Remote Work for Professionals and Managers: Work from Home or Anywhere | Mary Daphne | Skillshare

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Remote Work for Professionals and Managers: Work from Home or Anywhere

teacher avatar Mary Daphne, YouTuber/ Entrepreneur / Comm. Coach

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

33 Lessons (45m)
    • 1. The Future of Remote Work

    • 2. Working From Home or Anywhere

    • 3. Introducing Greg

    • 4. Introducing Mary Daphne

    • 5. Game Plan

    • 6. Course Motivations

    • 7. Fundamentals are Key

    • 8. Intro to Remote Communications

    • 9. Why Over-Communicate?

    • 10. Don't Inundate

    • 11. Remote Communication Protocol

    • 12. Remote Project Management

    • 13. Choosing Communication Channels

    • 14. The Power of Systems

    • 15. Maintaining Human Connectivity

    • 16. Polishing Your Video Calls

    • 17. Intro to Remote Productivity

    • 18. Time Management Overview

    • 19. Pomodoro Technique

    • 20. Time Blocking Technique

    • 21. Wrapping Up Time Management

    • 22. Configuring Your Space for Remote Work

    • 23. Establishing Daily Routines

    • 24. Managing To Do Lists

    • 25. Start With the Hard Stuff

    • 26. Setting Work/Life Boundaries

    • 27. Clarifying Your Availability

    • 28. Making Time for What Matters

    • 29. Programming Your Brain

    • 30. Communicate with Clarity

    • 31. Systems are Key

    • 32. Grace Under Pressure

    • 33. Closing Remarks

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About This Class

Working from home can offer a huge boost to our productivity. But it isn't always as easy and convenient as we'd like to think.

Fortunately, with the appropriate skills and systems in place, we can mitigate (or even eliminate) many of the challenges of remote work, while retaining all the upside!

This is particularly true when we are working with teams and clients who are spread across different geographies, or in spaces that aren't specifically configured for getting work done (e.g., your kitchen or a coffee shop).

In this course, Greg and I draw from our research in the fields of behavioral psychology, interactional linguistics, and work-life management, to identify some of the most significant challenges of working remotely.

We offer strategies for addressing these challenges through a careful selection of powerful communication frameworks and productivity techniques.

Below are some of the key takeaways you will gain from this course:

  • Increase your focus and efficiency while working remotely
  • Feel more connected with your colleagues and clients
  • Boost your productivity while protecting your personal space
  • Develop a deeper sense of purpose in your work

Are you ready to take control of your remote work life?

Who Is this Course For?

In today’s world, remote work isn’t just for freelancers.

The nature of business is changing and so too is our work environment. As collaboration becomes increasingly distributed and web-centric, we must develop remote productivity and communication skills to stay competitive.

Whether you manage external contractors and offshore teams, or find yourself in an airport as often as your office, or simply engage with colleagues and clients in different geographies, you need remote-oriented capabilities and protocol to keep everyone – including yourself – on task.

In this Explearning course, we explore the key components of remote collaboration and how to become more effective when working in distributed teams.

The skills required to thrive in a remote work environment are transferable to any modern business context.

An investment in this skillset is an investment in your professional trajectory.

There is no better time than now to get started.

Challenges of Remote Work

When our colleagues are spread across multiple locations, we call that a distributed team.

Distributed teams are wonderfully liberating. We have more autonomy to work where, and when, we please. We can also be more efficient because we don’t need to travel anywhere to get started.

But distributed teams also come with real challenges.

Foremost among those is the challenge of communicating effectively with the rest of our team.

After all, when we are working from separate locations, we can’t exactly “swing by” our colleague’s desk to hash out a question in person. Nor are we likely to “bump into” them on the way to the snack room.

This lack of in-person interaction means we need to put a lot more effort into staying in touch with our colleagues. We must ensure we remain coordinated on our various tasks and deadlines while also maintaining the important “human connection” with each other.

Another major challenge with remote work is staying productive in unstructured environments.

A traditional office provides a contained “safe space” that is purpose-built for getting work done. There are minimal distractions and we have all the equipment we need to operate efficiently and effectively.

By contrast, when we work from home, or wherever we open our laptop, we are suddenly faced with many more factors that are out of our control. That could include technical issues like a poor internet connection or cramped working conditions. Or interruptions from noisy kids or needy pets.

In these less structured environments, we need ways to keep us at peak productivity, even in the face of unpredictable distractions and obstacles.

This course equips you with a selection of powerful systems and mental models for maximizing your output and enhancing your time management, all while preventing burnout that frequently accompanies working from home.

