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The biggest challenge for remote workers is consistency. The flexibility of the work hours in addition to a casual work environment can decrease your motivation for discipline.

The main purpose of creating a schedule is to eliminate procrastination. Procrastination is a common problem for remote workers and it can affect your ability to fulfill deadlines as well as cause you stress and anxiety.

The best way to go against procrastination and lack of discipline is to respect the schedule. Since this is easier said than done, what all remote workers can benefit from is useful and practical tips that will help you stick to your work from home schedule.


1. Boost Goals with Rewards

Setting goals is a praised technique for boosting productivity. However, when the goal lacks motivation there is no point in it. That's why you should consider planning out rewards.

The reward for accomplishing your schedule should come at the end of the week. For example, it can be going to the movies on Friday or a family road trip on Saturday. In that way, you'll know what you risk to miss if you don't stick to the schedule.


2. Revise the Tomorrow’s Schedule the Night Before

Despite the thoroughly planned schedule, unexpected events do happen. Maybe you felt ill today and you couldn’t keep up with the schedule. To avoid work pile-up, always go through the schedule for tomorrow the night before.

You may need to add some new tasks or if you were extra productive one day, you can erase some of the obligations from the schedule. Revising the schedule in the evening will also give you a better perspective of what awaits you the next day and help you mentally prepare for it.


3. Eliminate Distractions During Work Time

Working from home can come with lots of distractions. You get emails, people are calling you, your dog wants to be pet, or your family members come in and out of your home office. There is also no one to stop you from scrolling through social media or watching YouTube videos in the middle of working hours. Those kinds of interruptions can seem meaningless but they decrease your focus and motivation.

Make sure that the time you set for working is solely for that. Explicitly state to your family members not to disturb you when you work. You can also get apps that block any distracting websites or apps on your phone. Some of the most popular apps for that purpose are Forest and Zero Willpower.


4. Put Your Schedule in a Visible Place

Keeping an eye on the schedule will keep you focused on your plans. Put your work from home schedule somewhere you can see it such as above your desk or on the fridge. If you have the schedule on your phone, you should put that app in your shortcuts.

It will be much harder to ignore the schedule when you are constantly looking at it. What also helps is if you pay attention to how the schedule looks like. You can even create a beautiful design on Canva and get writing services like TrustMyPaper to add some special quotes for motivation.


5. Have a Morning Routine

How you start your mornings can set the course for the rest of the day. Waking up at different times or being inconsistent can easily mess up your daily plans. A routine will automatically lead you to your work without much hesitation.

Your routine can consist of simple things but they should be aimed at boosting your productivity. For example, you can do some stretching exercises, drink a cup of coffee and read a book for an hour, go for a run, have breakfast with your family, or whatever makes you feel happy and refreshed. After the routine, you should get to work. It won't be as hard because you started the morning on a positive note and increased your energy level.


6. Take Breaks

Endless working hours can be exhausting for both your body and mind. When you are tired and overwhelmed your effectiveness will decrease,” says Estelle Leotard, a writer at Studicus, who is working remotely for over 5 years. What will follow such an energetic workday is that you’ll need five hours to complete a task that demands only three. To avoid working through an entire day ensure that you take breaks.

Regular breaks will help you bring back your energy and improve your concentration. You can take breaks every two hours for example. The breaks don't need to be long, a 30-minute break for a quick snack or a walk will be more than enough to put you back into full-power mode.


7. Decide on Your Days-Off

For remote workers, it's so easy to get to the point when you work 7 days a week. If you don't have a schedule or don't respect it, you will end up filling all the days with work obligations. You may think "I'll just answer a few emails" but even it if takes 15 minutes it will take your mind back to work. Your brain needs to relax at least one day a week. It deserves that.

Your schedule needs to consist of a day or two without a single work task. Not only will this help you have a more balanced week but it will also encourage you to stick to the schedule. If you don’t keep up with the schedule, it will cause a domino effect – your days off will be gone.


Final Thoughts

Many argue that working from home can lack productivity because there is no supervision. However, a Stanford study showed that working from home notably boosts productivity. When research goes into your favor and you have these useful tips for sticking to your schedule there should be nothing to worry about.

Create a schedule that works best for you and try to implement these tips to enhance it. Figuring out what suits you and motivates you to get the work done is a path to a balanced schedule that you will be willing to respect.


17 May 2020
The biggest challenge for remote workers is consistency. The flexibility of the work hours in addition to a casual work environment can decrease your motivation for discipline.


14 May 2020
Very useful. I find particularly the morning routine is key