As a remote worker for going on 10 years now, I definitely have learned my share of “productivity hacks”. When you’re working for yourself, you kinda have to! So, when I saw this post on PR Daily recently about 11 productivity tips for remote workers, I was intrigued. Let’s see what others have to say!
But, as I read through the list, I found myself saying to myself, “I actually do the OPPOSITE” of that tip!” Not to all of them. But, for some of the top tips, the complete opposite approach is definitely what I would suggest. Then, I went researching other remote working productivity hack posts and found a few others I disagree with as well.
Given that, I give you the top five productivity hacks for today’s remote worker than I think are dead wrong.
Productivity hack that’s dead wrong: Set up a dedicated, quiet work space
Unless you’re a huge introvert, I would suggest the exact opposite approach. Work in a busy place with lots of people! Why? Because working remotely can be extremely isolating. Do it one day a week and it’s not so bad. Do it for 10 years and it’s pretty lonely. You have to get out of the house. Sure, have a spot at home. That goes without saying. But, my hack here would be to find a few spots out in your community where you can work and be around people–even if you’re not always talking with them.
Productivity hack that’s dead wrong: Pretend like you’re going to work
I’ve always thought this one was a little overblown. Isn’t one of the biggest perks of working remotely that you DON’T have to get up, get dressed and do everything that goes along with getting to work in the morning? Why do you have to pretend like you’re going to work? Instead, I suggest dressing for your day. Some days, for me, that means jammies and a sweatshirt. All day long. Other days it means jacket and jeans–for class and client meetings, in particular. I find it absolutely silly to “pretend like I’m going to work” every day.
Productivity hack that’s dead wrong: Identify and eliminate distractions
I actually say embrace the distractions! Because a lot of them are reasons you wanted to work at home in the first place! Walking the dog, for example. Doing the dishes. Getting some laundry done. Most of these tasks take you a FRACTION of the time it takes compared to sitting in that pointless meeting you’d have to sit in if you were at work! What people really want to do when they work remotely is multi-task. Do some work. Throw a load into the laundry. Do some more work. Sneak a workout in. Do more work. You get the idea. Amiright?
Productivity hack that’s dead wrong: Set a schedule–and stick to it
This one is downright laughable for us in the PR and social media worlds. Sure, I start my day around 7:45 every day and end around 5 p.m. (with work in the evenings). But that’s about as much of a “schedule” as I have. With client demands–whether they’re external or internal–there’s just no way you could schedule your day and stick to it. Instead, I think the key is to have a keen ability to shift priorities, and schedules, quickly and seamlessly. Now, this isn’t specific to remote workers, but it does fly in the fact of the advice above.
Productivity hack that’s dead wrong: Stay away from social media
I actually say lean in to social media! Here’s my rationale. This makes sense if you’re an engineer or programmer or educator, maybe. Minimize distractions. Stay away from the Insta rabbit hole. I get that. But in PR and social media, a big part our jobs is keeping up with trends and what’s happening in the news each day. Social media is a huge part of how we do that now. Our jobs also involve networking and keeping up with colleagues and media members. Again, social media is a big way we do that (Twitter and LinkedIn, specifically). I don’t know about you, but I spend a lot of time on social media each day. And, I need every second of it. If I “stayed away from social media” during the day, I think I’d be out of a job in just a few short months.