6 Remote Work Habits for 2021: Focus and Productivity Without The Overwhelm

Working remotely, managing yourself, and staying focused and productive through all the distractions can be challenging.

The good news is that you can get the work done and still have a life. The secret is integrating a few simple remote work habits that help you be at your best to make consistent progress with what matters most.

Remote Work Habits

6 Habits for Remote Work

Wake Up Early

It’s tempting to stay in bed until the last possible minute when you work remotely. The trouble is, you rush into your day, get to your computer just in time. Instead, wake up early, it’s one of the remote work habits to beat the stress and overwhelm. How? Begin by going to bed earlier. Then, retrain yourself to wake up 30 minutes earlier, then 60 minutes, etc. Get up immediately, make your bed, and never touch the snooze button. It’s a simple step to tame the daily chaos with calm by making room in the mornings to be at your best throughout the day.

Morning Routine

We’ve all heard the saying, “Win The Morning, Win The Day.” It’s true. Mornings matter. What you do first thing in the mornings sets the tone and direction for the day. What works for you? Prayer, meditation, reading? Start with one thing you will do consistently, then “stack” the next habit immediately after the first one. For example, speak an affirmation out loud or pray the moment you open your eyes. Then, once it’s automatic, do something else when your feet touch the floor. Add a daily check-in (ie habit app + coach) to make your morning routine stick.

Remote Work Habits Case Study:
How Adding 1 Push-Up Daily Improves Productivity

Meet James (not his real name). He’s a private coaching client who wanted to lose weight and get stronger. He also wanted to improve productivity. But he struggled to stay consistent with exercise and couldn’t go to the gym during the Pandemic. I suggested push-ups. He could barely do 5 when it started. Soon, in less than 45 days later, he could do 38 push-ups without a break. How? He began with five push-ups and then added one more each day.

The “morning win” of push-ups increased his confidence and triggered a domino effect. He dropped more than 20 pounds, and because he needed more time for fitness, he was motivated to implement techniques that help him get more of the right things done in a fraction of the time.

Set Priorities for Your Day

What’s most important in your work and life? What moves the needle? Investing a few minutes to set priorities for your day helps you to focus, fend off distractions, and get back on track when life happens. Add this habit at the end of each workday, so you wake up productive and ready to go. I use and recommend a variation of the 135 productivity framework with the Super Habit Daily Focus tool. (Download the tool, free at TheSuperHabit.com.) 

Use Pomodoro Technique

Pomodoro? It’s a simple remote work habit that facilitates focus and speeds up completion by breaking work down into 25-minute intervals using a timer with a break in between. Our version of the Pomodoro technique is a productivity practice I call “Focus Cocooning™.” Block out daily 90-minute “completion sets” in your calendar based on The Super Habit™ methodology. Prioritize your tasks, use focus music and noise-canceling headphones, and a timer to get the work done. 

Write In Journal

Documenting your progress, discoveries, and life lessons is a powerful and transformative practice for personal growth and professional development. Use the Super Habit Daily Focus tool or the 5-minute Journal.

Write in your journal two times daily, first thing in the morning and at the end of your workday. I use and teach the Review/Preview technique. It’s three simple questions to document your remote work habits, progress, and productivity. If you work for someone else as part of a team, share the journal with your manager. Seeing your progress can help them feel more confident about your remote work and help you make improvements as needed.

No Screens After 10 PM

1 out of 3 people don’t get enough sleep. 67% of people report poor sleep quality and waking up tired, according to The Sleep Foundation. No screens after 10 PM can help. Why? Electronic back-lit devices emit blue light, which studies show reduces or delays the natural production of melatonin, a hormone released by the pineal gland that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Blue light from screens also minimizes the time you speed in slow-wave and REM sleep, two stages of the sleep cycle vital for cognitive functioning.

Sleep Better Tips: Establish a relaxing bedtime routine, go to bed at the same time each night, make your bedroom a screen-free zone, keep your bedroom lights dim, use a sleep mask, and keep the temperature in the room cooler, around 65 degrees. If you must use your phone or computer at night, put your device in “nighttime mode” to make it easier on your eyes before bed. 

Time For Action

Pick one of these remote work habits and begin immediately. Want to make your intention stick? Leverage the power of habit coaching to achieve anything faster. Get started with a free 20-minute initial strategy session with a certified habit coach at HabitHelpdesk.com

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