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Tips Working Remotely

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What's your best advice for those new to:
  1. Working remotely and/or from home.
  2. Having their team working remotely and/or from home.



Here's one that I wish someone had told me years ago. It would have saved me much pain and chiropractor bills.

Prevent "Tech Neck" with a decent laptop riser

If you're working on a laptop then try to rise it so the top of the screen is at eye level.

I bought loads of laptop risers in the last few months to try and find a decent one. Most were too low or too cumbersome. (They ended up as nice Christmas presents for youngsters with laptops from Santa.)

The one below is what I've settled on. It's light, small, folds away/out fast, and has the laptop nice and high.


NEXSTAND K2 Laptop Stand ... 30cm, Foldable, Portable


Here it is at our kitchen table this evening.

Notice how the lower edge of the laptop is NOT on the table - which is what happens with a lot of laptop risers.

AB21B472-DB30-478D-88ED-3728345221B1.jpeg
 

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rogainer

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Laptop riser is a game changer indeed. Even better is setting up some proper size screens.

The newest versions of Mac allow you to use an iPad as a second monitor. Right now I'm Airplaying to my Apple TV for a second screen. So hard to work on one screen after years of dual/triple monitors & ultrawides.

Pomodoro method or something similar. 25 min sprints broken up with 5 minute breaks.

When I eat meals, I actually take a break to eat them, rather than eat in front of the laptop. Better for digestion.

Nice to break up the work day with a workout, outdoor preferably.
 

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Definitely agree that a $200 monitor and a $40 keyboard plugged into a laptop is the way to go. Its so much easier than sitting there hunched over a laptop. Though, if you don't have the monitor available, the laptop stand looks like it works well.

I work from home all the time. For me, making sure I get at least some exercise in, is important. I'm going to take a walk with the family later today, and I do the laundry as a way of getting myself out of my chair a few times a day.

I also have a 32 oz cup of water on my desk that I use to keep hydrated with.
 
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Communication / Project Management Tools

We use Basecamp to communicate with clients and manage projects. Funnily enough we find it better as a communication tool than a project management tool. We're using the paid version.

Of course there's Slack and other free things like that.

Likely Trello will come in handy. It's free and great for (dash)boards. We try to keep details out of Trello and instead link to the appropriate Basecamp thread.
  • Create a team and add boards so the team automatically gets access to them.
  • Here's the simple boards I have in the team:

    BOARD 1: "CLIENTS"
  • Shows tasks for client projects.
  • Each team member has three lists: (Bob's New Tasks, Bob's Tasks This Week, Bob's Tasks Later).
  • I drop tasks into the New Tasks list and let the team member know and we confirm priority.
  • Team members then move the task to the appropriate This Week or Later list - which I've promised to never touch.

    BOARD 2: "GROWTH"
  • We have a board for "Growth" where we list the different things we're doing to grow the business.
  • Any new crazy ideas go into this board.
  • I find it necessary to have this so everyone can follow wtf is going on when I seemingly change direction randomly.

    BOARD 3: "PROSPECTS"
  • I move prospects through these lists:
    ... 1) In discussion. (Not ready to invoice.)
    ... 2) To invoice.
    ... 3) Invoiced. Not paid yet.
    ... 4) Invoiced paid. Moved to client area.
    ... Gone quiet.
    ... Definite No.


Zoom is great for team meetings. I'm on a paid plan. There's a free plan, and there's also Skype, Google Hangouts, etc.

We only have one team meeting a week, and that's to discuss the Trello boards, and I think nice for people to see me waffling away, that I do indeed have a plan, and there's a method to the madness they may see in Basecamp.



Google Sheets are GREAT!

I have a one page REGISTER that links to all my other sheets.

I've one listing each client and the date/currency they pay in.

I've another listing all clients with links to their Google Ads account, Weekly Trading Sheet, and Basecamp project. Amend as you see fit.

Each client has their own "Weekly Trading" dashboard. You may not need this.
I created a video for one here:

You can create simple project plans in Google Sheets too.
Here's another video:

I even have links to my progress threads so I can find them again!



I'll create some videos and drop them in here.

If people want I'll create templates from some of the sheets we use and drop them in here too.


