As remote working has become more commonplace in a post-pandemic world, one of the biggest knocks against the arrangement is how it often leads to lower output and poorer performance on the job. In other words, most remote workers transitioning from an “in office” position to a remote position tend to suffer on the productivity front.

But this doesn’t have to be a fact of life. If you learn how to manage yourself properly, you can actually increase your productivity and enjoy greater success in your job and career.

Let’s explore a few ways to do this.

Tip 1: Designate Your Workspace

Start by carving out a dedicated space in your home where work happens. (Or, if you go to a co-working space, try to choose a specific place or area to sit in each time.)

The idea is to have a spot that your brain associates with work, helping you switch into ‘work mode’ whenever you’re there. While the amount to which you can control the workspace will likely depend on if it’s a coworking space, a home that you own, or a home that you rent, do your best to customize the environment to your liking. This will boost your motivation and productivity.

Tip 2: Stick to a Routine

One of the perks of remote work is flexibility, but a consistent routine is still crucial for staying productive. Try to start and end your workday at the same time, just as you would if you were going to an office. This helps set boundaries between work and personal life, preventing work from spilling into your leisure time.

Include morning rituals like a cup of coffee or a short exercise session to signal the start of your workday. Also, do your best to have a specific “wind down” routine. Remember, routines are personal, so craft one that best suits your productivity peaks during the day.

Tip 3: Dress for Success

It’s tempting to stay in pajamas all day when you work from home, but dressing for work can mentally prepare you for a productive day ahead. You don’t have to don formal attire, but changing out of your sleepwear can help shift your mindset to a more professional and focused state. Think of it as a psychological trick to tell your brain, “It’s time to get work done.”

Tip 4: Master the Art of Time Management

When your home is your office, managing your time effectively becomes more important than ever. Break down your workday into blocks of time dedicated to specific tasks, using techniques like the Pomodoro Technique – 25 minutes of focused work followed by a 5-minute break – to maintain concentration and prevent burnout.

Another suggestion is to make use of digital tools and apps designed to help with time management and minimize distractions, like website blockers during work hours. Trello is another cool tool that helps you organize your day with a ‘card-based’ planning system.

Tip 5: Embrace Digital Communication

Effective communication is the backbone of successful remote work. Stay connected with your team through regular check-ins and updates. And use video calls as much as possible! (Pro Tip: Business laptops should have enough processing power to efficiently run Zoom calls and other applications simultaneously.) This will help you feel a part of your team, even though you’re not physically in the same room as your coworkers.

Being proactive in your communication can help you feel less isolated and keep you in the loop with your team’s activities and goals. Make this a priority as it will help you stay motivated and on-task throughout the week.

Tip 6: Prioritize Your Well-being

Last but certainly not least, taking care of your physical and mental health is key to maintaining productivity. Make sure to take regular breaks to stretch, move around, or step outside for fresh air. These short pauses can refresh your mind and boost your energy levels.

Additionally, do your best to be mindful of your screen time to avoid digital eye strain. This is obviously easier said than done when your job requires you to be at your computer for eight or nine hours per day, but try to set aside time for activities that relax and rejuvenate you outside of work hours.

Make Productivity Your Mission

As a remote worker, you can’t afford to live up to the stigma that you’re going to be less productive. Doing so could lead you right back into the office (which is probably the last place you want to be). By making productivity one of your primary focal points, you can get more done, increase your performance in your role, and grow your career!