Yes I know, you’re a Virtual Assistant, so of course you’re going to like working remotely.
But I’m not actually talking about working from your home office.
What I mean is, do you find that you’re more productive when working away from your ‘office’?
So for example, perhaps you like to head to your local café to work for an hour or two – depending on the type of tasks you’re working on.
Or maybe you work well whilst travelling.
Or when on ‘holiday’ (because let’s face it, we never really get a ‘proper’ holiday do we?!).
Are you more, or less, productive at these times?
Here’s the thing – I speak with Virtual Assistant’s and business owners who all work from their home office.
But, they say that when they’re on the train travelling to a meeting or networking event, or waiting at an airport, or even one instance of sitting in a doctor’s surgery waiting for their appointment, they blast through a ton of tasks they couldn’t even begin when back in their ‘normal’ work environment.
And I get that.
There can be so many distractions working from your home office.
You dog barking (or wanting a walk / food / to play …), the cat jumping on to your lap wanting strokes (or desk and walking all over your keyboard), the non-work phone ringing, your neighbour popping round, the postman / delivery man at the door, your kids off school, the fridge with all its treats …
Oh and of course, there’s also those people who genuinely don’t think we’re doing ‘proper’ work, when working from home, right?
It’s no wonder your task list is growing rather than diminishing in size!
So packing up and working remotely from time to time, can remove a lot of those distractions.
But I’m intrigued, how many of you prefer working remotely?
Do any of you like to head out to your local library to get on with tasks you have to concentrate 110% on?
Or, if you want some company during your working day, do head to your local shared office space or a café?
Do some of you have local clients who would like you to work in their office for one or two days a week, and you actually prefer it?
It’s okay if you do.
Just because we wanted to get out of the world of corporate employment, doesn’t mean we disliked everything about it.
Working from home can be lonely at times. Uninspiring at times. And way too distracting at times, particularly when motivation levels are low.
And whilst essentially we are working remotely, we’ve effectively created our own office space which after a while loses its appeal too.
That’s when we may decide to work ‘remotely’, from our remote office.
Crikey, this is sounding a little confusing, even to me!
But I do have a point – a short checklist to determine your current productivity levels and to find out if it’s time you go ‘remote’ to boost them.
1. Do you have a set structure to your day?
For example, get out of bed at 7am. Be showered, dressed, fed and sitting at your desk by 8.30am. Check emails through to 9am. Work on Task One until 11am … etc.
2. Is your task list planed in advance?
Do you know what tasks you’re working on during that day? Of course other client requirements may come in, but are you prepared and know exactly what you need to do with the tasks already in your schedule?
3. Do you schedule when you will check your email?
Rather than receiving notifications when each new email arrives in your inbox, do you switch off those notifications and schedule a time to check? Do you stick with it?
4. Do you approach difficult tasks first?
Without procrastination, do you schedule the difficult tasks at the start of the day when your mind is clear and fresh?
Then complete all regular or less demanding tasks later on?
5. How urgently do you work?
Or another way of putting this, how proactive are you? Do you start your task timer and just get on with it. Not stopping or slowing your pace until the job is complete?
Apparently this is the number one traits of successful CEO’s and Entrepreneurs – just a little tip if you want to get even further ahead!
6. How often do you take breaks?
Experts suggest taking a break every 90 minutes. How easy do you find it is to do this? Do you feel guilty for stopping that regularly? Does it affect your work when you resume? Does it affect how well you get through your tasks?
7. Do you finish the day with a review and preparation for the next?
Checking over how you performed that day – how the tasks went, what you struggled with, what needs more work, etc. helps you move forward quicker, and ensures you get prepared for the day to follow.
If you do each of these most days (heck, no-one’s perfect!) then you’re productivity levels are pretty good.
Your home office environment works well.
But if you find you rarely do one, let alone the majority of these, you may want to consider switching your routine up a bit.
Work remotely from time to time.
It may be the perfect way for you to give you productivity levels a serious boost.
Oh and we’d love to hear from you – do you work remotely? If so, how does it affect your productivity levels?