Working from home, whether it’s as a virtual assistant, freelancer, or any other remote employee, is an experience that we all recently got a taste of, and it was something that quite a lot of people loved! Working remotely gives you tons more freedom in comparison to working in an office for 40 hours a week, but it also comes with it’s own new set of challenges. The biggest challenge of all? Keeping productive when you have the freedom to not be. We all do it! When there’s no boss looking over your shoulder, it can be easy to take the afternoon off, or watch one too many episodes of your favourite show, and the next thing you know you're behind and forced to overwork and potentially burnout or lose a client. So, in hopes of helping you manage the temptation, here are our top tips to boost your productivity and avoid procrastination when working remotely as VA:
Introduce an effective work from home routine.
What does this mean? It means getting up and getting ready just as if you were actually going to work, and from there, following a daily schedule and routine. One of the biggest perks of working remotely is the freedom of creating a schedule and workplace that works for you, so if you’re someone that likes to travel to a new work spot on the daily, try pre-picking your places and scheduling in times to arrive and leave. If working from home, try also setting a time each day when you turn off your computer and transition into your nightly work-free routine. Some of our favourite things to do to make this transition easier is going for a post-work walk, or washing off your makeup and freshening up for dinner! The key point is to give yourself something to do to let your brain know it's time to start relaxing so that you can recharge for tomorrow's work day.
Create an office/workspace that encourages productivity.
As comforting as working from your bed or favourite spot on the sofa sounds, choosing a room or location specifically for work will not only boost your productivity, but make it easier to transition from work to rest and vice versa. If available to you, we recommend choosing a room or corner with plenty of natural light and the option for fresh air. If this option isn't available to you, we’ve learned that the next best spot is a space in your home furthest from your household noise and distractions.
Limit distractions and stay connected to other VAs and remote workers in your life.
To help eliminate distractions such as social media breaks and constant texts or phone calls from friends and family, try time blocking — turn your phone onto airplane mode during the block in which you’re completing your undistracted work, then enjoy your phone guilt-free during your break blocks. If you are finding yourself aching for connection with people during the day (because let’s face it, working from home can be isolating at times), try scheduling in daily meetups (virtual or in-person) with other VAs, even if it’s just for coffee or to discuss industry trends and ideas. At the very least, we highly recommend making time for this at least two times a week!
These tips and tricks keep all of us here at CVA productive, and we can’t wait to hear your favourite productivity boosting hacks for working from home in the comments! What do you do every day to help keep you productive while working from home or on the road?