It's all about being simple and having one-page dashboards where possible.




Anyone else have some simple tips, or tips on keep things simple?
 

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this is a little different, but I'll add it anyway:

Clear communication is more important when working from home. When you're in the office, you can see body language and get a better sense of how your words are impacting those around you. At home, this is more difficult. You have to pay attention to the words you use: use as few as possible. Check for double-meanings, unclear punctuation etc. in emails or other written forms, for example.
 
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this is a little different, but I'll add it anyway:

Clear communication is more important when working from home. When you're in the office, you can see body language and get a better sense of how your words are impacting those around you. At home, this is more difficult. You have to pay attention to the words you use: use as few as possible. Check for double-meanings, unclear punctuation etc. in emails or other written forms, for example.
Absolutely!

I pay particular attention to being polite and making sure I use words so people can *read* the friendly tone.
 
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Been working remotely at home for the first time in my life. I’ve found that at the end of the day, I never feel like I got enough done. It’s weird. I review my day and I know the day wasn’t a waste, but for some reason I’m just never satisfied with my level of productivity.

I’m assuming it has to do with not leaving the house, but I’m not sure.

Can anyone relate to that?
 

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It's been 10 years since I've worked in an office. Here are my tips:

1. Have a plan of action for your day. I use GTD (Getting Things Done) but you can use anything, the key is to use something to trigger you to act throughout the day. Have 1 goal to complete during the day that moves your business forward and then celebrate when you complete it.
2. Get rid of your TV/consoles/porn/pick any distraction. If nothing else, lock it away and do not use these consumption devices during the day. And if you really can't stop yourself from wasting time on your computer, then install software that blocks you from visiting those sites that you can't help yourself from visiting. Frankly though you might have a problem that you need to address if you can't control your impulses.
3. Take breaks. Pomodoro works. I just step away from my machine to make a coffee for my wife and myself.

I'm sure there's lots of other things as well, but you kind of have to find your own rhythm. Biggest thing is to have a goal and kill the distractions so you can accomplish it.
 

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Been working remotely at home for the first time in my life. I’ve found that at the end of the day, I never feel like I got enough done. It’s weird. I review my day and I know the day wasn’t a waste, but for some reason I’m just never satisfied with my level of productivity.

I’m assuming it has to do with not leaving the house, but I’m not sure.

Can anyone relate to that?
Kill one rock a day.

I put rocks into my Google Calendar. My calendar is my todo list.

Start your day by killing a rock if you can. The day will fill up the space between your rocks with sand anyway. Just make sure you don’t spend your day playing in the sandpit.
 

Mattie

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Communication / Project Management Tools

We use Basecamp to communicate with clients and manage projects. Funnily enough we find it better as a communication tool than a project management tool. We're using the paid version.

Of course there's Slack and other free things like that.

Likely Trello will come in handy. It's free and great for (dash)boards. We try to keep details out of Trello and instead link to the appropriate Basecamp thread.
  • Create a team and add boards so the team automatically gets access to them.
  • Here's the simple boards I have in the team:

    BOARD 1: "CLIENTS"
  • Shows tasks for client projects.
  • Each team member has three lists: (Bob's New Tasks, Bob's Tasks This Week, Bob's Tasks Later).
  • I drop tasks into the New Tasks list and let the team member know and we confirm priority.
  • Team members then move the task to the appropriate This Week or Later list - which I've promised to never touch.

    BOARD 2: "GROWTH"
  • We have a board for "Growth" where we list the different things we're doing to grow the business.
  • Any new crazy ideas go into this board.
  • I find it necessary to have this so everyone can follow wtf is going on when I seemingly change direction randomly.

    BOARD 3: "PROSPECTS"
  • I move prospects through these lists:
    ... 1) In discussion. (Not ready to invoice.)
    ... 2) To invoice.
    ... 3) Invoiced. Not paid yet.
    ... 4) Invoiced paid. Moved to client area.
    ... Gone quiet.
    ... Definite No.


Zoom is great for team meetings. I'm on a paid plan. There's a free plan, and there's also Skype, Google Hangouts, etc.

