I am a remote worker — as in, I have been working remotely for pretty much six years since I started Creative Impact.

As a team, we have been working remotely part-time, meeting up once a week in London, and catching up virtually on other days. In a way, the “working from home life” is not something we are not accustomed to.

Over the years, I have followed a few steps to ensure I have been able to be happy and productive from working from home.

The five steps include

  • Redefine your workload
  • Protect your prime time
  • Make time for check-ins
  • Update your calendar
  • Refine your daily routine

Redefine your workload

First and foremost, when working from home you’ll find that you have a lot more time — which means you’ll probably find a way to fill that time.

If you feel overwhelmed, lacking the focus of simply drowning in tasks, most chances are that you do not know really where your time is going.

More tools, more tasks, more admin equal less time for you to spend in your zone of genius. As simple as that.

Define your ZOG

The first, and possibly most important, exercise to get started with simplifying your day and getting back in your zone of genius is writing down what your zone of genius is.

Basically, write down what you LOVE doing.

I recommend starting with the fun bits (we all love the fun bits, they get us going) and write down what sits in our zone of genius. what are the tasks that fit within that?

Write down your tasks

Once you know your ZOG, jot down where your time goes every week. Be damn specific, make sure you go for the small and big tasks alike. This could take a while, but it’s worth it.

Ask the right questions

Last but not least, reassess. It’s time to go through each and every task and ask yourself the million-dollar question:

“Is this task essential/bringing me closer to my goals?”

If not, how can you simplify it or automate it? I love color-coding tasks as it clearly shows me the difference between my essential and non-essential tasks.

“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.” — Paulo Coelho

Protect your prime time

Find your most productive time and protect it with your own life. Make sure the first 60 to 90 minutes of your day are dedicated to your most important tasks.

This can be your ZOG, or maybe it’s a series of wellbeing tasks that can help you feel motivated.

First, you want to identify your prime time and block it out (more on this later). Then, you can proceed to make sure you avoid any distractions during that time.

Bonus tip

The thought of making too many decisions in the morning will slow you down and drain your brain for the rest of the day. Subscribe to the concept that an AM routine can start in the PM: Pick out your outfit. Roll out that yoga mat.

Looking to up your marketing game? Check our free online conference kicking off on April 9th.

Make time for check-ins

Touching base daily with emails and phone calls helps to keep the team in check and fosters good working relationships.

Another way to keep goals and systems clear and streamlined involves using software (just like Quip or Slack) to make life easier.

Top tip for small teams

You can work across online document sharing platforms like Google Drive and have one online to-do list (such as Wunderlist or Asana) to collaborate on tasks and projects.

Top tip for freelancers

Find a community you can check in with and connect with weekly or daily, you can tap into both free and paid communities like our Creative Impact Collective to join online events for peers.

Bonus: Instagram

I would recommend you head to Instagram and check out what your network is currently up to, and how can you connect with them through Instagram lives and Q&As.

Update your calendar

Making sure you book in time for important tasks in your calendar is essential.

From team catch-ups to working on a project, make sure you have a clear outline of the most important tasks in the day.

Make sure you add movement, a proper lunch break (and lunchtime activity that suits you best) and avoid the temptation of filling your day with work activities.

Refine your daily routine

The idea that you can work from the comfort of your own bed, in your pajamas, binge-watching Netflix series’ in the background may sound appealing… but it’s not a productive environment and it gets old very quickly.

Establish a routine that works for you.

For me, this is getting up, showered and dressed in the morning, and working eight to three Monday through Friday. Yes, you read it right.

I experimented with my optimal working routine: starting earlier in the day and finishing before four pm has been the most efficient use of my time.

Bonus tip

Take the next 15 minutes to write down your perfect routine. Once you have jotted it down, compare it to your current routine and make adjustments.

Looking to up your marketing game? Check our free online conference kicking off on April 9th.