Are you ready to take control of your remote work life?

The End of the Office

The term “office” has become outdated. After all, we used to think of the office as the only place we got work done.

Those days are long gone.

Between our smart phones, laptops, tablets, and other productivity devices, work happens whenever (and wherever) we switch on those screens.

Consider your last vacation where you had to frantically find a WiFi hotspot to send out an urgent project update to your team. Suddenly you regret not purchasing that international data package…

Or maybe you have a long commute and like to go through your email on the way to work. Or you duck out early and wrap up your work from home after dinner.

In each of these situations, you may not be in the office, but you certainly are getting work done.
And keep in mind, remote work isn’t just about where YOU are. It’s also about where the rest of your team is.

Just think about it.

Have you ever worked on a team that was based in a different office? Or managed contractors who lived in a different country? Or coordinated with clients in a different time zone?

Where’s the office in those scenarios?

The concept of an “office” suddenly feels more abstract.

This course embraces the modern concept of a distributed remote office and equips you to thrive in a web- and cloud-based work environment, where the only facilities you need are a power outlet and a WiFi connection.

Are you ready to secure your future with remote work skills?

Meet Your Teacher

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Mary Daphne

YouTuber/ Entrepreneur / Comm. Coach


Mary Daphne is CEO and Co-Founder of Explearning, a platform for developing personal and professional social skills.

With an Ed.M in Applied Linguistics, Mary Daphne has over a decade of experience working in cross-cultural corporate communications as well as television and live broadcasting. She loves exploring the intersection of language, culture, and social interaction.

Alongside her corporate engagements, Mary Daphne has spent the last decade designing social skills, public speaking, cross-cultural communications, and business communications courses. Her lessons leverage technology, empirical research, and data-backed teaching methodologies to produce high-value outcomes for her students and clients.

Mary Daphne is a native New Yorker and an avid traveler. In h... See full profile

