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3 Micro-Habits That Will Boost Remote Work Productivity
Posted by Insightlink on 09/09/21
Remote work has been integrating into mainstream work culture for years. But in 2020, we experienced a global lockdown that quickly shifted millions of workers out of the office and into their homes.
While the initial shock that came with this massive shift may have subsided, many remote workers are still learning how to adjust to this new way of life. Monitoring a work schedule is more challenging when doing it alone. Many remote workers are finding it difficult to operate as they did before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Not only are global stress levels much higher than they were pre-pandemic, but adapting to the switch from a busy office to an isolated desk is a challenge remote workers are still struggling to overcome.
Fortunately, remote workers can implement numerous useful tips and tricks to create an efficient and productive work environment from home. One of them is the adoption of healthy micro-habits.
Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash
Let’s find out why these habits are important and how they can help us.
What Are Micro-Habits?
When trying to make significant behavioral shifts, small steps are much easier to take than big ones.
The idea behind micro-habits is similar. By breaking down one big habit into multiple smaller steps, the transition becomes smoother and less stressful for our brains.
Adopting micro-habits into your life will mean less pressure and lower stakes, should you find yourself struggling to adapt. Instead of focusing on the bigger picture and getting overwhelmed by how much change needs to happen, focus on several smaller goals instead. These goals are less intimidating and help you get where you want to be over a wider timespan.
We all know that productivity is a common area of frustration for remote workers. But imposing significant lifestyle changes on yourself is daunting too and can lead to anxiety that blocks progress.
Utilizing micro-habits as small, consistent steps in the right direction is a much gentler, more effective way to actualize the changes you want to see.
Below are three examples of productivity-boosting micro-habits that will help remote workers stay on track:
1. Keep Your Work Environment Clean And Tidy
This micro-habit is essential for any remote worker. An organized work environment means an organized mindset, and if you want to be productive, staying organized is your best friend.
Keeping your home and work environment in a clutter-free, hygienic state will not only improve your overall mental health. It will also eliminate unnecessary distractions and allow you to focus 100% of your attention on work.
Putting in the time to ensure your desk area is clean, tidy, and clutter-free will help you feel accomplished and prepared for every work task that arises, all while providing you with a comfortably distraction-free zone to work from.
This micro-habit is not as common as you might expect, yet it’s every bit as important. If you haven’t learned the value of taking care of your workspace yet, now is the perfect time to do so.
2. Set Firm Social Media Limitations
Whether you like to admit it or not, social media is an allure you struggle to resist. The demand for online content was already high before the pandemic. It’s since skyrocketed as people scramble for distractions and entertainment on a 24/7 basis.
Regardless of whether you spend five hours or just one hour a day consuming content on social media, your time online during your workday needs rationing. Social media apps like Facebook and Instagram are specifically designed to be addictive. Without proper limitations in place, it’s hard to put them down.
This healthy micro-habit is essential not just for the sake of your productivity levels but for the state of your mental health, too. Studies tell us that social media can make us depressed and lonely, neither of which are emotional positions that contribute to productivity.
All remote workers would be doing themselves a favor if they determined a set social media limitation per day. Once you’ve filled your quota, it’s time to put down the device and wait until your workday ends.
3. Get A Work Journal To Document Your Thoughts
Recent surveys tell us that one of the hardest parts of being a remote worker is the distinct lack of communication with others.
Working in an office or joint workspace allows us to collaborate and problem-solve with our team members seamlessly. Something that remote workers sorely miss—and for a good reason. Expressing thoughts and ideas is a healthy part of any workday, but remote workers are given few opportunities to do so.
Having access to a work journal or even a large whiteboard can be instrumental in changing how remote workers think and execute plans. Physical documentation of thoughts and ideas can promote more methodical thinking and reduce the chances of forgetfulness.
A work journal can also serve as a weekly planner or schedule diary. Working remotely affects every facet of our life, from sleep to work/life balance and leisure time. Planning and scheduling enable remote workers to take a more organized, structured approach to their work—and their lives as a whole. This will boost productivity as it narrows focus and ensures that nothing gets forgotten.
The Importance Of A Strong Work-From-Home Ethic
In many ways, despite the challenges that naturally arrive with isolation, remote working culture has proven to be very successful in other aspects.
Not only does it mean significantly fewer distractions from what is often a chaotic work environment, but workers are now free to choose the general structure and movement of their day. Something that has been an infrequent and exceptional occurrence for the modern workforce until now.
The freedom that comes with remote working is, in its own way, a blessing and a curse. A blessing because exercising control over your movements brings satisfaction and accomplishment. A curse because the responsibility that comes with that independence can be daunting.
As the global rise of remote working culture increases, cultivating a personal sense of discipline and self-motivation has never been more important.
With a bit of patience, determination, and the right tools, anyone can achieve a solid work-from-home ethic—one micro-habit at a time.
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AboutInsightlink Communications are experts in employee survey design, data collection and analysis. Since 2001 we've helped companies of all sizes measure and improve their employee satisfaction and engagement.
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