There are a lot of very good articles about remote work floating on the web so I will try not repeat them here. In this post I will highlight some of the things that I thought were left-out by those articles about remote work, and highlight some of the things that I generally do to be productive.
My remote work setup is basically a desk and chair standing next to my bed. People would frown at this setup as it's counter-productive to getting things done, but it is what it is and the challenge for me is to be productive and stay in that state everyday given this setup.
What do I do to stay focused?
- Embrace distractions (and the bed!)
Exercise is an essential part of staying focused. Sometimes I find myself seating on my chair for hours never realising that my body has vegetated and my legs trembling by the time I stood up. It's important for me to be mindful of this and be conscientious about the frequency of exercise I do everyday. Because if not, I will feel lethargic and feel all sorts of ailments in my joints.
I bought a fitness tracker a few months ago. This allows me to get reminded when I've been inactive for an hour or so. It also allows me to keep track the amount of steps I have taken during the day. For example I've set my goal to 7000 steps a day and for a non-remote working worker, that's peanuts. But for me, it can be difficult to reach that goal as I could be sitting for hours, and I don't necessarily go out to have lunc. A healthy person should be able to reach that goal quite easily, and for me, I find the time to ensure that I meet that goal everyday.
Distractions are a given for remote work. Rather than try and avoid them, I embrace them as avoiding them means I need to spend some of my limited willpower reserves to do so. I would rather spend these reserves focusing on the problems at hand, work-wise. The trick is to workaround those distractions, but instill a habit or ritual to get into flow as quick as possible. This may take time to do but it's worth the time investment learning how to do so in the long-term.
There are other ways to staying focused and the above two are just a couple of them. There are no one-size-fits-all guides per se as everyone works differently. Do what works for your personality type.
Some related books that I thought are very useful for remote workers.