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1. The Future of Remote Work: in today's world, remote work isn't just for freelancers. The nature of business is changing, and so, too, is our work environment. As collaboration becomes increasingly distributed at Web centric, we must develop remote productivity and communication skills to stay competitive. Whether you manage external contractors and offshore teams or you find yourself in an airport is often is your office or you simply engaged with colleagues and clients in different biographies. You need remote oriented capabilities and protocol to keep everyone, including yourself, on task, drawing from research in the fields of behavioral psychology, interaction, linguistics and work life management. In this exploding Web course, we explore the key components of remote collaboration and how to become more effective when working with distributed teams. 2. Working From Home or Anywhere: so our topic for this course is thriving in a remote work environment, and it feels particularly relevant given that remote work is becoming increasingly common place. But what's great about this topic is that so much of what will discuss isn't exclusive to working from home. The reality is that virtually everything that makes you more effective while working remotely will also make you more effective when you get back into the office or when you're on the road. We see this as a broad set of skills that will remain relevant throughout your career. These skills are transferable to any modern business context, so an investment in this skill set is an investment in your long term professional trajectory. 3. Introducing Greg: before we jump into things, we like to give you a very brief introduction to who we are and what we do. I'm great. I was born in New York and I grew up in Hong Kong out of college. I spent a few years in Beijing and rural China working for an educational nonprofit. In 2013 I came back to the US for an MBA at Wharton, which led me to a tech startup in New York. We sold that company in 2018 and since then I've been looking for opportunities to share some of the things that I've learned along the way. 4. Introducing Mary Daphne: Hi, everyone. I'm married, Daphne. People call me M D for short. I was born and raised in New York City and right after college, I spent six amazing years in Turkey, mostly in Istanbul, doing a wide range of activities including full right research, teaching communication, English and French, anchoring for a Turkish news channel and running a marketing department for an educational conglomerate. And in 2015 I returned to New York for a PhD in applied linguistics at Columbia University . 5. Game Plan: Let's talk game plan and take a quick look at what will cover today. We'll start by discussing motivations. Why this matters. Then we'll segue way into the heart of the Web course, which we've broken down into two distinct categories. Communications is the external component, and that's about how you interface with your clients, interact with your colleagues and communicate with your supervisors. And then we have personal productivity, which is the internal component. And that's about how you configure your physical environment and your mind for optimal productivity. And mental performance finally will wrap things up with some key takeaways that tie together the core themes of the Web course ready to get started. 6. Course Motivations: All right, let's talk about motivations, motivations, matter. And my parents discovered this when they tried to get me to learn Mandarin as a kid. And what we all learned was, if you're not motivated to learn something, you're not going to learn it. It wasn't until I actually lived in China and found myself in some pretty awkward situations that I discovered. Yeah, maybe it is worth learning the language after all. Now, to feel motivated, you need to know there's a benefit. And in the case of this Web course, you benefit in two important ways. First, this is a webinar about succeeding in unfamiliar environments and the better he performed in an unfamiliar environment. The burial performed in any environment, and your performance now affects the entire arc of your career. Seduction serve as a good motivator. Second, when you're performing at a high level, that's an incredible sensation. When you have a productive day when your team is clicking, that could be a deeply fulfilling experience. It gives you a stronger sense of purpose, and in turn that leads to an even higher level of performance. So it's his beautiful, virtuous cycle that should serve is another strong motivating factor from mastering thes remote work skills 7. Fundamentals are Key: in terms of today's content. One of the most common requests we get is to make sure that our strategies are actionable. Now don't get me wrong. I love a top 10 cheat sheet as much as the next person, and we definitely will be getting into specifics. But to really internalize this content, it's also important to understand the fundamentals, underpinning the specifics with a deeper understanding of the core concepts. Not only will you be more likely to integrate these strategies into your workflow, you'll also be able to tailor them to your specific needs. Because not everyone's work from home set up is the same right. There's not necessarily a one size fits all solution. Our methodology is very much a teach a person to fish approach. The final thing worth mentioning is that we always collect input from our students to ensure that we're covering topics that matter to you. With that in mind, we love your feedback. Once you've completed this course, our goal is to make this as Taylor to your deeds as possible 8. Intro to Remote Communications: As you recall, communication is the external part of the remote work equation, and it's arguably the most complex aspect of remote work. Because communication is a complex process with many moving parts will highlight some of the trickier aspects of navigating this maze from home in the hopes of providing a framework to think about challenges more specific to your individual circumstances and needs. 