Steps to take when working remotely – a Gamified version
As we’ve dealt with the main areas of remote working, your mindset and the importance of communication, I’d like to suggest a step-by-step outline of how you could set up your day, with some gamification flare added to it:
- Start your Adventure Quest
- Start your day as normal – Have a clear morning routine, this can or should include things like having a shower, going to the gym, having a coffee or tea and breakfast.
- Your Action or Adventure Area
- Have a dedicated area for your work hours. This can be a separate room from your ‘home’ or just a clean space.
- Keep this space clear of clutter, agree with others you live with that this space is where “work” hours occur.
- And if you need it, have music in the space, or silence or maybe the TV on in the background, whatever helps you to focus on your work.
- Build your Quests & Challenges
- This can either be done the day of or the recommended night before.
- For this you list all the objective(s) that you need and want to achieve during your day, breaking them down into smaller manageable Quests.
- Divide & Conquer
- Expanding on the previous step, you divide your work and day into chunks.
- You will know best how to divide your day and do what you can and which times are best for you.
- If it helps you to visualise this process, then imagine this step similar to the creation of adventure areas in an RPG, places where you go to complete a specific task.
- Additionally, you can organise this in a similar vein to a sprint session if that is easier.
- Rest & Recovery
- Remember to include regular breaks for lunch and coffee/tea/water/juice.
- Quest Completed!
- Set a hard start and end for your day.
- Depending on your stamina it could be after a 6, 7, 8 or 9 hour working day, but have it end! Do not continue working until you pass out
- Have some downtime, it’s for your own well-being.
If you can, try to keep yourself offline as much as possible during your main working chunks. It’s not only social media that sucks away time, but emails and other online activities can become time sinks if you’re not careful.
Finally, one of the most important things about working remotely and from home is to accept the fact that you need to switch off at some point. People who work from home for some reason believe that now that they are distraction-free they can keep working even longer hours and get more done. This is a great work ethic, don’t get me wrong, but at some point, you need to let your mind rest. Otherwise, you will become ever more exhausted, get headaches and likely end up burning yourself out.
Good ways of ending your day are that once you have hit your hard end for the day, you quickly review what you’ve done during the day. This gives you an overview of what you may need to do tomorrow and allows you to see the victories you’ve gained during the day – remember the self-appreciation part here.
Once you’ve done that, determine what needs to be done tomorrow, build your quest list out of the spill over from the day and the new challenges for tomorrow.
Check your calendar to make sure there aren’t any surprise awaiting you that you had forgotten about or hadn’t anticipated.
And when you’ve done all of that – close down every single work-related program, application and piece of equipment to fully end your working day. And then go do whatever you do to unwind and enjoy your evening, be it gaming, watching a film or reading a good book.
As so many of these things are; they are simply suggestions for likely method for you to consider and use. It is up to you to figure out your own working style, and what works best for you. Processes and methodologies can be recommended to you, but you know yourself the best.
I would suggest that you try not to overanalyse or overthink everything when you are working from home or remotely. Email and written chat programs do not allow for fine nuance in their communications, so don’t go looking for it. Most likely neither you nor the person you are communicating with is trying to get across a nuanced statement. It simply is the transfer of knowledge.
Remember to take care of yourself and to maintain discipline. It becomes too easy to either keep working past normal hours or equally worse to start later than you normally would and become lazy.
And finally, if you are struggling with working remotely, then DO NOT keep quiet about it. Speak to your significant other, friends, family, co-workers, etc. There are benefits for you to suffer and struggle in silence and it certainly won’t benefit those that care about you or depend on you. So remember to always communicate, even when it difficult to.