“Never again.” Or, at least, that’s what you tell yourself.
You’ve just wasted a half-hour on cat videos (again) and nearly missed an important conference call, all thanks to the very common distractions associated with working remotely. So you jam in those headphones, crank the motivational songs, finish your social chat, close alllllll those extra tabs, and tell yourself to focus. Again.
Whether you telework to be with a sick kid, while on vacation, or as a regular contractor, you need solid productivity tips and real tools to get back on task and stay motivated. Here are a few tried-and-true ideas to get you started:
Make a Plan
You can’t honestly be surprised every time a shiny headline catches your click. Instead, be ready with an hourly strategy. A simple, effective planner like the Daily Appointment Book from Rediform Office Products can help you block out sections of your day, so you don’t feel like you’re stepping off a cliff every time you close your email program to concentrate.
Find Focus Music
Whether you’re into chill, downbeat electronica or poppy motivational songs, you need to drown out distractions with a steady stream of inspiring audio vibes. Check out the ad-free options on your favorite internet radio site, or sign up for Soulseek to easily (and legally) share obscure tunes from still-unsigned artists.
Upgrade Your Hardware, Storage
Stay connected to your team and your workflow with a powerhouse laptop like the Acer Aspire. Its 8GB system memory can handle tons of apps (including the multimedia wizardry you need to stream those motivational songs) and perform perfectly during the weekly huddle you join remotely.
Plus, it comes with enough hard drive storage to keep over 650,000 photos or more than 500 hours of video, so you can record those meetings and presentations to replay later.
Equip a Shoulder Bag
You already know that for your most effective work, the environment must be just so. Be ready to change up your work space on a whim with a carryall that can . . . well, carry all.
When that coffee shop or collaborative work space gets too rowdy, leave. Some of the best productivity tips involve knowing when to say “when.” The canvas and leather Elk Valley 15″ Computer Briefcase by Canyon Outback can help you make your escape a quick one.
Devise a Backup Plan
Every remote worker knows that killer ideas hit at the weirdest times. That’s why you need a dictation program that goes with you, like Naturally Speaking by Dragon.
Talking into your computer to produce your work three times faster than typing is slick, but even cooler is doing it at the playground with the kids. Or in the car wash. Or the airport terminal. You get the idea. Go anywhere without being forced to pause (or worse, lose) your fleeting thoughts.
Wear Appropriate Attire
Internet cafes and collaborative work spaces are the perfect place for grownups to play dress up. You could be a logo designer—but if you dress like a congressman, you’ll think like one. Or, you could be a secret agent, posing as a normal civilian (just like the others). With the modish Fleet Sleeveless Popover, passersby won’t know how you and your laptop are busy saving the world . . . or pretending to, anyway.
All digital nomads agree: working remotely brings a unique set of challenges. The freedom is considered a luxury, but comes at a price. When it’s time to get stuff done, remote work takes serious grit and a few effective tools.