As the ground beneath us shifts in times of uncertainty, many jobs have become jeopardized by the COVID-19 crisis. Some businesses (including GMD) fortunately have the means to operate remotely, lessening the risk of multiplying the virus, and sustaining operations from a distance adequately.

Despite remote work trending upwards in the digital age, many are bringing work to their abode for the very first time in light of the pandemic.

If you’re one of those people, you’re likely worried that working from home means your productivity levels will decrease. The benefits of working remotely are plenty, but there are definitely inherent distractions that can quickly reduce productivity, causing your workday to slip right by (admittingly, the fridge and dog cuddles are my kryptonite).

It falls back on you to remain organized and determined to maintain the same productivity levels exercised at the office.

Don’t fret; today’s technology and resources make remote work—work. There is a wealth in apps, software and advice to help you maintain peak productivity levels throughout the day.

Try out these tips from the GMD team to get you started:

Automate your routine. Don’t change how you start your day. Wake up with the attitude of heading into work. Get dressed and have your breakfast, then direct your attention to a designated space in your home and begin your day as you would at the office.

It’ll be tempting to veg out on the couch or in your bed with your laptop in tow, but try saving those spaces strictly for your downtime. The association our brain makes between rest and these spaces will weaken your ability to relax or fall asleep. It’s a slippery slope.

Grab all your essentials before you sit down, just like you would at work. As soon as you get into the office, you head into the kitchen, drop off your lunch, brew some coffee and attend to some watercooler chatter, right? Do the same at home too. While you’re at it, grab your laptop charger, lip butter, essential oil spray, and whatever else you fidget with at your desk normally. Otherwise, inevitable context switching throughout the day will disrupt your concentration and prevent you from developing a deep workflow.

Prioritize your day with the most critical tasks scheduled first. Before checking your e-mail, proactively begin working on your highest-priority assignment. Push to get 20-30% of it done, then check your e-mail. By establishing this dedicated mindset, you’ll hit the ground running, noting and responding to e-mails eagerly to get back to your project in an efficient manner.

Time-track each task. At first, time tracking feels tedious, but the more diligently it is done, the easier it becomes. As you get into the groove, you’ll notice this motivates you to accomplish more, with an advanced degree of accuracy.

There are numerous tracking methods, and it ultimately depends on what you’re comfortable using. The traditional way includes a journal/notepad, but if you explore the many free time-tracking apps available, you’ll find they are faster and more organized than your notes ever could be. Everhour, Toggl, and Harvest are amongst many free apps available for you to explore.

Optimize headspace by taking a full lunch and getting in some stretching. At work, it is easy enough to pop over to a co-worker’s desk and ask if they’d like to make a coffee run. Take a few moments and get some fresh air at home too. I do however still find it helpful to time track, even if it’s not being set in my task record.

If you find that procrastination is still keeping you from getting in the zone— schedule power hour into your day. Work smarter by committing to one project for an hour and turning off all other notifications that may distract you. Re-evaluate at the end of those 60 minutes to determine if you’d like to keep rolling or move onto something new, then commit to another hour. This technique also works when you batch similar tasks together—once you’re in the deep work zone, knocking them off your list comes effortlessly.

For those less urgent tasks that seep into your brain during power hour (or any other hour), keep a note pad or document open to dump them into. Revisit the list when you free up from harder tasks instead of breaking concentration.

Continuous connectiveness is essential, especially when the ability to have face-to-face interactions with our team members is lost. Amid many other apps, GMD predominately uses Slack, Zoom, and G Suite to blur the distances between one another, making our check-ins secure, frequent and thoughtful. Slack allows us to automate Stand-ups in numerous channels, which keeps the team synced with daily updates on what other members have completed, how they are feeling, and what they’ll be working on the next day.

GMD has general channels on Slack where all staff are included, in addition to smaller team channels for prime collaboration. Just remember to establish ground rules with your team early, by communicating what hours you’re available online and over the phone. Then, stick to them.

As many people cope with the stress and anxiety associated with COVID-19, we must preserve some positivity, too. Otherwise, your mood will impact your work and cause you to make errors. For this reason, GMD has moved the traditional Friday happy hour onto Zoom for example— and it’s BYOB friendly (we move to the couch for this one).

With just a few adjustments to your daily workflow, you’re on your way to a more productive remote workday, and it gets easier as you adapt to new tech to help you through it. Just remember that you have resources and your team is there for you. If beers on a Friday are not your thing, create social channels for #dog-lovers or #positive-news on Slack and keep the good vibes (and terrible memes) flowing!