We only have one team meeting a week, and that's to discuss the Trello boards, and I think nice for people to see me waffling away, that I do indeed have a plan, and there's a method to the madness they may see in Basecamp.



Google Sheets are GREAT!

I have a one page REGISTER that links to all my other sheets.

I've one listing each client and the date/currency they pay in.

I've another listing all clients with links to their Google Ads account, Weekly Trading Sheet, and Basecamp project. Amend as you see fit.

Each client has their own "Weekly Trading" dashboard. You may not need this.
I created a video for one here:

You can create simple project plans in Google Sheets too.
Here's another video:

I even have links to my progress threads so I can find them again!



I'll create some videos and drop them in here.

If people want I'll create templates from some of the sheets we use and drop them in here too.


It's all about being simple and having one-page dashboards where possible.




Anyone else have some simple tips, or tips on keep things simple?
Is that the same zoom that the F.B.I. is saying is having issues at the moment with hackers ?
 
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Andy Black

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Is that the same zoom that the F.B.I. is saying is having issues at the moment with hackers ?
I’ve not heard that news. There’s only one Zoom as far as I know. Lots of people using it so I’m sure it’s a target to scumbags.
 

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Zoom has some fairly severe security issues, and based on their history, there will likely be more. If you're looking for an alternative, we ran a call with 17 people on Wednesday using Jitsi Meet which is the cloud version of Jitsi.org - develop and deploy full-featured video conferencing an open source video conferencing solution which you can deploy in servers you control if you are inclined to do so.
 
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Ah no. I really like Zoom too. I was on a networking Zoom held by the local enterprise board yesterday and there were 37 people and they split us into little groups twice to chat and help each other. It worked great.

I’ll have to forward that video onto them, and see how to create password protected Zoom meetings.

I use Zoom all the time, especially with Calendly automatically allowing people to schedule a Zoom chat.

Thanks for the heads up @Mattie @aeden.


EDIT: Oh, look what’s in my inbox:

0CE303BE-E76A-4EF6-A2DA-78B8D7DDFDF1.png
 
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Set up a little area in one of the kids rooms for when I need to do calls during the day.

That’s officially my favourite laptop riser now. It can hang off the back of a narrow table, and a keyboard can sit under it.

8C91FA7B-1287-4DDB-B1F3-587D457A2D12.jpeg

20C290F0-E49F-424C-BA3E-EA241FD8D21E.jpeg
 

Mattie

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Ah no. I really like Zoom too. I was on a networking Zoom held by the local enterprise board yesterday and there were 37 people and they split us into little groups twice to chat and help each other. It worked great.

I’ll have to forward that video onto them, and see how to create password protected Zoom meetings.

I use Zoom all the time, especially with Calendly automatically allowing people to schedule a Zoom chat.

Thanks for the heads up @Mattie @aeden.


EDIT: Oh, look what’s in my inbox:

View attachment 31875
I wasn't sure if people were aware or not. Glad they're addressing the issues. I'd hate to be doing something important and have hackers come in do stupid crap. Although, you have a lot of this on different platforms with troll & hacker mafia I want to call them. What would we do without idiots in the world that don't have anything better to do with their life then interupt the positive aspects of life. Carry on! Carry on! Don't let the hackers, trolls, and haters prevent you from succeeding!
 

sonny_1080

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Kill one rock a day.

I put rocks into my Google Calendar. My calendar is my todo list.

Start your day by killing a rock if you can. The day will fill up the space between your rocks with sand anyway. Just make sure you don’t spend your day playing in the sandpit.
Thanks for the post Andy.

After thinking about it more it comes down to the whole process over events thing.

For example, the one rock I’ve had the last 3 days was to finish my website. At the end of the day I don’t feel productive because I haven’t reached that event and I disregard the refining process where all my learning happens.

I think I just came face to face with my event-mindedness.
 

Mattie

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Set up a little area in one of the kids rooms for when I need to do calls during the day.

That’s officially my favourite laptop riser now. It can hang off the back of a narrow table, and a keyboard can sit under it.

View attachment 31873

View attachment 31874
ha ha! I found something new for you. An Amazing Work-From-Home Desk That Connects To Your Balcony
 

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