Remember the days when your alarm clock was your sworn enemy and the morning commute
felt like a never-ending journey? If you’re a remote worker reading this article, chances are, those
times now feel like a distant memory.
In recent years, remote work has exploded onto the scene. The workplace migrated to our homes
and bedrooms with people wearing pajamas and suits in conference meetings — an unexpected
reality brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. What was once considered a perk for a select
few has now become the norm. The appeal is clear: working from home (WFH) or anywhere with
an internet connection offers unparalleled freedom. You can sip coffee in your PJs, serenade your
cat while crafting an important email, or even schedule a midday nap. What’s not to like?
However, this newfound freedom is not without its challenges. For every leisurely day spent in
comfy clothes, there’s that nagging fear of productivity slipping away. When your boss isn’t
watching over your shoulder and your coworkers aren’t around for a quick chat, it’s easy to get
distracted. So, how exactly do you remain productive when working from home? Well, we have
just the trick for that, and it involves good old-fashioned copy paper. But before we get into that,
let’s take a look at some of the factors affecting your productivity at home!
Spending the day in your jammies and attending Zoom sessions from the comfort of your bed
might seem like a dream come true at first, but as days turn into weeks and weeks turn into
months, you may find your productivity taking a massive hit. Here’s why and what you can do to
You know the drill.
You sit down ready to tackle a day’s worth of work, and suddenly, your cat decides it’s the perfect
time for a surprise interpretive dance. Your neighbor’s lawnmower revs up, your kids are engaged
in a full-scale Nerf gun war, and the TV’s calling your name. Let’s face it, distractions can take on
a whole new level of creativity when you’re working from home. They not only affect your work
productivity, but they also blur the boundaries between your professional and personal life,
making it challenging to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
What you can do: Write down your tasks on a piece of copy paper and keep it visible on your
desk. As you complete each task, physically check it off the list. This will not only give you a sense
of accomplishment and progress, but it will also provide you with more control over your workday,
reducing the impact of distractions. To-do lists may seem a bit old school, but the evidence is
clear: studies have consistently shown that people perform at their best when they take the time
to physically document their tasks. So, keeping track of your to-dos will help you establish a clear
plan for the day, allowing you to stay organized and grounded.
Remember the days when your morning routine involved waking up, getting dressed for success,
hopping in your car, and heading to the office with your trusty coffee in hand?
One of the biggest perks of working in an office is the structured environment — you have specific
hours, a dedicated workspace, and a routine that separates work life from home life. In contrast,
remote work shatters this structure — your pajamas become your work attire, your bed doubles
up as your office chair and before you know it, you’re working from the same spot where you
unwind, sleep, and relax.
What you can do: To regain that sense of structure and routine, it’s essential to create a visual
reminder of your schedule. This can be as simple as grabbing a sheet of copy paper and printing
out your working hours, break times and key tasks for the day. Once you’ve done that, place your
schedule in plain sight. This will serve as a constant and tangible reference point, similar to an
office clock or a shared calendar in a workspace. This visual cue will also encourage you to
respect your time boundaries, ensuring that you allocate sufficient time to your tasks and allow
for adequate rest periods, which is vital for maintaining productivity and preventing burnout.
One of the sneakiest productivity killers when working from home is the lack of motivation.
Motivation’s tough. There are days when you feel pumped-up to get things done and there are
also days when you don’t feel like doing anything. Now, when you’re working from home, things
can get a little bit trickier. Without your boss lurking around to keep you in check or remind you
what needs to be done, it becomes pretty easy to lose motivation. Learning how to stay motivated
when you’re working from home is not easy and if you’re not careful, it can quickly snowball into
burnout. So, how can you keep pushing forward, even when you don’t feel like it?
What you can do: Grab a piece of copy paper and write down your goals. Studies have shown
that employers who wrote down their goals had higher levels of productivity and were 42% more
successful in achieving their goals than those who did not. Research has also found that the
simple act of jotting down your goals improves focus and motivation and helps in task
prioritization. So, whether it’s small or big, short-term or long-term, physically writing down your
goals can make a huge difference, which can be especially valuable when motivation wanes.
Remote work certainly has its charms, but let’s be real — maintaining peak performance over the
long haul requires dedication. So, when the distractions pile up, and motivation takes a nosedive,
remember that sometimes, the simplest solutions are the best. That trusty sheet of copy paper on
your desk might just be your secret weapon for keeping that work-from-home mojo alive!