Remove those time consumers to work more efficiently while working remotely

 


A remote job gives you the freedom of working from any place. At the same time, it is challenging to focus properly every day while being at home where there are multiple potential distractions.

In this article, I will name the main distractions that might influence work efficiency and I will gladly recommend getting rid of them to increase one’s productivity.

Social Media

In 2021 we all have an account on at least one social media website. The goal of these apps is to get most of our attention and that explains all the notifications, autoscrolling to another content, auto-playing videos without our interaction, and much more. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok are trying hard to get us involved and they are metaphorically yelling towards us to get our attention.

Now, while working it is best to stay constantly focused for 25–30 minutes straight. If you will hear or see a notification from your phone, there are two things that can happen:

  1. Within one second you mute your phone and put it upside down so that the screen would be covered. You get back to your work and your flow is still on.
  2. You get thoughts about the notification, open the app and see it’s just a small message so responding to it will not make a difference. Then you might notice an interesting video that lasts just 30 seconds so let’s quickly watch it. Then you might get a response to your message so it would be rude not to respond right away right? Oh, a friend asked you out for a beer this Saturday but would like to discuss a bar that you’re going to go to.
    You chose a bar, nice! The task is done! Now you certainly deserve a break, let’s see if anyone posted anything new ;)

See the point?
It might happen to all of us that we suddenly start to focus on addictive social media activity. That is perfectly normal as hundreds of engineers worked on these products to make them more efficient in getting users’ attention.

The thing is to realize when you do that, and even better, prevent notifications from stealing your time. When you’re working:
- Turn off app notifications
- Put your phone aside so that you wouldn’t see the screen
- Close all tabs with social media in your internet browser

A clever man once said:

Inadequate work environment

The fundamental aspect of efficient work is the environment that you’re working in. It is up to you how are you going to set up your workplace and what works best for you (silence, particular music, empty desk, to-do lists, etc.).

Sometimes we are not aware of this and we can stay frustrated that we are not that efficient while doing our daily tasks. The reason might be our workplace.
Look at it this way. A fish kept in the desert will not be able to release its’ potential. It’s the same if you would ask a horse to climb a tree or ask yourself to be productive in an environment that you don’t feel good in.

You have to discover what is best for you and when do you feel comfortable doing your job. It might be setting up your desk properly, putting an order in your room, taking care of proper light, putting headphones with music to focus, creating to-do lists and hanging them in a visible place, and many more. All of it depends on your individual preferences.

A clever man once said:

Home distractions

Well, the first 2 points seem quite universal and might be applied in a remote job as well as in a regular office workplace. This point is directly related to remote workers having their offices at home and facing daily distractions present in their household.

While working from home your attention might be stolen by things you feel like you need to do to keep the house in a good condition. Either you might start cleaning, cooking, working in bed, or on the couch. It is not bad as long as it works. The main problem appears when your time is consumed by those activities and you are not able to perform proper actions to finish your job tasks.

This is what consumes your time and destroys your flow.
Try to stay focused for certain periods of time without letting anything steal your attention.
If you’re not familiar with the Pomodoro method then I encourage you to check what is it. In short, it’s about staying focused for 25 minutes and doing your job non-stop. Then take 5 minutes of break for any snack, social media, stretching. And then again 25 minutes of total focus.

The most important thing is to keep your flow without any interruptions. There is a physics law that seems related to this situation.

Physics rule applied in productivity
The rule I mentioned says about static and kinetic friction force.

Source: https://circuitglobe.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/graphical-representation-of-static-and-kinetic-friction-with-respect-to-force-applied.jpg

In short, it means that whenever we want to move some object that is not moving we need to put much more effort into it, than when this object is already moving.
Imagine riding a bike. In the beginning, you need to use more power to start moving, but then it is way easier when the bike is already going forward.

Now let’s put it in productivity example. You need to focus on some tasks and at the beginning, you need to convince yourself to start. It is not always easy but usually when you already start it goes way more smooth.

Stay focused and don’t let yourself get distracted.

Multitasking

As I finished the previous point with a physics example, let’s start this one with a similar comparison. Your focus is energy, and scattered energy will have no significant impact.

When your energy is focused on one task, you are able to do way more than put effort into many tasks and not paying enough attention to any of them in the end. Stay concentrated on one thing and when you will finish or reach some significant point then switch to another one.

It happens that there are more and more things to do that pop up during our day and the thing is to organize yourself to queue those tasks properly. For instance, you are working on an important report, but then someone asks you for a call and gives you extra things to do ASAP. Then the client texts you that there’s something to discuss the product. Then another info from the CEO about the new project that’s coming up. Another reminder to deliver some report and so on…

That happens and you might get crazy but remember that focusing on all of the tasks will give you worse results than queuing things to do and executing them one by one. Try to manage your energy efficiently and do one thing at a time. However unintuitive it sounds, it will bring you way better results.

Summary

Nowadays, as the world asks for your constant attention it is not easy to stay concentrated. Those are only a few distractions that occur in our daily life but it is important to be aware of them and try to eliminate potential time consumers as much as we can.

I hope you’ll take advantage of the information I shared with you and next time you will be able to work more efficiently and with more mental comfort. Stay focused, good luck!

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