Being a remote worker can cause you to feel like you never actually have time off. You may find yourself replying to emails when you’re in bed, or texting a coworker about a project while you’re cooking dinner. For workaholics and perfectionists, the pressure to constantly be in work mode can become crippling without the structure and schedule office life provides. If you’ve found yourself struggling to meet deadlines or feeling overworked, here are some tips that can help you streamline your process. Incorporating these suggestions into your workday, along with your own preferred methods, may help reduce stress, free up some time and allow you to enjoy your work rather than feel chained to it.
Cut Out Unnecessary Meetings ASAP
Video conferencing can connect us to our colleagues in seconds, but it can also be a huge distraction and waste of time. In an effort to close the distance that remote work has created, some formerly in-office teams are constantly online and holding meetings with one another. This might be a good way to feel closer in lieu of real face-to-face contact, but it can also lead to frequent disruptions and divided attention. Consider holding your daily morning meetings and round-ups asynchronously. Platforms that allow you to record and share videos with your fellow workers can allow everyone to view and respond in their own time as opposed to stopping multiple times throughout the day to talk.
Time Your Work
Set an alarm for 30 minutes or an hour rather than expecting yourself to sit in front of the computer for eight hours straight. Working in short bursts can produce better results and leave you feeling more accomplished. You’ll also be able to work some exercise into your routine; after every burst, stand up and do at least five minutes of cardio, whether it’s jumping jacks or high-knees. When you work on a timer, you are also more inclined to focus on the task at hand rather than letting your mind wander.
Automate as Much as Possible
Menial work like writing transcripts or subtitles can be handed off to a machine. A subtitle generator through a transcription service can translate video or MP3s to text in over 119 languages. For anyone who produces videos, this tool can help you make your content more accessible to a larger audience without having to spend money on professional translators and editors. You can also begin to schedule content to post on a social media calendar rather than manually uploading everything; this frees up space for you to focus on other projects without compromising your online presence or affecting the quality of your posts.
Write a Daily Agenda
At the start of each day, write down the top three tasks you need to take care of. No matter what, these are the three things you’re going to concentrate on above everything else. This simple task can help you focus more on your responsibilities without feeling guilty for leaving other things on the back burner. It doesn’t mean other tasks may not spring up and demand attention, but it does help structure your work day more.