This week, Forbes.com offers some handy advice for you remote workers out there.
Sure, you love the flexibility of setting your own schedule and completing work assignments in your pajamas, but how do you stay motivated when you don’t have the boss breathing over your shoulder?
Rich Allen, author of The Ultimate Business Tune Up, has three handy tips for being an effective remote worker:
First, he suggests setting up a weekly check-in with your boss.
Choose the same time and day each week, and prioritize it. Teleconferencing is great, if your boss has time. These check-ins will help you stay up-to-date with company happenings and in tune with your boss’s needs and expectations. They will also endear you to your boss, who will quickly become very clear about your value to the company.
Secondly, Allen recommends doing several work “sprints” throughout the day, rather than “slogging it out trying to get work done when you’re feeling lethargic.”
He recommends using a timer to set up 60- to 90-minute worksprint, during which you should focus on one and only one assignment – don’t try to multitask! After the worksprint, take a real a break. Get up, walk away from your desk, go outside, focus on something other than work for a while. When you’re done with the break, deal with any time-sensitive emails or phone calls that have come up before starting on the next sprint. You’ll be surprised by how much you can accomplish in one day by using this strategy.
Lastly, Allen points out how easy it is to procrastinate on our biggest, most challenging tasks by saving them until the end of the day.
We love checking off items on our to-do list, so we’ll often start with the easiest tasks first, leaving the hardest tasks for the late afternoon when we’re tired out and likely to put them off for yet another day. Therefore, Allen recommends doing the hardest things first, when you’re energized in the morning time.