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Thanks to modern communication technology, most of us aren’t nearly as office-bound as we used to be. We can get our work done from practically anywhere—the basement, the living room, a favorite coffee shop, a quiet park bench, even an airport terminal. And sometimes, that change of scenery can be really energizing.

Yet, there are some risks. Just because you can work remotely doesn’t mean it’s easy to stay on task. And that raises the question: What can you do to stay motivated and productive, even when you’re working in a new space?

Staying on Task While Working Remotely

  1. Plan for anything. It helps to be well-organized, ready and able to get some work done in almost any circumstance. Keep a running list of tasks you can work on while you’re getting that coffee or waiting for your flight. Make sure it includes both some longer tasks and some shorter ones, in case you just have a few minutes to kill. And, have some tasks ready to work on even if you don’t have a good Internet connection—e.g., some files already downloaded and ready to go.
  2. Have your devices ready. A simple, practical, and incredibly important point: You don’t want to waste your work time looking for an outlet or a plug. If you know you’ll be working outside later, make sure your phone and computer are fully charged now.
  3. Get comfortable. You won’t get much done if you keep thinking about your back pain or your weird posture. Find a place where you can feel comfy, and just focus on getting work done. Consider both the furniture you’re sitting on but also sunlight/glare, which can really be distracting and annoying.
  4. Avoid task switching. Some call it “multi-tasking”—but we all know that’s baloney! Trying to do a bunch of different things at once is a bad idea, whether you’re in your office or in a Starbucks. Stick to one thing at a time. Do good work, then move on!
  5. Make time to check in. A final tip: Even when working remotely, make sure you check in with your boss and/or employees. Remind yourself that you’re on the clock, and remind your colleagues that you’re hard at work.