9. Why Over-Communicate?: the first strategy to improve your remote work. Communication is to over communicate. Why should we over communicate? It sounds antithetical to productivity and clear communication, but just bear with me. Professor Albert Meridian breaks down in person interaction into three distinct categories . Paul. The 7 38 55 rule in our face to face interaction 7% of meaning is formed through the words we use. 38% of meaning is formed through tonality, for example, tone of voice, intonation, stress patterns, Prasit E and inflection patterns and 55% of meaning is formed through body language and our nonverbals that includes facial expressions and even our micro expressions, which are the expressions that flash across our face within a fraction of a second. So body language and tone of voice comprised 93% of our impression of people and their impression of us during in person interactions. And it's on Lee the remaining 7% that's formed through the spoken word. Just think about that for a moment in the context of remote work, when we communicate with people via email or slack or instant messenger, 93% of the information that we normally convey, for example, the smiles, the throwing of the eyebrows, the soft tone of voice. All of that gets lost. You're left with just the words, so you need to make the words count really put thought into how you organize your thoughts and be deliberate about what you say and what you write. But goal should be to achieve clarity through your communication. It's very easy to misinterpret the tone of an email, so state your position clearly. If you're frustrated, say that if you're confused, say that. And if you're pleased, say that this is what we mean by over communicating, leaving nothing to be ambiguous and nothing open to interpretation because chances are they'll interpret it differently than how you had intended anyway. 10. Don't Inundate: now, at the same time, over communicating does not mean inundating. Make sure that your Onley communicating what needs to be communicated. Avoid filler. Make sure that you aren't repeating yourself and be specific so that you don't get caught in a long back and forth email chain to clarify what you meant in the first place. Stay on task and avoid sidebar conversations. Yes, there is a place for small talk in the remote work equation, but we'll address that a bit later on in the Web course, and lastly, the fewer words used, the more value and impact each word has, so choose your words wisely and make them count. 11. Remote Communication Protocol: All right, let's talk about establishing communication protocol. So Andy just discussed how important it is to communicate with clarity. One of the best ways to ensure that you're communicating effectively is to set up systems for your communication intensive activities. This can apply to a wide variety of activities that your team does in. This Web course will focus on examples that do a good job of illustrating the core concepts that we're discussing here Specifically will be discussing project management and communication channels. We'll go through two of these. The first is project management. 12. Remote Project Management: now it's likely you're team already has a way of delegating work, assigning tasks and making sure they get done. When you switch to remote work, you need to make sure that that system is air tight. The reason for this is that when you aren't running into people in the office, you don't have as many built in touch points. That means it's easier to fly under the radar that comes with pros, and it comes with cons. The pros of that. You might have a bit more autonomy to do things the way you like to and fewer interruptions that jolt you out of your flow state. But a major Khan is that it's easier to get off track, particularly if you have something that you're likely to procrastinate on. Where that involves bottlenecks from all their colleagues, the war complex, the team dynamics are the more challenging. A distributed workflow becomes. So by setting up an airtight task management system with explicit task owners and explicit task deadlines, your team can operate more autonomously and still stay coordinated. Project management software like Asana orgy era makes us really easy because you can create tasks for literally anything But the only system that works is the system your team sticks to. The joke at my old company was that Salesforce was this all powerful software that was going to solve all our problems, and we set up sophisticated systems for it. But the problem was, none of us was using it the way we were supposed to. So it ended up being a huge waste. And if you've ever seen a Salesforce bill, you know it does not come cheap. So if you haven't already set aside some time to sit down with your team and figure out what works best once you've settled on something, make sure to get everyone's buying because that's the only way this will work and then commit to it with every fiber of your being. If your team does have a system in place, but it isn't working as well as you'd like, now is a great time to confront that fact and come up with ways to fix it. 13. Choosing Communication Channels: another piece of low hanging fruit when it comes to systematize ing workflow is establishing protocol free communication channels. One of the biggest risks with remote work is what we call inbox inflation, and I'll explain what I mean by that. Consider an in person meeting where you hash through a bunch of topics quickly and efficiently. Now conduct that same meeting over email, all the back and forth filling up your in box. This is where he should be imagining that exploding inbox. Jeff. Another painful situation is when you get stuck receiving in assigning Deliver Bols through instant messaging apse, which are notoriously difficult to organize and sort. I can tell you how many hours I've wasted sifting through chats to find a specific piece of information. The key here is to use the right communication tools for the right circumstances. Email is great for laying out complex processes and static information that doesn't require additional input. Slack, on the other hand, is great for situations where you want a conversation like brainstorming or collecting feedback when it comes to assigning working, making sure it gets done. That's where task management software we discussed earlier really shines and for scheduling meetings. Scheduling software that shows your availability of front helps prevent a lot of the unnecessary back and forth about who's free one. The theme here is finding ways to communicate without concentrating everything through a single channel like email. And so the action item is to have a conversation with your team about what communication tools are appropriate for what types of communication. Once you have that conversation, build the system around it so that you know what to expect and where to find it. 14. The Power of Systems: again. There are plenty of other elements to your collaboration dynamics that you can systematize . Ultimately, the more you can automate your processes, the more organized and efficient your collaborations will be in the less room for human error. So I really encourage you to spend some time thinking about your daily interactions with colleagues and clients. Figure out what could be codified, what could be automated and what could be simplified and streamlined. The goal with your systems is to reduce cognitive load and ensure that nothing is slipping through the cracks. 