5 tips to boost your productivity when working remotely

It has been almost a year since we switched to working from home/remotely. Nonetheless, keeping productivity levels while working on your sweatpants is still a big challenge for a lot of people.

As any other student, I feel sometimes swamped with the amount of assignments that I need to do for school, my student jobs and also hunting for full-time jobs after graduation. This has led me to try new ideas that I feel could help improve my productivity levels while working remotely. Among many, I present you these five ideas that have helped me a lot to feel more productive and in a better mood for work:

1. Time management techniques

If you search online you will find a variety of options of time management techniques. They are different and adaptable, so it’s really worth trying the ideal one for you. My personal favourite, the Pomodoro technique, was developed by Francesco Carillo back in the late 80’s. It consists of cycles of 25min work sessions followed by short and longer breaks.

As an example, one pomodoro session for me looks like this:

  • Set the goal: perform content analysis of paper #4
  • Work time (25min): coding paper #4 until timer rings
  • Short break (5min): go for a cup of coffee, check my messages.
  • Work time (25min): coding paper #4 until timer rings
  • Short break (4min): quick walk around to stretch legs, check my messages.
  • Work time (25min): coding paper #4 until timer rings
  • Short break (3min): listen to a song, check my messages
  • Work time (25min): sending emails, administrative work
  • Long break: 45-60 min lunch break, call with family/friends
The name comes from the old kitchen timer that had an tomato shape. Photo taken from the Pomodoro’s technique official webpage (https://francescocirillo.com/pages/pomodoro-technique)

2. Changing environments

Phycologists would agree when I tell you that our environment affects our productivity directly. Being aware of that, I try to start my morning chore in the kitchen or living room and eventually change to my room. If current COVID-19 restrictions allow it, working some days at a safe space outside of your home is also great for productivity.

3. Upgrading your home-office space

Feeling comfortable should be a priority for everyone in their workspace. One should be mindful about light levels, proper sitting and posture. Although having two screens would be ideal, I opted for a more budget-friendly option (less than 500 SEK / 50 EUR): a laptop stand and a set of wireless mousse and keyboard.

You can get any of these products online or in tech stores.

This system adds the benefits of a eyes-leveled screen to the laptop-portability. I highly recommend it!

4. Doing some exercise

Since it feels intuitive, most of people avoid working out when they have a busy schedule. Nonetheless, the energy boost that you get after exercising can also help to increase productivity. It has worked for me to hit the gym in the afternoons between working/study sessions. Also, home work out routines are available online and you can adapt it to your needs.

Even going for a walk is a good way to help boost productivity. Here is Karolinska Hospital (left) and aula medica (right).

5. Scheduling early meetings

I am that type of person that struggles to get out of bed every morning. One dynamic that has really worked for me is scheduling my zoom meetings early in the morning so I am forced to start my chores at 8am. Of course this suggestion does not apply to everyone, but If you usually struggle more to start being productive rather than keeping the pace, then I would highly recommend you to try this idea.

Hope these ideas can help you improve your productivity at home.  Don’t forget that the core principle of improvement is to constantly test new ideas, reflect whether they worked or not and then try again with modifications if needed.

Stay healthy!

Julio Sosa.

email: julio.sosa@stud.ki.se

Linkedin: https:/www.linkedin.com/in/julio-sosa-maldonado-659301175/

Instagram: @julio.sosam


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