Feeling your best as a remote worker isn’t always an easy task, even for a Productivity Ninja . Let’s face it — working at home puts a lot of temptations just steps away that you might not have in a workplace setting. It’s also tempting to sit at your desk for hours on end as you try to finish that big project and move less than a sloth would in an hour.
On average, freelancers put in more hours each week than those who work on-location. Another study found that most workers, no matter where they’re based, are only productive for about two hours and 53 minutes a day. The rest of the time is spent in non-essential tasks, which could be avoided by implementing shorter work days and by rolling out time management training throughout the organization.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to protect your health and seeing as it’s National Nutrition and Hydration Week starting on March 12th 2018, we share our top tips with you below.
1. Avoid Snacking
Many people have gotten into the habit of snacking throughout the day. While some fitness experts and dietitians claim six small meals a day is the way to go, mindlessly snacking can add a lot of calories to your day. Snacking can also be a distraction from work you should be doing.
In one study, researchers found that people who kept candy on their desks ate that candy 48 percent more than if the candy was out of their reach. If you work at home, you have complete control. You can hide the candy in the pantry or choose to not even bring it into the house.
2. Implement Work Blocks
For most people, trying to focus on more than one activity at a time reduces overall productivity by 40 percent. Instead of trying to juggle multiple tasks in the span of 30 minutes, block out time for individual tasks. For example, you might allocate 30 minutes to checking emails and responding to them. Then, you might block out an hour to work project specific work.
The key is to focus on one thing at a time – Monotasking, rather than Multitasking. You’ll find you get a lot more done.
3. Stay Away From Household Time Sinks
When you work at home, it’s easy to get distracted with things such as the laundry beeper going off or spending a lot of time prepping lunch. The best way to avoid these distractions is to pretend you are going into an actual office setting.
Pack your lunch the night before, just as you would if you were going into a building. Better yet, get into lunch prepping and prepare a whole week’s worth of food to get that task off your mental to-do list.
Refrain from throwing in that load of laundry before you start your work day or at least turn off any beepers so they don’t distract from your work. The key to being more productive at home is to very intentionally put your focus on work.
4. Plan Out Breaks
Start each day with a plan of things that you need to accomplish as well as planned breaks. It isn’t healthy for anyone to sit at a desk for eight or more hours a day and never get up and stretch your legs. Instead, plan breaks into your blocks of time. Make sure you plan a lunch break so you have time to eat the nutritious lunch you’ve packed. If the weather warrants, get outside and enjoy some sunshine.
You’ll also want to plan in bathroom breaks or a chance to grab something to hydrate your body. Taking too many breaks throughout the day can really mess with the flow of your productivity. Planning them into your schedule allows you to see what you can accomplish in the time you have allocated. Be aware of times when you need to be refreshed, such as mid-morning or mid-afternoon slumps.
5. Designated Work Space
A designated work space offers a number of benefits to freelancers. Not only does it give you a space that you can set up for the highest level of productivity but you can also limit the number of distractions. You could also set up a standing desk, so you aren’t in a sitting position the entire day. This can relieve back pain and help you stay more productive as you move positions.
6. Remember to Eat
It’s easy to get wrapped up in a big project or to get on a creative roll and simply forget to eat until you are ravenous. When you are so hungry that you can’t think straight, you aren’t as likely to make healthy choices. Instead, use those blocks of time and scheduled breaks to nourish your body with wholesome foods that provide plenty of nutrients and energy to get you through the day.
Being your own boss sounds like the perfect situation until you realize how many distractions are all around you. However, you can still be successful as a freelancer and remote worker if you take the time to set up a plan and figure out ways to eat healthier, without snacking all day long.
By Lexie Lu
Lexie Lu is a freelance designer and blogger. She enjoys researching the latest trends and always has a cup of coffee in close proximity. She manages Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.