To do list apps. Distraction free apps.
I ran out of memory in my android phone because I downloaded so many apps. LOL.
After using all of them, I deleted the ones that didn’t worked for me. BUT, most of them worked for me so my phone is still low on memory. Ha! I think the ones I deleted are the distraction free apps. I work in social media, aside from writing, so obviously I have to use the apps on my phone which are considered distracting. If you’re a social media manager, make sure to check this article out!
I downloaded a Productivity playlist on Spotify and it does make a difference. Right now I’m into Lo-fi music. It’s super relaxing and it gives me the right music without distracting me.
I kept some to do list apps but I’m very old school so I prefer post it notes and my bullet journal.
6. Create your own productivity method
If you search about productivity methods, you’ll find out that there are so many articles written about it that it can get overwhelming. You just don’t know which one to try first.
What you can do is try one each day and write the things that you like about that method and the things that doesn’t work for you.
After a week or two of trying different productivity methods, you’ll have a long list of which ones worked for you so use it to create your personalized productivity method.