Looking to be more productive outside the office? You’ve clicked to the right place. Here are nine quick tips for getting the job done at home, abroad or on the go.
1. Find the right workspace.
Do you know what works best for you? If background chatter helps you get in the groove, a café may be your cup of tea. If you need quiet and space, set aside room at home that’s strictly for work. Nowadays, there are even on-demand offices available, if that’s more your style.
2. Own your schedule.
Take control of your calendar, or others will control your calendar for you. Block out time for real work, but don’t go overboard. Block off too much and people will just schedule the time that works best for them. And for those of you that want to try something different, give work themes a go.
3. Get in work mode.
There’s something to be said for following through with your morning routine, even when you don’t ship off to the office anymore. Get out of bed, take a shower and put on something other than pajamas. Then you might just feel like you’re actually ready to work.
4. Keep communicating.
You may be out of the office, but you should never be out of mind. Be proactive about reaching out with whatever tools you have — IM, video chat, email — to keep the conversation with your co-workers constant. You want your contributions heard, right?
5. Defeat your digital distractions.
Everything wants a piece of your attention, but you shouldn’t give it out so freely. Phone notifications, social media messages and email pop-ups can suck your productivity dry if you’re not careful. Silence or turn off all that stuff and set aside a later time to check them.
6. Give yourself daily deadlines.
We all indulge in procrastination, but like most things, moderation is best. Since no one’s breathing over your shoulder, setting simple, attainable deadlines each day can help keep you on task (and off the sofa).
7. Carry a cloud briefcase.
Physical documents are great, but they’re slowly becoming a relic. Not to mention the clutter they create when you’re on the go. Instead, upload your in-progress work to the cloud and get to it from anywhere. Bonus: All your work is now easily searchable.
8. Get yourself some backup plans.
Following in the last tip’s footsteps, if you have everything online, your files are safe when you accidentally spill coffee on your device. But what about when the Internet or power goes out at home? Plan for Plan B, C and D, so you can actually stay productive when bad luck strikes.
9. Unplug and play.
You deserve a break — simple as that. Make sure you get the time you need for yourself. Give your mind time to reboot, and you will return more focused and effective. It actually does help.