Drawing on her 18 years of experience working remotely, plus original interviews with managers, employees, and free agents who've perfected their remote routines, Laura Vanderkam shares strategies for productivity, creativity, and health in the new corner office.
How do you do great work while sitting near the same spot where you watch Netflix? How can you be responsive without losing the focus necessary for getting things done? How can you maintain and grow your network when you spend less time face to face?
The key is to detach yourself from old ways of working and adopt new habits to match your new environment. Long before public health concerns pushed many of us indoors, some of the most successful people fueled their careers with carefully perfected work-from-home routines. Drawing on those profiles and her own insights, productivity expert and mother of five Laura Vanderkam reveals how to turn "being cooped up" into the ultimate career advantage. Her hacks include:
• Manage by task, not time. Going to an office for 8 hours makes you feel like you've done something, even if you haven't. Remote workers should set 3-5 ambitious goals for each day and consider the work day done when these are crossed off.
• Get the rhythm right. A well-planned day features time for focused work, interactive work, and rejuvenating breaks. In place of a commute, a consciously chosen shut down ritual keeps work from continuing all night.
• Nurture connections. Wise remote workers can build broader and more effective networks than people sitting in the same cubicle five days a week.
Whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, a self-starter or someone who prefers detailed directions, you can do your clearest thinking and deepest work at home--and have more energy left over to achieve personal goals or fuel bigger professional ambitions. In fact, soon you might find it hard to imagine working any other way.
Laura Vanderkam is the author of several time management and productivity books, including Juliet's School of Possibilities, Off the Clock, I Know How She Does It, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, and 168 Hours. Her work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and Fortune. She is the host of the podcasts The New Corner Office and Before Breakfast and the co-host, with Sarah Hart-Unger, of the podcast Best of Both Worlds.