With more people working from home, I'm often asked about how I am able to stay productive while working remotely. I recently wrote a post about tips for working remotely that I should point to but today I figured I'd write a small post about how I make my workspace (#4) keep me productive.
Similar to how eating healthy starts at the grocery store, my productivity starts at my desk. Almost everything is placed purposely to encourage me to use it.
The most important thing is my daily planner. In 2015 I wrote a post about my workspace and my main methods of keep track of things - post-its and notepads. However, I was turned onto daily planners with a "growth" mindset by a youtuber (john fish) and have been hooked since. I picked a daily planner that allows me to keep track of habits I want to work on, has me list priorities, and even an area to writing something I'm grateful for that day. I'm also able to write notes and brainstorm ideas on the side and bottom.
Every morning I sit at my desk and write out my things to do for that day. Doing this has made it easier to make time for things I want to do that I otherwise would push off until the end of the day. I take a 30 minute walk in the middle of the day to step away from my computer and clear my mind. I also have a baby that I pump for and that's definitely something that needs to be scheduled!
I still keep a notepad and post-its but those are more for meeting notes. "Reminder: so-and-so is the point of contact for a specific API" My iPad is on my desk for the days that I may eat lunch at my desk and I want to watch something while eating.
I also have two books on my desk that I'm currently trying to get through. I have a chair nearby where I pump and I'll usually take one of the books with me to knock out a few pages. Other days I may take my iPad to watch a youtube video or an episode of a show.
I also keep 10lb free-weights to remember to get a quick exercise in the morning after after my daily standup.
My wireless noise-cancelling headphones are great for meetings and for heads-down working time. My son is on the other side of the house being taken care of and he's not always cooperative so these headphones are perfect to not get distracted.
These items have helped me stay organized, feel focused, and overall kept me productive as I've worked remotely for the past 5+ years.