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“Getting Things Done” for Remote Workers

By our friend, Ty Fujimura, CEO of Cantilever.

Any opinions expressed within this blog post are those of the author and not necessarily held by Workplaceless itself.

 

When was the last time your mind was calm, still, and rested? If you’re like me, your mind is your office. It handles a flurry of inputs each day, from emails and texts to social media at-mentions to school papers and bank statements. It doesn’t take long to feel overwhelmed by the pace and expectations of modern life and work.

People today process more new information per day than ever before. Yet most of us lack a framework for managing this complexity and keeping our commitments. When we can’t keep track of things, we feel more and more overwhelmed, like a debtor desperately trying to pay back a loan while the interest keeps rising. This nagging sense that we’re falling behind makes it harder to achieve the clear headspace necessary to do our best work.

I’ve been there. I’m...

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The Best Tools for Enabling Remote Work Culture

By our partner, Trainual — the modern training manual that helps fast-growing businesses automate their onboarding and training by documenting every process, policy, and procedure in one place.

Any opinions expressed within this blog post are those of the author and not necessarily held by Workplaceless itself.

 

Remote work is quickly becoming the norm for many companies around the world, but staying in sync while at a distance can be challenging for everyone. Fortunately, there are countless tools that help enable remote work culture and make for a happier, healthier employee. Here are some of our favorites. 

 

Slack

The pinnacle of any company culture -- the almighty Slack. The beauty of Slack is that it’s not just for remote employees, it’s for everyone. By using a platform that allows for seamless communication between your in-office employees and your remote employees, you’ll keep everyone on the same page and avoid any feelings of...

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Friday Reflection: What Have You Done This Week?

Happy Friday!

Before you dance away from your work for the weekend, take some time to reflect on what you accomplished.

Reflecting on the week allows you to acknowledge your victories and the things you have learned. It will also prepare you to start next week off on the right foot.

Here are some questions to guide your reflection:

Friday Reflection Prompts

What major goals or deliverables did you complete?

Take a look back at the concrete deliverables or tasks you finished this week. Sometimes looking back on the things you've done is much more inspiring than looking at the things you still have to accomplish.

What conversations did you have?

Did you have any meaningful or important conversations with coworkers or clients? What did you learn from those conversations? How can that information help you in the future?

Did you find out anything new about yourself or others?

Note anything you've learned about other people and yourself —  about the way you and others work,...

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9 Tips to Stay Focused When Working from Home

Tell me this has never happened to you: You were hyper-focused, and you finish up an important project. Then you decide to check your phone or social media as a quick mental break. 30 minutes later, you’ve gone down the internet rabbit hole and you realize you’ve just wasted a huge chunk of time. In the amount of time you spent following meaningless links, you could have gone through your inbox, provided some feedback to another team member, started another project.

If this happens every now and again it’s not that big a deal—if your schedule is flexible, you can tack on time to the end of the day to make up for lost time. The problem happens when this kind of slacking off happens repeatedly and it affects your performance. Believe me, I understand the temptations of social media! But there are ways to keep temptation at bay.

9 Tips to Stay Focused When You Work from Home

1. Use a tool that blocks time-sucking websites or other distractions.

This is...

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Use a Time Budget to Get More Work Done

There are tons of tools out there that can help you get more done. These include time tracking tools like Harvest, timers, or productivity trackers. My absolute favorite tool is a time budget. A time budget is just a simple spreadsheet that tracks two things:

  1. The time that's left in the day
  2. The time it will take to accomplish each task I have to do

There is a finite amount of time in a day. And no matter how much you want to, you can't fit everything into the 16+ hours you're awake. So to make sure you actually have time to:

  • Do your work
  • Sleep
  • Eat
  • Move (exercise is critical to your health and your productivity!)
  • Run errands
  • Do chores
  • Do fun stuff

It's way too easy to get burned out because we underestimate how long tasks will take. Also, we tend to overestimate how much time is in a day. Sometimes, this is because our time gets eaten up by meetings and interruptions.

If you use a tool like this, you're setting realistic expectations for your day. When you have realistic...

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Goal Setting: How to Break Down Your Work to Get Things Done

Goal setting is crucial for any kind of work, but if you work remotely it becomes especially important. Being able to set and meet goals will allow you to accomplish the work that you're hired to do and also prove your value.

There are many approaches to goal setting. This post outlines how to approach goal setting in the context of projects. Whether you are a freelancer working for clients, or an employee with a boss, you need to know how to break down projects into small, measurable, and achievable tasks.

For tips on how to set more broad, far-reaching goals, visit this helpful resource.

Step 1: Clearly identify expectations. 

Make sure you completely understand what is expected of you. For a large or small project, that means identifying exactly what the components are. It also means determining what success or failure looks like for each of those components. Finally, figure out when each component needs to be completed.

Putting this information in a simple table will...

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Top Communication Tools for Remote Teams

You already use two of the best communication tools in your daily life: email and telephone. You can use both of those tools when you work in a remote team, but chances are you might need additional tools to make sure everyone is on the same page. This is especially true if you've encountered any communication problems within your team.

communication tools

Top Communication Tools

Slack

Slack is far and away my favorite of all communication tools for teams larger than one person. It basically lets you organize your communication in a way that is user-friendly and searchable, which is awesome.

When you sign up for Slack you either join or create a workspace. The workspace is usually for an entire company or organization, but that could be different depending on your situation.

In each workspace you have channels which are designated by hashtags, like #sales, #tech, #general, #hr.

communication tools

When you invite your team members to use Slack, you add them to the channels that relate to them. For instance, you would...

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