15. Maintaining Human Connectivity: making space for human connectivity. To achieve this, it's important to integrate social aspects into your remote work dynamics. There's no water cooler or break room to collect around when you're working from home, so you need to make a concerted effort to add human elements to your digital communications . One way to do that is through small talk. Small talk is a powerful tool on so many levels. It's a great way to build report, create trust with the other person and to nurture the work relationships that you've worked so hard to build. How should we integrate small talk into our communications? Well, there are a few things that weaken Dio. For example, if it's the first note of a day, ask a personal question before jumping into business. Make the question specific and personal because that's authentic. Contrast that with Hi, how are you, which is generic and boring, and it's always going to engender the same robotic and dill response doing well. Thanks and you. So we want to steer clear of that and instead come up with something that is way more authentic and personal, which is also more memorable. Now let's say it's the first message of the week asked them if they got apps. Anything fun that weekend? Other ways of including small talk in these types of interactions could be describing a book you're reading. Venting about the craziest thing that just happened on the TV show that you're both watching, telling them about an awesome new workout app or sharing a healthy new recipe that you discovered anything that they might enjoy as well. Your goal here is to build effective ways of building touchpoints into your routine communications. Now it's important to recognize that a lot of professional communication does not have a place for personal side chatter. This is where your alternate channels of communication, which Greg mentioned, come in handy. For instance, if you're sending a beefy email, send a separate, more personal note on the side with a warm greeting, giving them a heads up that a dense, no nonsense email is on the way. Slack instant messaging, APS and other chattels that you use in the office could be great for this. The goal is to add some personal flair to your communications to humanize your digital interactions were not Cylons to reference Battlestar Galactica were empathetic, and we care about each other's feelings and lives. So why not show that doing this will engender more fluid communication and ultimately, better project outcomes? 16. Polishing Your Video Calls: all right, Getting video call ready now. This is definitely a very important topic, but it's actually not when we're going to spend a ton of time on, and the reason for that is that there's already a ton of content out there on how to do this really well. And one of our favorite resource is is actually from a product review site called Wire Cutter. We have no association with them, but they have a fantastic right up for all the steps you need to take to make sure that your call goes smoothly. So check out the link that we have here for more information on that. That said, there is one important element of making video calls that we did want to cover, and in fact this isn't just relevant for video calls, really applies to any calls that you make or take. What we're discussing here is what we call minimum talking points or MTP for short. Now, the idea behind MTP is very straightforward. Your goal is to distill everything you plan to say in the call into just a few concise bullet points. This forces you to think strategically about what you intend to convey on the call and to identify your desired objectives and outcomes. It's a great exercise for organizing your thoughts and keeping the conversation from wandering off topic. Ultimately, it ensures that you're using your own time and that of the people you're speaking to in the most efficient way possible. Now it may sound like overkill for shorter calls, but even for those we strongly encourage you to set aside at these 30 seconds to jot down some empty piece, you'd be amazed at how far just a little bit of prep will go toward making the calls more productive and professional. 17. Intro to Remote Productivity : Okay, so what we just covered was a set of strategies for managing your collaborate dynamics with colleagues and clients. That's the external component of this course. We're now going to shift gears to discuss a set of techniques for mastering the internal components of working from home. Specifically, we'll walk you through some of the most effective ways for optimizing your mind and your physical space for maximum performance. 18. Time Management Overview: a great place to start with. The conversation of personal productivity is time management techniques now similar to making video calls. This is a topic where the Internet is overflowing with Resource is there are truly countless articles online, chock full of time management techniques. But the concept we discussed was setting up your systems for collaborate. Dynamics applies here, too. In other words, the Onley techniques that work are the ones you use. So what we did here was we chose to time management techniques that we love and we know work and that we use daily. The two we chose are the Pomodoro technique. In the time walking technique, we'll go through both in that order. 19. Pomodoro Technique: Okay, let's start with the palm Adore technique. This was a technique that was developed by a successful management consultant in the 19 eighties. The technique falls into the category of simple and effective. It's strangely difficult to execute, but it's so effective that is very much worth your time. To get good at the way it works is that you take a task or a group of tasks of any length and break it all into 30 minute intervals. For the 1st 25 minutes of that interval, you do nothing but work on that task. Zero distractions for the final five minutes, you do anything other than work on that task. So that's it. 25 minutes of work, five minute break, 25 on five off, rinse and repeat. Now the hardest part of this technique, by far, is taking that five minute break, and the reason is that once you get into the groove of things, it's really difficult to pry yourself away from that task. You start to tell yourself things like, Oh, all wait till there's more of a natural pause or I'll skip this break and take 10 minutes at the one hour mark, and to do so would be a big mistake, because what works so well about this technique is that it forces you to interrupt your train of thought. Now that might seem disruptive, but the benefit of giving your mind a rest far outweighs that disruption. And by stopping right in the middle of things, it makes it that much easier to jump back in when the break is up. Professional writers actually use the same technique. When they're writing content, they often stop in the middle of a paragraph or even a sentence to eat a meal or even go to sleep, knowing that when they get back to whatever it is they were writing, they'll be able to immediately