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James Baldwin
James Baldwin

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3 Ways I Improved My Remote Work

Boost your productivity and balance with 3 simple things

This post was originally posted on my personal blog at

Remote work is awesome. Remote work is growing. Remote work is deceptively tough. At first it seems like the dream, but it can be a lot harder than it first appears if you don't take it seriously.

1. Transition In/Out of Work

One thing that makes remote work tough, mentally, is that there is no physical transition period. There is no commute where you get ready for work, or get ready to be home and spend time with your family. 
Remote makes it easier and easier to blur the work/life lines, and soon enough you start bringing work with you wherever you go. Here's the fix: don't remove the commute, change it.

Instead of a 30 minute drive, setup a routine of doing something (gym, coffee + book, meditate, etc.) before hitting the day's work. Turn what was your unproductive commute time, into a productive slice of time where you transition from home to work and back. Even if that means commuting to your favorite coffee shop for an hour of emails. This breaks the day into specific chunks and turns a blurry, unhealthy mix of work + life, into a clear time for work and home.

2. Take Breaks

This one is simple. Breaks are necessary - but when you're working from home it's easy to just grind for hours and hours - after all, there's no one there to interrupt you!

Taking breaks lets you organize your mind, and improve your mental health.

Here are some things I do for breaks:

  1. 5 minute walk with my dog
  2. Make a snack
  3. Do 10 minutes of an exercise
  4. Read some articles
  5. GET COFFEE :) (I do this a lot)

3. Make Time for Focus

The biggest boon for me when I work from home, is the amount of focused time I can create. So when you have that one task that needs your attention - plan your breaks and your work day around this. Schedule your meetings on either end of this block of time.

Set time aside so that you can enter flow.

Remove distractions. Disable notifications. Take the dog out to pee. Then get to it!


There are tons of little hack and tricks that help boost your remote work life. Hopefully these ideas, fresh or just reiterated, can allow you to lead a more balanced and productive work day!

Thanks for reading :) Catch me on twitter @jwbaldwin_

Top comments (4)

jschleigher profile image
James Schleigher

Thanks for sharing! Taking breaks is really helpful in maintaining my focus. In the early time I started remote working, I never took breaks. So, I include my break schedule in my task management tool and actually take breaks when it's time. I like to use either Todoist or Quire.

scrabill profile image
Shannon Crabill

Removing distractions is one I need to work on. Being remote means I can have my phone and personal computer nearby, but it doesn't mean I should.

jw_baldwin profile image
James Baldwin

Couldn't agree more. Everyone's ideal work environment is different, but with remote we get to create the one that works for us - it just takes experimentation and discipline. Keep it up! :)

camfilho profile image
Carlos Augusto de Medeir Filho

Get coffee :)