Running a remote business is one of the best things that’s ever happened to you. You can work from anywhere, which means you can work from home, and you can travel whenever you want, too. Whether you design logos as a freelancer, or you’re working with a whole team of content writers in a startup, you can work on your own schedule. But sometimes, this isn’t always a good thing, because you have the additional challenge of having to motivate yourself. Whether you’ve been anxious lately about deadlines and it’s getting in the way of your work, or you’ve been working so much you’re getting burnt out, you’re having trouble being productive.
But there are lots of great strategies you can use to stay productive. In the same way that you’ve always been creative as an entrepreneur, you need to find creative ways to force yourself to work. And here’s how.
1 Create a routine that works anywhere
If you’re traveling, it can be hard to stay motivated. Especially if you’re a digital nomad, and switching where you leave every month, there’s not much that’s constant in your life. And while freedom is a great perk that comes with the remote business lifestyle, it can make it challenging to have a routine. And psychologically, we need routines to keep us productive. By forming good habits, they get stronger over time, which means that if you’re sitting down at the same cafe to work every weekday for a year, you’ll automatically start to associate it with working hard.
But if you’re always on the move, or meeting clients in different coworking spaces around town, you face the additional challenge of having to adapt to a new workspace constantly. The solution is to create a routine that works anywhere. Whenever you arrive in a new place, pick one cafe or coworking office that you go to every day, and schedule set hours for working there. Even ordering the same cappuccino will give you a sense of stability that’ll get you going. There are currently 14,4111 coworking spaces worldwide, and it’s a result of the fact that many remote workers are looking for this kind of solution.
2 Schedule days off
Another danger of running a remote business is getting burnt out. Especially if you’re working alone as a freelancer, it can feel like all the responsibility is on you: answering all the client emails, getting new clients in the first place, managing your social media platforms. And that’s not even the work itself; it’s just the logistics of it. So if you’re business has been booming recently, or you’ve been working on a variety of projects with deadlines falling around the same time, it’s easy to get burnt out.
That’s why it’s so important to schedule days off. Even though business never stops in today’s world where US adults now spend over 12 hours a day on their phones daily consuming media, you can’t work forever. The last thing you want is to crash, and having to suddenly email everyone at the last minute and say you can’t finish a project with a deadline that’s passing. Instead, plan some days off every week, and give yourself vacations, too.
And when you have time off, fill those days with what you love. Put your work aside, leave your laptop at home, and go for a hike or a boat tour of the city you’re visiting.
3 Get off social media
Another huge distraction for anyone–but especially someone working without a boss lurking over the shoulder–is social media. Every second, there are 20,000 people on Facebook; it’s no surprise, considering how addictive it is to check out likes and comments on your posts. And if you’re working with social media in your remote business, it can be even more difficult to stay away. But ask yourself: Why am I checking our accounts yet again an hour later? Why am I checking not only my business’s social media accounts but my personal ones, too?
It’s easy to get addicted to social media, and it’s so normalized to spend hours on it that you can lose a ton of time without even realizing it. But as a remote worker, think about what else you could be doing. You could finish up work early, and go for an energizing walk. You could finish up a project early, and get a rave review from your client. It isn’t worth wasting time. If you’re not sure where to start, check out these tips from Lifehack on how to let go of social media and start living your life again.
These are some of the best ways to get productive again as a remote business leader. What other strategies do you use to stay focused and motivated?