slipped back into their group. And so it ends up saving them a bunch of time, warming up and building the momentum. The same concept applies to the Palme d'Or technique. It is precisely by interrupting your train of thought that you're able to dive right back into whatever it is you were doing. The more engaged you are with the task, the more effective this will be. Fortunately, there are a bunch of APS dedicated to the Pomodoro technique you can use to make sure you don't forget to take that five minute break. So check those out and see what works for you. But you could also just set a timer for 25 minutes and reset it after your break. Now, when you're taking a break, it is critical to get up and stretch your legs. Try taking a walk around the room or whatever space urine. If you don't have much space, roll your shoulders in circles and shake out your hands and do some air squats. The reason for this is that you need to get fresh blood and oxygen flowing to your brain. Research shows that our I Q and cognitive functions are much stronger when the brain has oxygen. Also, assuming you're looking at a screen during a break, it's very important to look away from that screen. This ensures your eyes get arrest because prolonged exposure to screens constrain your eyes and cause your vision blur Not great things for productivity. Now, the Pomodoro technique is very effective for long, beefy tasks or a high volume of time sensitive tasks that need to get done quickly by building in those mandatory breaks. You ensure your brain gets arrest and you'll be amazed at how you can crush even the burly ist of workloads without experiencing the all dreaded burnout again. The key here is that you take those breaks. If you don't, this won't work. 20. Time Blocking Technique: Okay, so that was the Pomodoro technique. Now we're going to discuss the time blocking technique, and at first blush, this may sound similar to the Pomodoro technique, but it's actually kind of the opposite. With the Pomodoro technique, you break your work up into strict equal intervals, regardless of where you are in the task, with time blocking you instead, allocate blocks of your day to specific tasks for each block. Your goal is to allocate the estimated amount of time you need to complete that task. So to start, think about the various things you need to get done in that day or week, then assigned the amount of time you're willing to allocate to each of those tasks, bearing in mind that you only have a certain number of hours in the day to get them done. This is really effective for two reasons. First, it forces you to think strategically about how you're going to spend the day. You only have so much time, so you need to be smart about how you allocate it, which means you need to determine which tasks have priority over others. Second, this technique booster productivity by forcing you to make the most of the time you've allocated to each task. After all, once your time limit is up, you'll need to move on to your other tasks. What makes this technique work is a bizarre, metaphysical property of work, which is that work expands to fill the time that you give it. And I'll explain what I mean by that. If you give yourself five hours to complete a specific task, you'll probably take that full five hours to get it done. If instead, you gave yourself just one hour to complete that same task. Somehow, some way you'll find a way to get that task done in an hour. Now the shorter version might not be quite as polished. But if we're going for the parade of Principle, which says that we get 80% of the value from 20% of the effort, that's a great return on your investment. Unless we're talking about brain surgery most of the time, 80% is good enough. So those are two techniques that worked very well for us 21. Wrapping Up Time Management: so those are two techniques that worked very well for us, the Pomodoro technique in the time blocking technique. Like I said, you could spend all day learning new ways to slice and dice your workload. But ultimately you'll only end up using one or two. So spend sometimes sampling what's out there and then just focus on mastering that one or two. And remember, the only technique that works is the one you use. 22. Configuring Your Space for Remote Work: you've probably noticed by now how your physical space can either positively or negatively impact your mental space. So it's important to keep that in mind when you're setting up your workspace for optimal productivity's E. To increase mental performance and to reduce cognitive load research shows that if you designate a space, even a tiny area for getting work done than your brain associates that space with productivity. Avoid working from the bed or from the couch if you can, and space permitting, of course, because otherwise you might risk confusing your brain. When you see your bed, your brain might not know whether to crank out a project or to get some sleep. It sounds trivial, but your brain really does make these types of connections without your even realizing it. And if space is a constraint and look, I get it, I'm from New York City, then try to transform a space during work hours. So during work hours it has one function, and during off hours it serves a different function. For example, you might have no other choice but to work from your couch. So then, maybe in that case, make the right side for getting work done and the left side of the couch for unwinding or taking a break. Or maybe you can claim a corner of your kitchen counter because that's your only viable table space. In that case, maybe you make a makeshift standing desk with a stack of cookbooks during work hours. The point is to be creative and resourceful, because that's how you can make a configuration which works for you. Carve out an area, assign it as your workspace and keep it consistent. Show up at the beginning of every workday to that same exact spot and call it your office. It doesn't have to be glamorous or cavernous, but you do want to have a designated workspace. And if you need headphones or earplugs to drown out the sound from roommates or housemates or family than do that, you might be sharing the space with people during your periods of remote work. So treat this space as a sanctuary. Keep it clean, keep it too cluttered and, most importantly, keep the distractions away. And once you've chosen a space, communicate your needs of the people that you might be sharing that space with, discuss it with the people around you and come up with the configuration that would work for everyone. For example, once you voice your needs, maybe your housemates can agree that you get the coffee table in sitting area to take your zoom calls and do your work during specified office hours. Everyone should approach it with an open mind, knowing that this remote work scenario might be unconventional and also might be temporary . So perspective is key, especially if it's a situation you can't control but are trying to make the best of. And as with most things in life, it comes down to communicating, communicating your knees, communicating your boundaries and communicating the benefits. Why this would benefit the entire household. Just think about it when you could be fully productive during work hours. Then you can fully relax and unwind during your off hours by spending time with your roommates family or taking some personal time during those off hours. The goal is to configure your space and your mind for optimal performance, which will enable you to get everything done that matters on both the personal and professional level. 