7 Ways to Be More Productive When Working Remotely

Working out of the office can force all your good habits out the window. Here are seven proven ways to be more productive when working remotely.

Unless you’re used to being in a new city every week, working remotely can throw all of your good, productive habits out the window. Simply being away from your normal environment is enough to squelch productivity and leave you feeling frazzled, stressed and out of sorts.

Here are seven proven ways to be more effective (and more productive!) when working remotely.

1. Schedule your day

When you work remotely, you’re more likely to attend business dinners, meetings, events and social gatherings related to your new work site and temporary team.

Plan your day to account for interruptions and outings, making sure to allow more time for your daily tasks than you normally would at home.

2. Ask for what you need

Do you require a large desk, a desktop scanner or a quiet workspace in order to be productive?

Don’t assume that the hotel staff or worksite manager can read your mind. Take a good, hard look at your home base workspace and figure out how you can create your productivity must-haves off site.

3. Use Sitedrop

Sitedrop is an app that lets you collaborate via Dropbox in real time. It’s perfect for working remotely because it lets a team of your choice access, share, upload, and comment on a project right from within Dropbox.

4. Scan your receipts

At the end of day working remotely, be sure to scan all of your receipts and beam them to your Shoeboxed account.

You’re likely to collect more receipts than usual working off site, especially since many of your expenses will qualify as travel business deductions if you’re staying overnight away from home.

Scanning at the end of each day will keep you organized and prevent receipt overwhelm at the end of your trip.

5. Work on the plane

Even if you rarely work remotely, take your cue from tried and true business travelers – work on the plane!

As soon as electronic devices are allowed, pop open your laptop or tablet and get to work. If you’re on a plane without WiFi capability, prepare your tasks beforehand by asking yourself “What work can I get done without Internet access?”

6. Anticipate non-work time

Just as you should always pack less clothing than you think you’ll need, you should always assume you’ll get less done when working remotely.

Whether you’re at a business convention or working from a satellite office, all of the new distractions and people will make it nearly impossible to be as productive as you are back home. Accept this and plan for it so you don’t finish your trip feeling like a productivity failure.

7.  Prep for your return

If you followed steps #1 and #4 above, you should be ready to return to your home office with everything in order.

If things got a little crazy (as tends to happen when working remotely), make sure to spend the night before your return getting organized. Look at what goals you accomplished, and what new tasks must be added to your to-do list based on what happened while working remotely. Double check that all receipts are scanned, and plan to give yourself a day off before returning to the office if need be.

How do you stay productive while working remotely?


Top 7 Ways to Save Time and Get Organized

If money is time, than if we save time, we make money, right? At least, we’ll have the free time to decide whether or not we’d like to make more money (or whether we’d rather just hit the beach). But if you’re already coming up short with the given 24 hours, how are you supposed to save time short of petitioning the world for a 36-hour day?

The truth is, you don’t have to find hours of additional time per day in order to save time, get organized, and make a difference in your quality of life. Mere minutes a day adds up to hours of extra time each year – hours that you can do whatever you want with! And isn’t that kind of free time what we’re all looking for in the first place?

Here are our Lucky 7 – 7 simple life hacks to save hours of time each year.

Continue reading “Top 7 Ways to Save Time and Get Organized”

5 Creative Home Lifehacks for the Holidays

photo credit: pinterest.com

The holiday season has officially begun, and there’s no better time of year to incorporate some fresh new lifehacks into your organizational life.

“But it’s only the first week of November!”

Yes, that’s true, but on November 1st Starbucks switched to those red holiday cups. There’s no going back now.

Whether you’re self-employed, a small business owner, or an employee at a small business or startup, the level of organization in your home has a direct impact on your work habits and productivity. This is the case regardless of whether or not you actually work from home.

Leaving an organized home, and coming back to one at the end of a long day or night, refreshes both body and mind. It does something to you, psychologically. It provides an overall feeling that you’ve got it together, you’re in control, and you’re brimming with power and creativity. It’s that kind of attitude – in addition to the home lifehacks you can apply at the office – that will grow your business, gain clients’ trust, and make you seriously think about throwing the office holiday party at your place this year.

Here are a few of our favorite organizational lifehacks for home (and office!):

1. DVD/CD cases for creative storage

We’re not talking about old CD cases that used to contain music CDs, oh no. Collect the blank CD and DVD cases that come with 50 to 100 blank, recordable discs. These have cool plastic tops and enough room to serve as mini storage containers. You can wrap coiled ribbon around the center, or use them to store men’s ties.

2. The Old Entertainment Center

With the advent of flatscreen TVs, gigantic television entertainment centers are becoming big heavy eye sores in many people’s homes. But don’t list it on Craig’s List just yet! You old entertainment center could function as a:

  • Craft Cupboard – add some smaller shelving and store art supplies, tools, paints, and ribbon
  • Display case – open up the doors of the center to showcase framed photographs, collectibles,  and unique trinkets
  • Dresser – move the center into the bedroom to create tons of storage space for sweaters and other foldable clothing items

3. Lazy Susan

These aren’t just for the kitchen anymore!  A swirling Susan can be placed inside your closet as a makeshift shoe rack, on a dresser as a movable jewelry box, or in the bathroom to give you easy access to toiletries.

4. Organize your Cords

Smartphone, laptop, tablet, eReader…nowadays, each one of use comes with 4 to 5 devices in tow, and darn it, we need to charge them! Until everything is wireless all the time, finding a way to organize all of those cords is essential to creating an organized home or office. Nothing looks worse than a tangled mess of dusty electronic tails!

Create a cord “docking station” with binder clips. Secure each binder clip to the edge of a table or desk. The metal portion of the clip holds the plug-in part of the cord, and the rest of the cord will remain untangled. You can also label each cord with bread bag clips. Write on each clip with permanent marker and slip into onto the appropriate cord – they fit perfectly!

5. Egg Cartons

Save old egg cartons to you as mini-storage spaces. Think about it – each carton has 12 built-in compartments that can separate jewelry, flash drives, beads, paper clips, or whatever is most difficult for you to keep track of. You can have fun painting and labeling the cartons too. Try these categories on for size:

  • Earrings
  • Rings
  • Office supplies
  • Spices
  • Ornaments
  • Paints (use each carton as a painter’s palette!)
  • Seeds – plant a flower or herb in each individual compartment

You can also use ice cube trays for the same things.

This is the perfect time of year to get organized for the holidays – it’s not too late to incorporate some fun organizational tricks into the home, and we still have two more months of Candy Cane Lattes.