You’ve ditched the commute and yet you may still feel like you have less time in the day to complete all of your tasks! If this is you, then we’ve put together a checklist of strategies to help you increase productivity, so that you can spend more time doing the things you love. Learn how these can also help to advance your career, all whilst remaining connected to your organisation and other remote co-workers. By implementing these strategies, you will naturally increase your personal value, opening opportunities to advance your career. Read on to discover how you too, can unlock the power of remote working.

Time management

Many of us have room for improvement when it comes to time management. A great way to boost your productivity, stay on track with tasks and meet deadlines, is to alter your perspective of time. We’re not suggesting the earth is flat and that time is not linear, but we are suggesting that thinking about what we can accomplish in the long term can be a continuous signal, tricking the brain to view time as precious. It’s human nature to only consider what can be achieved in the next week or two. With a full diary, it can feel like there is no time to do anything. But try thinking of what can be achieved in the next two months or even two years and what you need to check off your list to get there. It will ultimately prompt you to stay committed and protect your time. Why not check in with your co-workers too, to help them stay on track with their goals? Accountability can be a powerful way to meet your goals.

Focus on progress, not perfection

Perfectionism can a valuable asset to improve your day to day tasks, however it can also be a huge obstacle to productivity, if the pursuit of perfectionism causes delays to deadlines. Every given result requires a process to get to it. Now, it’s impossible to expect the process to be perfect every time, i.e. each task, sales call, innovation, requires a process that you may usually follow. Any step of that process can go wrong unexpectedly, yet you can still manage to make the sale or finish the task despite this. We must therefore seek to make progress of this process rather than perfection. The same applies to the result. Be clear about the result you want and trust that if mistakes are made during the process, perfect results can still be achieved. Have regular discussions with your co-workers to identify what desired results should be focused on, to reach them faster as a team.

Avoid the least valuable activities

Focus on your most valuable tasks (MVT’s), the things that are worth the most per hour, rather than your least valuable tasks (LVT’s), that are often the easiest tasks to do. Ask yourself what the value of each activity is throughout your day. Tracking this for a week, is also a great way to gauge how much time you typically spend on your LVT’s. Restrict a time frame for your LVT’s and even dedicate a time of day to do these after your MVT’s are complete. Another trick, is to think about how you can delegate the LVT’s. Perhaps outsourcing could be an option, or simply using online software like an app to manage an activity for you.

Ultimately, your personal value is determined by the value of the activities that you perform in a set amount of time. By increasing your time spent on MVT’s, you will consequently increase your personal value per hour.

Handling interruptions

It’s vital to stay on the task at hand and try to not allow external or even internal forces to interrupt your flow state. Productivity can be hindered with anything from new ideas popping into your head (that must be acted on before forgotten), to phone calls, pop-up windows on the web, or DIY noises from your neighbours! All of which cause you to disregard the project at hand, resulting in lost time and momentum. Although it is sometimes difficult to minimise external distractions, you can at least prepare for the internal ones. By having a physical place to store your random thoughts, you can collect these for reviewing later. Apps like OneNote or Evernote are great note-taking apps.

Let your personal values promote productivity

Gaining a deeper sense of purpose will enhance your work, focus and productivity. But how do you connect your day to day tasks, with values that matter to you most? Personal values, also known as principles, motives or beliefs, are the reasons why you make the choices you make, to do the things you do. First you must define them by simply asking yourself what you believe in. Do you believe in working hard, being kind to others, being honest, or bringing joy to the room? Jot down three values and explore what type of acts can make these happen. Next, place them somewhere where you will see them every day. Then as you go about performing your tasks in your day, check in regularly to see how that task can be undertaken with your values in mind. Work to get all your important tasks in alignment with your beliefs, or at least most of them so that you can truly feel you are feeding your purpose.

Stay positive by separating fact from fiction

Escape the cycle of negativity and move towards a positive new perspective, by learning how to stop negative self-talk. The more frequently you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more real they seem. But the truth is, that most negative thoughts are fiction, not fact. It is helpful to take a moment to write down all these negative thoughts and rationally evaluate their veracity. Words like never, always, worst, are often good indicators of how our brains have a natural tendency to magnify the perceived severity or recurrence of an event. Once you have separated the fact from the fiction, be ready with a positive thought about yourself to counteract the negative ones.

Written by Ben Parkinson

Published on 16 November, 2020

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