23. Establishing Daily Routines: All right, let's talk about establishing routines and I love routines. The reason a lover teens is because they're one of the most effective ways to ensure that I stay on task. Routines are very similar to the systems we discussed for collaborative processes, but the difference here is that these systems are for yourself. You have the freedom to configure these, however you'd like without needing anyone else's by it. Steve Jobs famously wore the same shirt to work every day, so he didn't have to think about what shirt to wear. This is the same idea. The goal is to organize your day in a way that you don't have to think about what happens next, and we're not just talking about your work day. I have a routine for literally every hour of my day from the minute I wake up until the minute my head touches my pillow. Now I'm extreme, but I can attest to the fact that the more automated your day is, the more you can get done. In my experience, it's best to put the must do activities at the start of the day. For me, that's my workout and writing content and what's great about that is that it sets me up for success. No matter what else happens that day, I know that I have completed those two tasks. The rest is gravy. Now creative types can sometimes balk at routine because they view it as constrictive. But the reality is that even they benefit from structure. It takes their mind off of mundane processes so they can focus on what they do best, which is being creative. If you don't have much of a routine start by identifying the most repetitive aspects of your day, then isolate those activities and figure out the most efficient way you can complete them. If their important activities that often get overlooked, figure out what period of your day is most in your control and then complete those activities during that period. For some of us, that's the early morning when everyone is still asleep, or for others who could be late at night when the kids were in bed or even during a lunch break. The key here is to think strategically about your entire day, determine what aspects of your day our highest priority, and develop a system to ensure that those priorities are dressed without you having to consciously think about it. 24. Managing To Do Lists: managing two DUIs. One of the best things when managing her to do list is to keep it short now. By this, we mean that at any given time you Onley write down three tasks to complete. This is not to say that you only have three tasks to do that day or that you can't complete more than three. No, hot it all. It's really about allowing Onley three tests on your to do list at any given time to make the list manageable, reduced cognitive load and to boost your productivity, stick to three tasks at a time. Now, as tempting as it may be to compile elaborate and comprehensive lists of everything under the sun because it feels like we're accomplishing something and like we're being productive , that's not being productive. The reality is that those kinds of to do lists are aspirational. We're encouraging you and in fact, challenging you to instead make a to do list. That is actionable. To make an actionable to do list right down three items and only three items at any given time and attack, those make the first few rounds of to do items. The high priority tasks, the must do's not the would be nice is first, get the must use out of the way and then later, in other iterations you can get to the would be nice is once you end up completing those three original tasks. Awesome, you've just scored a victory, and that's something to feel good about. That will give you the momentum that you need to carry on with another three tasks and Brinson repeat this process. You'll find that this is a much more warning and psychologically manageable way to approach things that you need to get done in a day. 25. Start With the Hard Stuff: now, the other way to manage your to do's is to start with what you least want to do. Find the task that your most dreading and get that out of the way at the start of your day . This is a surefire way to boost productivity and toe beat procrastination. And if you don't know what you're most reading, it's a task that you've been avoiding all morning, all day, maybe even all week. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone. But in all seriousness, we all have that one onerous task hanging over our heads. And once we complete its like, a huge weight is lifted off of our shoulders. There's a tremendously gratifying sense of accomplishment after completing what you least want to dio. So definitely try out those two techniques and makes him part of your own personal productivity game plan. 26. Setting Work/Life Boundaries: setting work life boundaries. That's a big one for working from home and working remotely right. You may have noticed by now that it's not so much a work life balance as it is a work life blend. And there's nothing like working from home toe really drive home that point no pun intended . You've also probably noticed by now that setting boundaries is more challenging when we're not in the office. What's incredible about the office is that it serves as a protective barrier for our time spent on work. We don't have to draw our immediate attention to house chores, meal prep, random tasks that eat up the day, roommates, kids, parents, etcetera. But at home, it's easy for life and work to blend. When your office is your house and your house is your office. And since we don't have such barriers already in place in our remote work setups than we must create them 27. Clarifying Your Availability: One way to establish boundaries is to clarify your availability. When you are working remotely, your availability is much less visible than when you're in the office with your co workers and supervisors. When you're in the office, they can see when you're on the phone in a meeting or out for a quick cup of coffee. For this reason, make sure that your colleagues, managers and clients are clear on your hours of availability. Now. This also includes periods where you're potentially available but not necessarily immediately available, such as when you might be eating lunch or taking your dog