How to Be a Productive Telecommuter

Posted February 12, 2009 by

Anyone who has ever had a telecommuting job has probably had moments when motivation and, hence, productivity lagged. It’s hard to stay focused when the home environment contains so many distractions, like family, pets and television. These obstacles to productivity can be overcome, though, says Celine Roque in her article, How to Turn Productivity Into a Habit.
Roque has a list of techniques telecommuters can use to stay motivated and productive:

  1. Regular time boxing – Roque suggests using a timer to help establish a pattern of working for a certain amount of time (Roque recommends 30 minutes) before stopping to take a break.
  2. Make your schedule support your working style, and not the other way around. Set a schedule – if it’s applicable to your situation – that optimizes peak work hours, Roque suggests. Not everyone works well with the traditional 9-5 setup.
  3. Take advantage of being in “The Zone.” Roque advocates working during times when an inspiration hits because it will make up for those times when inspiration is lacking.
  4. Reward yourself. Roque suggests doing something relaxing or enjoyable as a reward for successfully completing a “time boxing” session or for completing a project on time. Watching a movie, working on a hobby or even taking a nap are a few ways Roque recommends as possible rewards. It’s probably not a good idea to use a movie as a reward for completing “time boxing sessions;” you could easily end up watching eight hours of movies for every two hours of work.

It’s hard not to fall into bad, time-wasting habits when there’s no one around to monitor your activities. So how does a telecommuter manage to remain productive all day? By making it a habit, Roque says.

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