Working remotely as a Virtual Assistant has plenty of benefits and flexibility. However, it's not always easy to stay focused and productive while working remotely.
It can be easy to get distracted, watch some TV, spend time on social media, or just waste time in general. Having children at home makes everything even more challenging.
The list of distractions that can make working from home especially difficult is almost endless. So, here’s a list of things you can do to get more work done when you’re working from home as a virtual assistant.
1. Set a schedule and stick to it. One of the benefits of going into the office is that you have a set of hours to work each day. You can’t arbitrarily sleep in, read the paper on the couch, check your social media, and then decide to get to work. So, the best way to stay productive while working from home is by following the same schedule you would by working at the office.
- Create a schedule and follow it. Avoid starting your day too late and ensure that you go to bed at a reasonable time.
- Schedule your work-related tasks. You can’t watch TV during the middle of the day at the office, so avoid doing it while you’re working at home, too.
- Create a to-do list and follow it.
2. Stick to a grooming routine. It’s still important to take a shower and follow your normal routine. It will put you in a more productive state of mind.
- Does your getting-ready routine slip on the weekend? You’re not used to working on those days. Following weekend routines on weekdays can confuse your brain and body into feeling like it’s the weekend.
3. Dress for success. You might be one of those people that can take over the world while wearing your pajamas. Or you might be one of those people that needs to dress like you’re going to the office to get your work done. You can try it both ways but always dress in a manner that works best for you.
4. Become an expert on your distractions. Study yourself and learn how and when you distract yourself. When are you most likely to get off-track and waste time doing something other than work? What types of activities do you use as distractions?
- Think about this, how would you keep someone like you productive and away from distractions?
5. Take breaks responsibly. Working at home doesn't mean that you have to be on the computer all day, you can take breaks, just be smart about it. A quick walk isn’t likely to lead to any problems at work. Checking your social media accounts just might. Watching TV or checking social media for a few minutes can easily lead to an hour or more of wasted time.
- Set a timer and avoid any activities that will be challenging for you to stop when your time is up.
6. Manage your phone and computer. Using your phone to stay in touch with your family members and friends or for checking your Instagram is the most common distraction. Put your phone on silent and leave it in the other room if you can. Also, limit your computer use to work activities until you're done with work.
7. Perform chores after work. It’s tempting to vacuum the floor, do a load of laundry, run errands, or make your bed during the workday when you’re working from home. You managed to do those activities outside of work in the past. Get your work done and worry about your household chores then.
Working from home might seem like the ideal situation, but it can be challenging to stay productive for several reasons: the lack of a schedule, distractions, and the lack of supervision and peers in your environment.
WFH can be highly productive but might require a few changes in your approach. Your home is now your workspace and it's easier to adjust to the change if you act as if you still have to get to the office.