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Remaining productive in a virtual world

Updated: Oct 18, 2020

Lockdown brought change for many of us, and Neon Caffeine became no stranger to adapting to a new way of working. Gone were the on-site visits to clients, and we welcomed Morgan as our virtual intern through a scheme run by the University of the West of England Bristol. While lockdown has evolved, we're still adjusting to a world heavily weighted towards remote working.

During lockdown working from home started to lose its novelty. Remaining in the same home office, be it a temporary station in the spare room or at our designated standing desks staying motivated was and is challenging. Ensuring that our work stays high quality and most importantly fun to do has been fundamental to enjoying our remote working environment. Here are some top tips which we are using to keep us motivated. 

It’s all about the mindset

Your mindset is the most important factor to ensure you’re staying on task and enjoying it. One simple trick we have adopted is changing the way we think about work. Instead of thinking that you have to do this work, think ‘I am choosing to do this work’ and focus on the positive outcomes from completing the job. By using this trick we have felt a sense of freedom, brought about by the mindset switch.  

For Morgan, who is learning through his internship, thinking about the personal development that comes from pursuing and marking the task complete on our planner is important to him (we have a simple Red, Amber, Green, spreadsheet to track our tasks). Whether the satisfaction comes from enjoying the process of the work or just finishing it, shifting your focus onto the positive aspect of the job will help you power through.

Timetable your objectives

Sticking to a schedule is crucial to take care of your sanity, and remaining accountable to our clients. As a new and small business in the social media industry, this is very important to us. We don't have the luxury of a large team to share out tasks, which leave us with a lot to do each day. If you work in social, you will know if your presence slows down through inactivity, so does your reach and interaction.

Starting the week with an objective, keeps your mind focused on what needs to be accomplished in the short amount of time available. This also enables a sense of accomplishment and having a way to prove that progress is being made empowers a positive mindset towards progression.

Additionally noting down objectives for the day help with the day to day direction. Morgan typically starts the day with writing down three things he wants to get done every day. 

Take a break

In conjunction with scheduling your day, taking time to have a break is crucial. Enabling some ‘me time’ and to give it a rest with the intention of getting back to your task within a reasonable amount of time is paramount to success. We've both lucky to have dogs to distract us, giving us the perfect reason to step away from the screen.

Unsplash - Chris Leipelt @cleipelt

Preventing the dreaded burnout and allowing your prefrontal cortex (PFC), the thinking part of your brain to rest. The benefits of taking brief moment to break have been well-researched [1]. Constant sitting at your desk puts you at higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity. Getting up from your chair to walk, stretch, do yoga, or whatever activity you prefer can reduce the negative health effects from too much sitting.

In summary, these three golden tips have meant that our attitude to work has remained positive and productive during this lockdown.


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