out for a walk. Also, important things that need your attention. One way to make this clear is to take advantage off the communication tools that indicate your status as a way busy or available. So be sure to clarify to the people with whom you work when you are in your virtual office and ready to tackle any tests coming your way. 28. Making Time for What Matters: now the next point here is to make time for things that matter the most to you. When we aren't in our usual flow of things, it's easy to forget about stuff that was previously automatic to us. Now, an obvious example of this is going to the gym. You may have had a routine where you would always swing through the gym on your way to or from work. You pop in, get your sweat on and feel that amazing endorphin rush. And that was your exercise regimen. Now, if that's the case, there's a good likelihood that your exercise regimen has stopped because your commutes to the office have stopped. The gym is just one example of these previously automatic activities, but they really could be anything coffee time reading our yoga sessions and so on. Therefore, when you're working from home, you need to make sure that you've set up systems to reestablish a sense of normalcy. These systems will serve as your protective barriers when navigating the work from home maze 29. Programming Your Brain: one of the most important aspects of these routines is signaling to your brain when you are in the office versus not in the office. The best way to do this is to establish a pre work and post work routine. This ties into creating a space for work, which we discussed earlier. Once you enter that space, you've entered your office. And as for your post work routine, consider something like a stretching sequence meditation sessions diving into a book. You're reading a D. I. Y. Project painting something that switches your focus to a topic that is not work. These triggers should be obvious enough that your brain clearly knows what part of the day it's in. All of this is very important because when you let work and life blend in an unstructured way, it's really easy to experience burnout and trust me when I say burnout is no fun. So make sure that you're creating the protective systems now so that you don't experience it. You may be tempted to skip your exercise routine or work past your usual dinner time. This seems like a great idea in the moment, and it feels like you're being ultra productive, but it really hurts your productivity in the long term and has gelateria its effects on your well being. The reality is, if you don't give your brain a chance to reset, then it stops functioning in an optimal way. There's no way around this. Remember, as Greg pointed out, work expands to fill the time you allow for it, so make the most of the time that you've set aside and try not to deviate from that. 30. Communicate with Clarity: Okay, So our goal now is to tie the various threads of this course together into some unifying principles. The first unifying concept is the importance of clear communication. The bottom line is that when communicating digitally, you have to compensate for the lack of in person interaction with written communication. 93% of your communicative power evaporates, so you have to make that remaining 7% count. Be as clear and concise as possible and leave nothing open to interpretation. If you're frustrated, say so if he since the other person is getting frustrated, get clarity on that. Don't let anything fester if you're struggling to articulate this nuance and writing, which is very possible because it isn't easy to do, then switched to a higher resolution communication channel like a phone call or a video call, where you can incorporate tone of voice and facial expressions. 31. Systems are Key: The second unifying concept here is the importance of systems. It's critical to develop systems for everything that matters. This goes for the way you interact with your team and the way you configure your remote workspace. What makes systems so powerful is that they enable teams and individuals to dramatically increase their output without sacrificing quality. They organized the way things are done and reduce cognitive load, reducing the risk of human error and freeing up brain space for the tasks that require concentration and focus. 32. Grace Under Pressure: now we never pass up the opportunity to bring up the stoics if you aren't familiar with stoicism. It's an ancient Greek and Roman philosophy for life, and I really encourage you to check out a book by Ryan Holiday called The Daily Stoic. If you're just getting started in this case, they have a great saying that every challenge you face is a test of your character. Now, the fact that you're watching this right now is proof that you've passed a lot of tests. The challenges of working remotely are just another test for you to ace, so this is an opportunity to grow, get better at what you do and develop set of skills that last a lifetime. Another inspiring concept that comes to mind is Hemingway. He has a wonderful, elegant definition of guts, which is grace under pressure. What made us think about this was that one student we had had a question about how one maintains their career growth when they're working from home, since they have fewer opportunities to interface with their managers and stand out now. In my mind, working from home is actually one of the best opportunities you'll get to stand out with less oversight. We have two options. We can sit back and cruise, or we can take the reins and prove ourselves. The fact that you're attending this webinar shows you want to take initiative. Working from home gives you a chance of document all your accomplishments and deliverables and present them to your manager in an organized way. It gives you an opportunity to step up and demonstrate that you could be counted on without needing to be micromanaged. Your managers and your clients will remember your actions, and your results will speak for themselves, so use your remote work configuration to demonstrate your grace under pressure. 33. Closing Remarks: this marks the end of this Web course. We hope that you enjoyed it, and more importantly, we hope that you found it both informative and actionable. We always welcome your feedback and greatly appreciate you, leaving us a review to encourage others to take the plunge the way you did. We wish you the best of luck with your remote work and are confident that by applying these strategies in this Web course, you will see a measurable increase in your productivity and collaborative capabilities. If you enjoyed this Web course, then be sure to check out our other offerings. Were passionate about professional development and personal growth and work committed to producing content that equips our students to perform at a high level and to feel really great doing that. Thanks again and stay in touch Happy X learning.