From HBR’s Things to Buy, Download or Do When Working Remotely
Even the best work-from-home toolkit can’t guarantee that you’ll be happy and productive as a remote worker. To make your remote work setup really effective, you need to take advantage of the number one benefit of remote work: exercising a high degree of intention and control over what you want your work day to look like. Three recommendations:
Chunk your day. Break your day into chunks that focus your attention on what kinds of work you want to do when. For me, that means dividing my work day into “open door” and “closed door” periods. I work best first thing in the morning, so I try to keep my morning schedule blocked off for focused work.
Keep an emergency channel. One of the great things about working remotely is that you’re not subject to constant interruption from colleagues. To take advantage of that, I leave my phone on silent and my instant messaging status as “unavailable.” But my closest colleagues know that they can always reach me via SMS.
Plan for connection. Staying connected to other people is just as important as protecting concentrated work time. Make a point of scheduling lunches or drinks with colleagues and friends so that you don’t get too isolated: remember that you’re getting a lot more work done when you’re out of the office, so you can afford a little social time.